Protests

Chicago Youth Nonprofit Sues City After Police Raid Over Free Food for Protesters

Chicago used its food licensing laws to harass a nonprofit providing free food to protesters.

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A Chicago nonprofit that works on behalf of the city's young adults sued the city this week. The lawsuit was filed by Chicago Freedom School (CFS)—an acclaimed nonprofit that provides support and educational programs for young Chicagoans—against the city, three police officers, and the Chicago Department for Business Affairs & Consumer Protection.

CFS alleges Chicago officials illegally raided a group facility on May 30 after the group offered a safe space to young city residents who had been protesting the police killings of George Floyd and other black Americans. The suit claims the city and its employees violated the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and Illinois state law, including state civil rights laws.

As the suit details, many protesters were caught off guard by a curfew the suit contends wasn't even announced until anywhere from minutes before, to minutes after, it was set to take effect. Chicago government's failure to notify protesters was exacerbated when the city also halted public transportation and ordered bridges downtown to be raised. Those actions by the city trapped many protesters downtown, both mandating they go home and leaving them without any legal or practical means to do so.

Left without other options, some protesters trapped by the city's furtive curfew and closures sought refuge at CFS after several tweets invited them to do so.

"Two aldermen and other frontline organizers tweeted to let protesters know to head to the Freedom School if they needed free food, or just to charge their phones and drink some water," Block Club Chicago reported. "The school was also organizing rides home for protesters stranded due to the curfew and [transit] stoppage."

Police came, too, accompanying city regulators, the suit details. Once there, they "demanded entry" to the CFS facilities. Rebuffed, the suit alleges, they "conducted an illegal raid." Inside, they claimed they saw CFS "serving large quantities of food without a proper retail food establishment license."

CFS counters that it bought commercially made pizzas and snacks (including bottled water and Clif bars) for the protestors.

"[CFS] provided hungry young people with take-out pizza, granola bars, and bottled water," says attorney Joey L. Mogul of the People's Law Office in Chicago, which is representing CFS in its suit against the city, in an email to me this week. "Practically every youth organization in the City of Chicago provides young people the same types of food as part of their programming and practice."

Indeed, CFS appears to be no more an unlicensed foodservice establishment than is a church that offers communion wafers to congregants, an office that buys lunch for employees and guests, a soccer team that provides orange slices to players, or a nonprofit that offers thousands of free meals to Chicago police officers.

So why this raid? Mogul tells me the raid was "retaliation" against CFS by city police and regulators "for supporting the protestors and the demonstration against racist police violence."

I can't imagine the city will win this case. It deserves to lose. And I certainly hope it does.

But I think there's also a much larger point here. Chicago officials appear to view a community nonprofit that serves young black adults as some sort of licensing scofflaw because it bought and gave away free pizzas. Chicago officials also appear to believe that responding to that charitable act necessitated sending armed police officers to the nonprofit's doorstep.

If that's how Chicago officials treat nonprofits that serve vulnerable young members of the black community there, how must they treat black-owned for-profit businesses? 

That's not a Chicago-only problem. Not by a long shot. Consider this black-owned Baltimore business was raided by police so many times its owner sued the police—and won. In a column last month, I discussed the terrible history of armed police actions against unlicensed food vendors in New York City, many of whom are immigrants and people of color.

And if a spurious licensing raid results in a criminal record?

"Laws restricting licensing opportunities for workers with criminal records have a disproportionate impact on Black and Hispanic workers," a 2015 report prepared by the Obama administration noted.

For all these reasons and more, licensing reform must be a part of any effort to reduce the harms visited by the state upon black Americans and other marginalized communities. But first, Chicago's mayor, police department, and consumer protection head must apologize to the Chicago Freedom School and the young adults the group's work benefits.

NEXT: Despite Its Government's Antics, America Has Made Moral Progress in a Difficult Time

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  1. Aiding and abetting.

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  2. I can’t imagine the city will win this case.

    I can’t imagine there will be consequences to the lost court case sufficient enough to act as a deterrent to the city.

  3. Really? A fourth of July piece about Chicago calling PIZZA illegal?
    I suspect the founding fathers are reconsidering what happened to their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

    1. Yeah but the Founders were all raciss wypepo so who cares.

  4. “Chicago used its food licensing laws to harass a nonprofit providing free food to protesters.”

    The city of Chicago itself used its food licensing laws, as in the mayor order it, or the ruling Oligarchy’s corrupt and murderous security forces who just happen to suck at the teat of Chicago taxpayers?

    1. You only think there’s a difference. You go into politics to get in the way, so you can get paid to get back out of the way. This is the way of the world.

      They just have to hide it better in countries with free press. So you build a meme that claims to be for public health to get useful idiots on your side, and you’re back in business! Maybe even catch a few true scofflaws. All the better!

  5. Must be fake news. Chicago has been run by Democrats since forever, and they certainly wouldn’t do something like this, being the friends of the poor and downtrodden that they are.

  6. For all these reasons and more, licensing reform must be a part of any effort to reduce the harms visited by the state upon black Americans and other marginalized communities.

    OR, these ex-political prisoners, incarcerated for engaging in their inalienable right to party without alcohol, have their criminal records expunged and the assets of everyone involved in Nixon’s racist War on Drugs be confiscated and distributed to their victims as reparations for the crimes against humanity that were inflicted upon them.

    Licensing is a requirement so as that consumers can make an informed decision when it comes to who to spend their money with – But you wanna-be anarchists already knew that.

    1. Licensing WAS a requirement so as that consumers can make an informed decision – – – –
      Now we have the fair and impartial social media review process to make those decisions. At least from among the businesses the mob allows to exist.

  7. I don’t understand 2020 anymore.

    It seems to me, and I’m just letting my racism run wild here, that Chicagostan has, like, a murdery problem they should pay closer to attention to?

    If Trump gets re-elected, what I’d do if I had his small hands and orange hair, is declare Illinois a failed state. Put in the hands of the Federal government temporarily and simply clean that shit out.

    Drain the swamp.

    1. White people are burning down black neighborhoods in the name of “racial justice” and because “black lives matter”. The old race riots were horrible but you could at least understand them.

      There is a theory in theoretical physics that says reality is just an elaborate simulation run by a higher intelligence. More or less that reality is some alien video game. I am starting to think that might be true and that whatever alien kid is playing our universe started smoking dope around the first of the year.

      1. The Dark Triad of virtue signalling.

        https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2020-46166-001

        Covid will disappear and isn’t so lethal.

        Virtue signalling is a far more poisonous virus.

        1. It is the product of a culture based entirely on narcissism.

    2. “Chicagostan has, like, a murdery problem they should pay closer to attention to”

      In college I learned that all problems in Democrat-controlled areas are ultimately the fault of Republicans. Chicago’s murder rate is no different; it’s 100% caused by insufficiently tough gun laws in neighboring red states. Sadly there’s not much residents of Chicago can do about that.

      1. Indiana is killing black yutes.

        1. I’ve read a bunch of lefties recently who were dead serious in arguing just that, Rufus. Indiana gun shops were to blame for a bunch of feral Chicago black men killing each other. Mention that decriminalization, or bail reform for the provably violent, or that early parole or COVID-related releases let violent felons out of jail to keep being violent, and all I heard was “Reeeeeeee!”

          We won’t even get into the specifics of the honor-based, now-oriented, violent culture that spawns all of these killings. It’s not even the Drug War anymore. These stupid fuckers would still be killing each other. Over disrespect, women, theft, petty disputes, and other minor annoyances that most people don’t settle by grabbing a HiPoint and going upside that fool’s head.

    3. Mostly black on black shootings, the perps make up a very small percentage. Driven by an honor code derived from English-Scottish immigrants from the borderlands, it immigrated first to Pennsylvania, then to the South. Blacks picked it up there, it immigrated back north. They don’t snitch on one another. Instead, they take revenge which leads to deaths of innocent people.

  8. Aren’t these people guilty of fraud? People donated money to them on the promise that it would go to help young people in some way. Instead they used it to feed bums and looters.

    While feeding the bums and looters should not in itself be a crime, taking money for a “charity” that is supposed to help young people and then using the money to feed bums and looters certainly should be a crime.

    1. This repeats a comment in a similar thread a while back : What we have here a story almost designed for this website. If this was police power visited on pure-white gawd-fear’n heart-of-America conservative suburbanites, these comments would surely run into the hundreds – almost all brimming with faux-Libertarian rage.

      But mix a little black into the equation and the tables turn……

      1. Or maybe you’re just raceturbating..

      2. Meanwhile, 25 people were shot, 4 fatally, in this very same city so far this weekend.

        Black Lives Matter, eh shitlib?

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  9. People keep acting like we’re having a progressive moment, but I keep seeing statistical signs of a backlash. The other day, I pointed to the Republican primary in Colorado, where the establishment Republican was leading by 30 points among likely voters only to lose the primary by 9 points because twice as many people voted as were expected, and the extra people all went for the radical pro-Trump candidate.

    Today, I was struck by this statistic:

    “This week the FBI announced a record 3.9 million background checks for June, the highest monthly total since the FBI began keeping the statistic in 1998. Adjusting to reflect checks only for gun purchases, the National Shooting Sports Foundation says this works out to 2.2 million, a 136% increase over June 2019. NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva says about 40% of these checks are for first-time gun buyers.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-gun-sales-of-june-11593730985?

    How do you account for that many first time gun buyers without reading it as a repudiation of the . . . um . . . “protesters” and their arson and looting? And how many of those first time gun buyers are likely to turn around and vote for Biden in November? And we’re probably talking about Millennials and younger and women, right? I don’t think many men wait until they’re in their 60s to buy their first gun.

    1. How many of those new gun buyers will vote for Biden? Some I am sure. But I have a hard time believing that a majority or even a large minority will.

    2. Just read the comments of most articles. There’s never been a bigger gulf between journalists and people.

      Here, for example, CTV, CBC and Global report on what the government says about Covid and the like/dislike ratio is always tilted by a wide margin towards dislike. There’s serious cynicism if not outright hostility towards them. And rightfully so in my opinion.

      There’s no question in my mind having observed this trend for the last few years people aren’t buying whatever it is the media/political classes pimp anymore.

      1. I’m seeing that disconnect between the writers and the readers everywhere.

        The first season of Altered Carbon was fun. It had mind-fucks, kung fu, a lot of naked women . . . hell, it even had naked women doing kung fu. It was a heterosexual guy’s idea of a fun, action sci-fi series. What’s not to like?

        The second series trash canned all the fun and replaced it with gender-bending wokeness. From anybody’s perspective, not just mine, but anybody’s perspective, there wasn’t anything to like about the second series apart from its wokeness.

        Look at the consensus scores on Rotten Tomatoes.
        It has a combined score from 34 critics of 82%–that’s certified fresh. Look at the audience score, and the average score from 1,471 audience members is 36%!

        https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/altered_carbon/s02

        It isn’t that the second series is a piece of shit because it’s woke; it’s that it’s a piece of shit despite being so woke. Again, there isn’t anything to like about the series except that it’s so woke–but that’s all those professional reporters seem to care about. As far their readers are concerned, that last series was so bad, it probably ruined the franchise for them.

        It’s really the same thing you’re talking about with CTV, CBC and Global report. Gallup did a survey on media credibility a few weeks before Trump was elected in 2016, and the average American’s faith in the news media was hitting new lows. Since the news media was talking about nothing else but Trump ahead of the election, in retrospect, it should have been obvious that the hostility directed towards the news media was a counterindicator of support for Trump.

        It’ll be like that again. I’m not saying Trump will win. If it hadn’t been for COVID-19, he’d have won in a landslide. It’ll be close. But there is no way average Americans in the Midwest are supportive of the news media narratives we’re being sold right now. Joe Biden is smart to keep his head down while the news media goes nuts. He doesn’t want to be associated with any of that crap–for good reason.

        The news media is living in a delusion.

        1. “Look at the consensus scores on Rotten Tomatoes.
          It has a combined score from 34 critics of 82%–that’s certified fresh. Look at the audience score, and the average score from 1,471 audience members is 36%!”

          Example #473, The Last Of Us 2. The sequel to the beloved video game with one of the top 3 video game stories of all time. It should have been impossible to fuck this game up. Spoilers below.

          And yet, Metacritic, 94/100 from critics; 5.1/10 from players. And that’s probably been shilled up, as I remember it being in the 2-3 range on release.

          How did they do it? Kill one of the main characters from the last game by a tranny beating them to death with a golf club. Yes, the killer isn’t actually a tranny. Now. Go look at scenes on YouTube of the gameplay. The character model screams that they used to be a tranny, but the publisher lost their balls at the last second and instead made the model a ‘female with deemphasized gender traits.’

          Get woke, go broke. You’d think they’d learn.

          1. They HATE conservative documentaries but LOVE progressive ones.

            I’ll be watching Elder’s ‘Uncle Tom’.

            https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/uncle_tom

            So far, the worst liberals have said about it is ‘yeh, they make mistakes in some places but overall….true’.

            This may be a documentary that actually forces the population to finally focus on what ails the black community.

            I hope to watch it at some point.

    3. Makes absolutely no difference since we will be doing 100% mail-in voting in November allowing Democrats to perpetrate voter fraud the likes of which has never before been seen, even in the Gregoire and Franken debacles.

      Also many of those background checks are for the psychotic violent chimps obtaining their implements to murder innocent people trying to use the public motorways during their chimpouts.

      1. Keep calling humans “chimps,” it’s a great look. People who dehumanize others because of their behavior have achieved super great things in this world, and you’re definitely a good person for doing the same.

        1. Keep murdering people in cold blood you fucking subhuman savage chimp, it’ a great look. The thing about psychotic mass murderers is that they deserve to be dehumanized. They dehumanized themselves when they decided to go beat, maim, and murder other people.

    4. Anecdotally, a metric shitton of card-carrying hippies have been asking their gun nut friends and relatives about how they can get a gun. Requests to borrow one are often met with, “I’m not a gun library. We can go to XYZ gun store, I’ll help you find something, you can fill out a 4473, and you’ll go from there.”

      1. Do they get the vortex of stupidity they’ve created?

        They see themselves needing the very inanimate objects they hate because the world they want and vote for demands they need a gun.

        This is the animus progressive left in a nutshell. They’ve completely lost the plot.

        1. They act like petulant children. Or how Nicholson’s misanthropic writer described women in “As Good As It Gets.”

          I don’t understand these people at all. But I do find their coming to Jesus on guns, more than a little amusing. God only knows what they’ll realize once the second order effects from defunding and generally shitting on the police, hits their neighborhoods.

          1. I related to that character.

          2. I guarantee most of these guns are going to sit in the closet, unfired, before getting sold back by Christmas of next year.

            1. So you’re saying I’ll be able to buy them on sale next year? Sounds good to me.

    5. Over at CNN right the now headline is promising that Republicans are panicking over internal polling that portends a Democrat rout.

      1. And that may well happen. I certainly don’t think this economic disaster is good for any incumbent’s chances of being reelected–regardless of whose fault it is.

        That being said, if President Trump loses and the Republicans lose control of the Senate, it won’t be because the American people are pro-riot, in favor of dismantling their police departments, or in favor of tearing down every artifact of slavery, including the Washington Monument, and disrespecting the flag.

        It will be in spite of those things and the Democrats’ support of them–rather than because of their support.

        1. Even if I were in favor of some of those things, there is some amount of pushback to be expected–and right now, they aren’t accounting for any pushback against social justice warriors at all.

          That’s unrealistic.

    6. Hopefully you all got your AR-15s before this stupidity kicked off in March.

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  11. The headline should read, “Chicago Youth Nonprofit Sues City After Police Raid Over Free Food for Rioters, Looters, Vandals, Shooters and Other Upstanding Citizens of Chicago.”

  12. Violent savages should have just mobbed the nonprofit and threatened to burn down their building until they agreed to stop feeding the rioters. Worked in Tennessee

    1. So they’re “chimps” and “savages,” huh?

      Are you sure there’s not another word you’d rather be using? It’s ok, you can let the mask slip, you’re among friends!

      1. Awwwwww, were you trying to play the race card without clicking on the link I provided where you could have easily ascertained the race of the white murdering savage chimp? You’re cute when you make excuses for mass murdering psychopaths. Almost like you’re a ni… ce little Marxist.

        1. LOL, the best accusations are the ones which are hilariously wrong, like the idea that I’m a “Marxist.”

          That’s the only murdering “savage” you ever called a “chimp,” huh?

          Pull my other one, it’s got bells on it.

          Dehumanizing people of any race is abhorrent, and you should feel bad for doing it. Cheers!

  13. Why do we have police in this country? Why are they organized, armed, and deployed in the ways that they are? How did police achieve so much political power? And how have police forces been used to defend the interests of the elite, crush organized labor, and reign terror on Black, brown, and poor communities? 

    https://theintercept.com/2020/07/04/chicago-police-simon-balto-intercepted/

    1. Why do we have police in this country?

      Because you’d shit yourself if a home invasion took place.

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  22. Am I the only one that thinks that maybe Chicago, and the people who live there, have their priorities skewed….
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