Chicago is reeling after José Nieves, an unarmed man, was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer in the city’s Hermosa neighborhood last week. Police officials have confirmed that Nieves was unarmed when a 57-year-old mass transit officer fatally shot him. Police have not released the name of the officer who shot Nieves, but have placed him on desk duty.
“The person who was shot did not have a weapon. That much we know. The officer’s weapon is the only one we found,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the press during a news conference.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters, “I have a lot more questions than I have answers at this time.”
It was not the first time the officer and Nieves had interacted.
Chicago police, who confirmed that Nieves and the officer in question had a previous disagreement, say they are trying to construct a timeline of events leading up to the shooting. The incident remains under investigation.
Angelica Nieves, the victim’s sister, says her brother was previously harassed and threatened by the armed officer.
“He would complain about the guy pulling out his gun at him, him coming home from work. More than once, he’s called 911. They’ve gone to the apartment. They’ve gone there. They don’t do nothing about it. He’s an officer,” Angelica told CBS Chicago.
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A Chicago woman shot a teenage girl in the chest Friday night after she attacked the woman and tried to steal her dog. Araceli Diaz, 21, and the 14-year-old girl had arranged to meet “to conduct a sale,” according to a Chicago Police Department press release. According to authorities, the teenager pulled out a pellet gun and “struck Diaz on the head with it,” in an effort to steal Diaz’s property. That ‘property’ was a Husky puppy. Diaz, not knowing the teenager’s weapon was, in fact, a pellet gun, shot the teenager in the chest with a handgun. Diaz fled the scene in a white Cadillac but was arrested an hour later thanks to surveillance video.
Diaz is being charged with one felony count for not having a concealed carry license, resulting in one unlawful use of weapon felony charge. The teenager was hospitalized and charged the following morning with one felony count for attempted armed robbery.
Araceli Diaz is not being charged for the shooting itself, as it was considered self-defense.
Diaz appeared in court Sunday morning, where Judge Arthur Wesley Willis set her bail at $5,000, meaning she’d have to post $500 to be released from jail. Diaz’s attorney, Mike Walsh, told reporter Tom Schuba that Diaz breeds Huskies, and was attempting to sell the dog when the unidentified juvenile attacked her. Prosecutors have already indicated that they’ve concluded she fired the gun in self-defense. Diaz has a valid firearm owner’s identification card but did not have a valid concealed carry license, making her use of the legal weapon unlawful.
“A BB gun can appear like a real gun and to anyone out there it’s gonna appear like a real gun, to the police, and to any individual, and if someone’s carrying and they have their own CCL they may use their own gun to defend themselves,” Chicago Police Officer Jose Jara told FOX32.
The girl reportedly ordered Diaz to the ground before assaulting her.
Diaz placed the dog in the girl’s arms and told her she could take the dog home for $800, according to The Chicago Tribune. Suddenly, a nearly perfect moment (adopt, don’t shop, mi gente), became violent. The girl ordered Diaz to the ground and hit her twice on the head and face with a metal pellet gun, according to The Tribune. As the girl tried to run off with the dog, Diaz allegedly shot her twice in the chest and abdomen and fled the scene in a white Cadillac. An hour later, police tracked Diaz down using surveillance footage and found a loaded Glock handgun and magazine in the passenger seat of her car.
Prosecutors say the girl arrived with another person, according to The Chicago Tribune.
“We’re not sure where they met initially or how they communicated, but all we do know is that the 14-year-old did show up with other intentions and she pulled out a BB gun,” Jara initially told FOX32. Later, at Diaz’s court hearing, prosecutors said that the two began communicating on Facebook to arrange the sale, according to The Chicago Tribune. The teenager arrived with another person to meet Diaz at 5:45 p.m. Friday evening on the 2300 block of South Drake Avenue, prosecutors said, according to the outlet.
A petition to drop Diaz’s charges has been posted to Change.org. Only one person has signed it, and it’s the petition-writer, Jerald Fraley, who is mysteriously listed as deceased on Facebook.
The teen was transported to a hospital where she was treated overnight for her gunshot wounds. She was charged Saturday morning with attempted armed robbery and is expected to appear in juvenile court on December 9, according to police.
As Colombians keep protesting the government of Ivan Duque, tensions are mounting due to the increasingly aggressive tactics being used by the police. The political climate in South America is extremely polirized at the moment, with waves of protests turning violent in Chile, Bolivia and now Colombia, where the Duque government is facing stern challenges that have led to unprecedented measures such as a curfew in the capital city of Bogota.
Duque has at least admitted that the country has to enter a “national conversation”. But, at the same time, the conservative president has called for the “deployment of joint patrols of police and army in the most critical places”. Protesters argue that you can’t have both: you either enter a conversation or deploy the full force of the State. Multiple injuries and deaths have been reported. But the recent death of one Dilan Cruz is a momentum shifting event.
The anti-government protests are being led by unions and student groups.
Tens of thousands of protesters have flooded the streets of Bogota for the past week. According to DW, anti-government protests “are centered on discontent with Duque’s conservative government — a key ally of the United States, rumors of economic reforms, and what protesters say is a lack of government action to stop corruption and the murder of human rights activists”. Colombia has traditionally been a very divided country when it comes to the right/left ideological divide. The protests might have righteous motives, but is is hard to contain a movement.
As Reuters reports: “Marches have attracted thousands of peaceful demonstrators, but last Thursday and Friday were also marred by the destruction of mass transit stations, the use of tear gas, curfews in Cali and Bogota and the deaths of three people in connection with alleged looting”. Things might be getting worse before they get better as negotiations have been slow and sterile.
As CE Noticias Financieras reports: “Talks between the National Paro Committee and the government are stalled because unions demand exclusive negotiation and refuse to be part of a dialogue with employers and guilds that Duque convened as part of a “Great Conversation National””.
A protester called Dilan Cruz has died after being hit with a police projectile.
As the protests led a fifth day on November 26, an activist lay in agony after being hit with a police missile. The protests intensified then, and have reached new proportions after Cruz died. Police tactics have been judged as way too harsh and disproportionate to the nature of the demonstrations. For example, the authorities used tear gas to disperse a crowd while the national anthem was being sung in front of the central bank headquarters.
Remember his name: Dilan Cruz. He has become a symbol of the protest movement in Colombia.
Dilan Cruz grabbed a tear gas canister and threw it back at the police. Seconds later a shot was heard and he lay on the ground amidst screams from fellow protesters. He spent two days in hospital but died from the bullet he received in the head, according to reports from BBC. Dilan was only 18-years-old and had graduated from high school in the public institution Colegio Ricaurte the same day on which he died (talk about a cruel twist of fate). There have been dozens of reports of police brutality during these tense days in Colombia, but Dilan has become the flag of the movement.
“Dilan vive, Dilan vive” is the new protest battle cry…
Dilan’s classmates led protests towards the hospital where he died. With cries of “Dilan lives, Dilan lives” they denounced the human rights violations that activists have been subject to before and during the protests. On the corner of 19 and 4, which is generally a chaotic area of the capital city, there are memorials including candles, posters and graffiti. Dilan’s death also lead to a national strike.
President Duque has extended his condolences… yes, really.
The president tweeted a message to the victim’s mother, grandfather and sisters. He also promised that an investigation would be launched to clarify the incident. However, some conservative voices have already started victim blaming, saying that since Dilan was a minor he should have been at home, and that the blame lays with his parents.
Dilan will live forever as an icon of the protest movements.
Every movement or revolution has an icon. Dilan Cruz has become a martyr and his name will always be associated with social struggle and a watershed moment in which violence escalated and the world started to turn its eyes to 2019 Colombia and its many injustices, but also its voices of hope.
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