Posts tagged “Jody Weis

A Tale of One City

Cities become dysfunctional for a reason.  In some places, such as Chicago, the governing class has historically relied on political patronage; whereby, members of a specific ethnic or racial background are brought into the Democrat Party infrastructure with the belief that they can control the violence of competing criminal enterprises within their districts.

In Chicago, the Daley machine is dead. Just over a decade ago, President Bush, at the advice of a former U.S. Senator from Illinois, appointed Patrick Fitzgerald—an outsider from New York—as the U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois.  Under Fitzgerald’s watch, federal officials indicated several high profile targets, including former Illinois Governors George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich, Chicago City Clerk James Laski, as well as a number of top aides to former Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Fitzgerald and federal law enforcement also targeted the hierarchy of Chicago’s street gangs, like the the New Breed—an off-shoot of the Black Disciples—and the Latin Kings, who employed police officers to shake down rivals.

On the other hand, the Daley machine picked its own poison when it appointed Jody Weis as Chicago’s Police Superintendent in 2008. A former FBI agent, Weis chose to focus his wrath on his own officers while treating the criminal element with kid gloves.

Consequently, with top gang members occupying federal prison cells and Weis’ unwillingness to assert control, a power vacuum ensued, resulting in a number of smaller gangs going to war over lucrative drug turf. Last year, the homicide clearance rate in Chicago was just 33 percent, one of the lowest of any American city with a population over 500,000.

The following article by National Review’s Kevin Williamson gives readers a behind the scenes look at Chicago’s gangster subculture and why it is tearing that city apart.

Now, Chicago has turned to a new top-cop, Garry McCarthy, a former Newark, New Jersey, police chief and a former member of the NYPD command staff.  However, instead using a decentralized approach to crackdown on street gangs, McCarthy seems intent of carrying water for gun control advocates.

Dysfunction breeds dysfunction, which, in urban areas, often stems from an overdose of political correctness.


Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, is available at

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, please visit:

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013

In Chicago, Tripe Springs Eternal

If there is any wonder why gang violence threatens the stability of the city of Chicago, all one needs to do is read a handful of blogs emanating from the windy city’s politically charged, open mayoral race environment, where even the deaths of police officers have resulted in a hue-and-cry from the usual suspects. 

One such grammatically challenged and punctuation error-filled blog, published by Mark Sallen, an associate editor of the South Street Journal, highlights the problem. 

In a post entitled, “Why the Silence on Police and Media Updates on the Killing of Chicago Police Officer David Blake,” Sallen suggests that Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis and his detectives are prioritizing the homicide investigations of police officers based on race. 

Last month, killers took the lives of two Chicago Police Department veterans—Evidence Technician Michael Flist, who is white, and Police Officer David Blake, who is African-American. 

Off-duty at the time, Blake was shot-and-killed while smoking a cigarette in his SUV along a secluded, one-block street. A gunman murdered Flisk, an on-duty forensic specialist, in an alley during the investigation of a garage burglary.   

Last week, Chicago police arrested a convicted felon in connection with Flisk’s murder. Timothy Herring, Jr., a 19-year-old parolee on electronic monitoring for a 2007 armed robbery conviction, allegedly gunned-down Flisk and former Chicago Housing Authority Police Officer Stephen Peters.  

The homicide of Officer David Blake, however, remains open, as detectives piece together the sketchy details of what transpired inside the off-duty officer’s SUV. 

In his blog post, Sallen notes that “anonymous sources” tell him that there are “personal issues” involved in Blake’s death. 

“On the day of Officer Blakes killing,” Sallen writes, “I ran to the scene for it was on the other end our our Seipp Street block and I seen various neighbors looking out the windows as officers began to assemble at the scene, but NONE of these neighbors were questioned by Detectives after the rumor was that a man left the scene running down our block in a Black hat as to whether anyone on the block may have seen anyone.”

So poorly constructed is this sentence that it is difficult to comprehend that Sallen is an actual editor of anything written in the English language. However, how would Sallen know whom the police had interviewed?  After all, the good money says that neighbors providing details of a cold-blooded murder to detectives might be reluctant to give interviews to Sallen, a publisher of a newspaper and an individual lending street creditability to Wallace “Gator” Bradley. 

According to Sallen’s post, Bradley, of United for Peace—an outfit closely associated with the nefarious Gangster Disciples street gang and their imprisoned leader, Larry Hoover—is one of the community organizers “who were thinking out loud when they asked the question of whether it was wrong to think that the killing of a White Police Officer on The East Side got public 24/7 coverage and the killing of Black Officer David Blake does not see Weis doing public briefing after briefing and his personal commitment to using every resource of the police department to see that this case is resolved?”

Readers of the Spingola Files are keenly aware that SF is no fan of Jody Weis. It is, however, these so-called activists—the Sallens and Bradleys advocating and publishing such drivel—that have poisoned the well of cooperation in Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. The type of demagoguery contained in Sallen’s post simply builds walls of distrust between the police and the community.  

While Sallen’s post did little besides butcher the English language, Chicago detectives are painstakingly reconstructing the last 24 hours of David Blake’s life. Without a doubt, Blake’s cellular telephone records—text messages, incoming and outgoing calls, GPS identifiers and tower pings—may provide investigators with significant clues, as it is apparent that Blake likely knew his killer.


Steven Spingola is a former Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective and the the author of The Killer in Our Midst: the Case of Milwaukee’s North Side Strangler and Predators on the Parkway: a Former Homicide Detective Explores the Colonial Parkway Murders.  Spingola also presents The Psychology of Homicide, a riveting program concerning high-profile homicide investigations, to groups and organizations.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2010

“Secret Meeting” with Gang Members Runs Amuck in Chi-town

About 100 miles to the southeast of the laid-back, small town of Wales, Wisconsin–home to the Spingola Files HQ, the bustling city of Chicago seems worlds away. Yet the controversy surrounding Chicago’s Police Superintendent, Jody Weis, is reminiscent of a southeastern Wisconsin brouhaha that occurred nearly two-decades ago.

Through forwarded e-mails from those in law enforcement, as well as reports in the media, it appears that—at least amongst rank-and-file Chicago cops—Weis is as popular as a contagious virus. 

Mayor Richard M. Daley’s political machinery hired Weis, a 23-year veteran of the FBI, two-and-and-half-years ago.  Prior to becoming Chicago’s 54th Superintendent of Police, Weis was the FBI’s Assistant Deputy Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility—fancy terminology for being the second in command of  the FBI’s internal affairs unit.  In other words, he had no local law enforcement expreience. 

Members of Daley’s inner circle believed Weis would reform the Chicago PD, which, like many other big-city police departments had—rightly or wrongly—come under fire for a variety of issues.

The Daley machine’s experiment has apparently gone awry.

In late August, Chicago Police Lieutenant John Andrews disclosed that he is under investigation by the superintendent’s internal affairs unit for posting, to say the least, his not-so-complementary opinions of Weis on a personal blog.,0,1041713.story

In most police departments, internal affairs is the only unit that reports directly to the agency’s chief-of-police or superintendent, which means the investigation of Andrews is being overseen by Weis.  As such, there is little doubt regarding the investigation’s outcome, even though Andrews’ take appears to represent the majority of the Chicago PD’s rank-and-file.

It is, however, a meeting Weis recently arranged with Chicago street thugs that has become the lightning rod for critics, not just inside Chicago political circles, but throughout law enforcement in the Midwest.    

According to the Chicago Tribune, Weis, federal authorities, and others “secretly met with a group of West Side gang leaders at the Garfield Park Conservatory [in August], informing them over snacks and beverages that they would be held directly accountable for shootings and other violent crimes committed by their gangs.”

To many rank-and-file cops, especially those old enough to recall the 1980s police drama Hill Street Blues, Weis’ sit down with street toughs appeared eerily reminiscent of Frank Firillo, the captain of the Hill Street precinct, who, on occasion, would bring local gang bangers into his office for discussions.  

A similar event almost occurred in Milwaukee in the early 1990s, when the administration of Phil Arreola, a police chief also hired from the outside, hinted at an outreach with members of the Conservative Vice Lords.  Popular conservative talk-show host Mark Belling had a field day with the notion, which kind-of just went away.  Others would say the idea was a trial balloon turned burning Zeppelin before it was officially ever floated.

Mitchell Nevin’s fictional book, The Cozen Protocol, portrays a comparable incident that appears ripped from the pages of the Arreola era (a suggestion to Mayor Daley: down load a copy to your i-Phone. The end result is not a positive one).

To be fair, Weis, on the other hand, portrayed the meeting with gang bangers as an opportunity to lay-down the law.  While appearing on WBBM radio’s At Issue program, (which airs tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.), the superintendent said he was “shocked and amazed” at the negative reaction.

 Mayor Daley, echoing the mantra often used to justify touchy-feely policies, told the Chicago Tribune the meeting was ‘worth pursuing if it could save a life.’

Critics, including myself, charge that arranging a “secret meeting” with gang members provides these groups with instant street creditability. Moreover, why was this meeting, if it was indeed such a solid concept, conducted under the shroud of secrecy?  My guess is that Chicago’s version of Mark Belling, if one does exist, might have created the spark needed to engulf Weis’ wobbly Zeppelin.

After all, wouldn’t a meeting with the good kids—those striving to do the right things in some of Chicago’s troubled neighborhoods—have been more productive and deserving of these public officials’ time, as well as the snacks and beverages given, for free, to the thug element?  


Steven Spingola is a former Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective and the author of “The Killer in Our Midst: the Case of Milwaukee’s North Side Strangler” and “Predators on the Parkway: a Former Homicide Detective Explores the Colonial Parkway Murders.”

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2010