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Proviso Probe

Thursday, October 13, 2005

ETHNICITY, Oak Park cops hassles Black candidates[4thSen]

The following incident was recounted to me by James T. Smith, Democratic candidate for state senator, and Grady Norwood, a West Side political activist.

An Oak Park police officer stopped Smith, Norwood, State Representative Calvin Giles and another Black man and told them they were not allowed to circulate nominating petitions. The incident occurred Saturday, October 8, 2005, at approximately 5:00 PM on the 500 block of South Lombard, across from the Oak Park police station. (Coincidentally, Oak Park Village President David Pope lives on this block.)

Norwood and Smith requested the officer check with his supervisor to see if any laws were being violated. Rather than check with his supervisor the police officer left the scene without pressing the issue.

If the officer checked with his supervisor and discovered he had misapplied the law governing door-to-door solicitation, it would seem more like a genuine misunderstanding. Since the officer was reluctant to check with his supervisor, it makes his demand to desist from routine political work look more arbitrary and sinister.

Hopefully, the Village of Oak Park will make the effort necessary to impress upon its officers that the community supports the Bill of Rights and opposes discrimination based on ethnicity and skin tone.


  • It seems Kim Lightford got word of James T. Smith’s challenge from Proviso Probe. Welcome to the community, Sen. Lightford.

    It seems Lightford is miffed that Rep. Calvin Giles was getting nominating petitions signed along with the guy challenging her.

    As I understand it, Lightford voted against Giles being chair of the Black Caucus. Lightford voted against one of her two state reps and now she’s surprised he’s not backing her for re-election.

    That’s sorta like a married woman spreading her legs for some other guy, getting pregnant and then being surprised that her husband doesn’t want to stay with her.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 5:09 PM, October 15, 2005  

  • If you want to help James T. Smith his campaign phone # is (708) 819-0905.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 5:10 PM, October 15, 2005  

  • Two thoughts, including, doesn't it matter WHO she voted for? and #2, your married woman comment is, to me, salacious and unworthy of you.

    By Anonymous Gary Woll, at 6:05 PM, October 16, 2005  

  • I'd like to ask Giles a couple questions about this incident and its aftermath.

    However, Giles isn't returning my phone calls.

    Perhaps some Proviso Probe readers can call him, (773) 287-6700, and help persuade him to call me.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 2:52 PM, October 18, 2005  

  • Here's the Oak Leaves (Chris LaFortune & Holly M. Anderson) story.

    I expected this to be a bigger deal, but if Rep. Giles won't talk about it then I guess it's no big deal.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 12:10 PM, October 19, 2005  

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