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Activists Denounce “Lincoln Award” For States Atty Dick Devine

Protesters Target Awards Banquet

Calling it “an insult to victims of handgun violence by police,” anti-police brutality activists will protest an “Abraham Lincoln Award” scheduled to be given by the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence to Cook County States Attorney Dick Devine on July 11. Devine is currently considering a Democratic campaign for Governor. The anti-Devine protest will take place at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, July 11 in front of the Union League Club, 57 W. Jackson, Chicago.

Dick Devine has yet to criminally charge a single Chicago police officer for violence against a civilian since he was elected in 1996. “This award is an insult to the memories of the people gunned down by police – Robert Russ, LaTanya Haggerty, Kelsey Hogan, just to name a few,” said Rose SiFuentes, spokesperson for the Comité Exigimos Justicia, one of the sponsors of the protest.

The mother of Robert Russ, Vera Love, and the widow of Kelsey Hogan, Gwen, will be among the survivors of police handgun violence in attendance to speak to the demonstrators.

Protesters will also point to other lethal violence promoted by Dick Devine – his direct role in promoting executions of Black men sent to death row, many convicted with the help of his office using “confessions” rung out of the defendants through torture by the police in the infamous Cmdr. Jon Burge cases.

From 1980 to 1983, Devine was the #2 man to then-States Atty. Richard M. Daley, when 27 African American men were tortured with the use of electric shock, suffocation and Russian Roulette at Area 2 Police Headquarters. As States Attorneys, Devine and Daley approved the use of "confessions” resulting from these tortures, and Devine is now blocking new trials for the torture victims.

Activists point to Devine’s complicity in other clear cases of police violence:

· Three Amnesty International reports in the last five months Chicago police violence documented police gay bashing in the cases of Freddie Mason, Jr., Jeffrey Lyons and Kentin Waits, yet Devine refuses to prosecute the alleged police offenders.

· Even when government authorities themselves admit there’s a problem, Devine refuses to act. Internal Sheriff's Department and Chicago Police Department investigations found cops guilty of serious brutality in the gay-bashing of Terry Phalen, the police killing of African-American LaTanya Haggerty, and the bloody beating of Jeremiah Mearday. Rather than prosecute the police, Devine contemptuously dismissed Mearday’s complaint as just a “soap opera” claim of injustice.

The protest is co-sponsored by the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network (CABN), Sangat and the Comité Exigimos Justicia. For more information, call CABN at 888.471.0874, or e-mail at CABNstopthehate@aol.com.




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