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Proviso Probe

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

PO-PO, police drop loitering tickets [MP]

Today Maria Hernandez called me to say that Deputy Chief of Police Gary Montino called her to say that she should collect the loitering tickets written on November 18, 2005 and he would take care of them.

This is the right thing to do, because writing loitering tickets for people on private property with the owners permission--including the owner's children--is pretty much bullshit.

But once a bureaucracy like the Melrose Park Police Department decides on a course of action, it's often hard to change course. Montino, who is known as "Harpo", deserves praise for applying a common sense check to the situation. See this entry for background.

Maria Hernandez is a woman of courage and resourcefulness. She organized her neighbors and effectively sought help.

For people that question the relevance of the NAACP, this case shows the organization is on the cutting edge of protecting civil rights in Proviso Township. The NAACP helped Hernandez and her neighbors file a complaint with the Justice Department, Civil Rights Division.

Arnie Bryant, the president of the local chapter of the NAACP, put Hernandez on his radio show and introduced her to other local journalists. See Melrose Park Herald (David Pollard). Bryant and the NAACP also put Hernandez in touch with Anthony J. Peraica & Associates, who was representing Hernandez and her neighbors on the loitering violations. Peraica is running for President of the Cook County Board... as a Republican.


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