Things That Matter

Chicago Teen Shot In Chest After Trying To Steal A Woman’s Dog

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.

CREDIT: CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT

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.

CREDIT: Chicago Police Department

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.

CREDIT: Google Maps

“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.

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Chicago’s Mayor Is Stepping Up Where Others Have Failed, Makes Undocumented Residents Eligible For Coronavirus Relief Programs

Things That Matter

Chicago’s Mayor Is Stepping Up Where Others Have Failed, Makes Undocumented Residents Eligible For Coronavirus Relief Programs

Chris Swede-Pool / Getty

The sweeping Coronavirus stimulus packaged signed into law by President Trump promises a huge infusion of cash into a struggling economy. However, the bill explicitly denies much-needed benefits to some of the most vulnerable communities in the county – including most undocumented residents.

Several progressive politicians have called out the original bill for this major omission but so far have failed to get a bill passed that would bring benefits to communities currently not eligible.

Meanwhile, city and state officials have been working to make sure their programs are eligible to all residents – regardless of legal status.

Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot is leading the way by making sure all residents in her city who need help – can get it.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Tuesday issued an executive order granting undocumented immigrants and refugees, who are sometimes forgotten, a variety of city benefits, including money from the city’s Small Business Resiliency Loan Program.

”This order is more than just an official decree, it is a statement of our values as a city and as Americans,” she said in a statement on Tuesday. “Since COVID-19 first reached our city’s doorstep, we have been working around the clock to ensure all our residents are secure and supported, including our immigrant and refugee communities, who are among the most vulnerable to the impact of this pandemic.”

“Here in Chicago, saying ‘we are all in this together’ means that during this crisis, no one gets left out and no one gets left behind,” she added.

The city of Chicago has launched several programs in order to help residents cope with the financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Credit: LatinQuarterORD / Instagram

Under the executive order, Lightfoot’s office said all residents in the city, regardless of their birthplace or citizenship status, will have access to the city’s newly-established COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grant program and online resources offered through Chicago public schools for students, among other benefits.

Michael Rodriguez, who serves as alderman of the 22nd Ward in Chicago, praised Lightfoot for the move in a statement, while pointing to coronavirus relief legislation recently passed by Congress that will give relief checks to most Americans but not nonresident aliens and people who don’t have Social Security numbers.

“Not all of Chicago’s residents qualify for federal stimulus checks, state unemployment insurance or other economic assistance due to their documentation status,” Rodriguez said. “These Chicagoans are vital community members who work in various industries and help our great city to thrive every day.”

The Mayor has overwhelming support for her plan from much of the city.

Credit: @chicagosmayor / Twitter

Many City Council members have bemoaned that the federal government didn’t do enough to help undocumented immigrants with legislation. But the city can also do more, said 35th Ward Alderman, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa. That includes creating an immigrant resiliency fund, which he has asked the mayor to do, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

George Cardenas, alderman for Chicago’s 12th Ward, also commended the mayor for the executive order in a statement.

“Most individuals in our immigrant community labor in industries pummeled by the COVID-19 crisis, such as restaurants and hotels,” he said. “Although many of these workers collectively pay billions of dollars in taxes, they are excluded from the federal aid package signed by Congress. We must meet this moment together; no one should be excluded.” 

The mayor’s plan tries to fill the gap left behind by Congress’ federal stimulus bill.

Credit: WhiteHouse.gov

Congress passed a $2.2 trillion relief bill in late March that provides major financial assistance to Americans struggling under the coronavirus pandemic. The stimulus package includes a $1,200 payout to eligible U.S. citizens, and allocates $350 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses.

However, progressive politicians have criticized the bailout package for excluding some of the most vulnerable communities among us. House Democrats introduced the Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act, a bill that calls for extending much-needed benefits to tax-paying undocumented residents.

The Chicago mayor is not alone in setting aside benefits for the undocumented community.

Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Governors Pool

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that his administration has established a state fund to provide relief to businesses run by individuals living in the U.S. without proper documentation.

Lightfoot, for her part, has long been a virulent critic of immigration enforcement, and has established sanctuary policies that forbid local police cooperation with ICE.

Domestic Violence Victims Have Been Using Code Words At Pharmacies To Escape Abusers During Lockdowns

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Domestic Violence Victims Have Been Using Code Words At Pharmacies To Escape Abusers During Lockdowns

@CiaoMaximilian / Instagram

As lockdowns continue to occur across Europe, Asia and the Americas, worrying reports of domestic abuse have spiked.

According to news outlets, women and men who are victims of domestic abuse are at risk for greater threats now more than ever. With so much of the world in lockdown, reports have said that many confined to their homes with their domestic abusers could become victims of the pandemic.
In a report by CNN, multiple studies proclaimed “that emotionally stressful events can lead to an increase in aggressive behavior at home. Researchers identified such spikes during the 2008 economic crisis, when major natural disasters hit, and also during big football tournaments.”

According to Lucha y Siesta women’s shelter in Rome, the crisis has made abuse all the worse.

According to an interview with Lucha y Siesta and CNN, one young woman had contacted the women’s shelter with reports of a controlling relationship turned violent. The unknown woman told Lucha Y Siesta that ” her partner of four years had always been controlling and abusive but had become much worse during the lockdown.”

With the current public health crisis overwhelming Italy’s resources the country has been forced to turn its direction towards fighting the virus as opposed to helping victims.

“The court procedures are working slower than usual because most people are working from home,” Simona Ammerata a woman who works for Lucha y Siesta and spoke to CNN explained. “The fear is that the legal decrees to protect women won’t be put in place in time.”

Domestic abuse searches have surged in countries across the globe. Not just Italy. Australia and the UK are among some of the countries to report these findings.

Refuge, a domestic violence charity based out of Great Britain has also rung the alarms about similar concerns.

According to CNN, victims of domestic abuse have been using trips to supermarkets and pharmacies to ask for help as strict rules about remaining in quarantine have made it particularly difficult for abused women to escape abusers.

Codeword: “Mask 19.”

Victims of abuse have reportedly been using the codeword “Mask 19” in interactions with pharmacists behind their local counters toa ask for help. According to Elle magazine, local authorities in Spain and the Canary Islands launched an action last week that supports domestic abuse victims in making reports. Those who are incapable of outrightly making complaints to staff about their abuse, are using the code “mask 19.”