Chicagoland Justice


Jan. 2, 1925: Senate Pages train for a life of crime

Jan. 2, 1925: Senate Pages train for a life of crime

Police charge thirteen-year-old with felonious assault after he throws snowball at officer and hits him on the arm (or misses – stories differ).

According to police, a 13-year-old boy was charged as a juvenile with felony aggravated battery against a police officer Wednesday after he hit the officer in the arm with a snowball while the officer was parked in his vehicle in the 4900 block of West Congress Parkway about 3:20 p.m.

A cop, a person not entirely unlike anyone else ever hit by a snowball, found the impact of snow against his arm to be nearly unbearable. The main difference between Joe Citizen and Officer Snowball is that the Chicago police officer has the power to toss the offending person into the gears of the criminal justice system. Which is what he did. Obviously, this has provoked plenty of negative reaction.

“I think that’s ridiculous — it’s such a big charge,” said Latanya Powell, a construction worker on the block. “It’s just going overboard. I can see if it were a weapon and harm was done, but it was just a snowball.

“This is a case of kids being kids.”

Boys will be boys, but that’s only acceptable if they don’t extend their natural mischievousness to include this particular uniformed manchild. Once you cross that line — a line only a cop can see — you’re finished. Say goodbye to childhood and hello to a criminal record that will affect you for years to come.

Not everyone was as nonplussed as Latanya Powell. Local idiot educator Ray Fields felt this was a totally appropriate response to snowball-throwing.

“If [the boy] had gotten away with it, who’s to say what they’d do next? If it doesn’t stick to them now, they’ll be 16 or 17, and they’ll have a gun,” Fields said, adding that he has experience with local teens as a teacher and was the victim of a home burglary by neighborhood teens in 2010.

Hmm. Well, if we follow Fields’ reasoning (and that of the unnamed cop), we arrive at a couple of conclusions, both equally asinine.

A. Throwing snowballs at authority figures is a gateway drug to a life of crime. (Because snowballs magically become guns when the snowball thrower hits “age 16 or 17.”)

B. If a kid hitting a cop with a snowball is felonious battery, then kids everywhere are committing this crime — repeatedly — after every snowfall (with the attendant “snowballs lead to gunplay” concerns nowhere to be seen).

Conclusion A is a dead end. It’s not unlike the assertion that because criminals play video games, playing video games leads to criminal acts. Many criminals threw snowballs at their friends and authority figures (adults, teachers, cops) during their formative years, therefore snowball throwing leads to criminal acts. Rather than punish criminal behavior, those deploying this stunted logic want to crack down on non-criminal behavior in the deluded hope of preventing future criminal acts. All the way wrong, all the way down.

Conclusion B just exposes the fact that there are multiple sets of rules in play at any given time: one for citizens, one for cops and one for when the two intersect. Johnny hits Timmy with a snowball and it’s “playing.” A cop hits another cop with a snowball and it’s “playing.” But Johnny hitting a cop with a snowball is a felony.

Hanging a felony charge on a kid for snowball throwing is not only completely absurd, it has a much greater chance of converting him to a criminal than his cop-targeting snowball throwing does. Way to go, law enforcement (and enablers like Ray Fields): you’re generating scofflaws just as fast as you can trump up charges against them.



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5 responses to “Chicagoland Justice

  1. LAK

    I think I’ll go out & throw a snowball at a cop.

  2. AJ

    “A 13-year-old student in Albuquerque, N.M., was allegedly arrested for burping during class.

    According to his lawsuit, after he “burped audibly” his teacher called the school resource officer, who in turn called the authorities to have him arrested for “interfering with public education.”

    “They are using petty misdemeanor charges to arrest children in New Mexico,” said Shannon Kennedy, the boy’s attorney.

    A seventh-grader at Cleveland Middle school, he names his teacher, principal and a police officer in his civil rights lawsuit.

    The lawsuit also claims that school authorities transported the boy from the school to the detention facility without notifying his parents.

    Additionally, it describes an incident that took place in early November in which the same boy was allegedly strip searched on suspicion of selling marijuana. He was never charged.

    According to Kennedy, after a minor is booked at the juvenile detention center for a nonviolent offense, a referral is sent to the Juvenile Justice Department for a counseling appointment. She says the arrest was unnecessary because the referral to the Justice Department could have been faxed directly from the school resource officer. The student did not need to be subjected to the traumatizing booking process.

    The same day this lawsuit was filed, a similar suit was filed on behalf of a 7-year-old autistic boy alleging he was hand cuffed to a chair for acting out.

    Last year Kennedy said she settled a class action against the City of Albuquerque Police Department for arresting children for nonviolent crimes.

    “This suit was started by a girl who was arrested for not wanting to sit next to the stinky boy in class. […]”

    Arrested for burping? I can only imagine how many first graders are doing life for letting a fart slip. Firing squad for popping extra stinky ones? Time to demand an end to police state insanity, now!

  3. jB

    This piece of news is over a week old and there doesn’t seem to be any follow up. I saw that the sorry kid is scheduled for court on 3/12 but still, nothing else?

    I’m becoming wary of what isn’t being reported in what passes for news.