Follow @sneedlingsThe Pfleger file . . .
Is the clock ticking on the city getting a licking?
Activist priest Michael Pfleger tells Sneed he was contacted by the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday, which “seemed to be moving forward” on a consent decree outlining mandated changes to Chicago Police Department practices.
In January, when then Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the DOJ’s findings of constitutional violations by the CPD, it was thought an “agreement in principle” — rather than consent decree — might be announced to create a court-enforceable path for changes in the CPD.
“But it sure sounded to me like the Justice Department was talking about a consent decree,” said Pfleger, whose recent tip via the community resulted in the arrest of Devon Swan, who was charged with murder in connection with a fatal triple shooting on Valentine’s Day that killed a 2-year old boy and his 26-year-old uncle.
Follow @sneedlingsPfleger, who had been interviewed by the DOJ before, advised them this week: “There should be a city plan and campaign for breaking the code of silence in the neighborhoods as well as the police department.
“I also reiterated I believed every police officer ought to be a community-relations person trained in conflict resolution . . . and as well as hospitality. And the community needs to be hospitable to those trying to help them. We all need to respect each other in this effort.
“Look, when there is a flood or a catastrophe, neighbors help out each other. Communities pitch in,” he said.
“Well, we have a catastrophe in Chicago, and it’s called violence.
“Seven killed in one day this week! No wonder the country can’t take its eyes off Chicago.
“We ALL need to pitch in and help with this calamity. We ALL need to come together.
“But I have to admit, with Jeff Sessions being the new U.S. attorney general, I am skeptical of anything good coming out of this,” Pfleger added.
Rauner & the Trumpster . . .
Gov. Bruce Rauner’s relationship with President Donald Trump?
• To wit: Rauner claims he has only spoken to Trump once to congratulate him on his victory; expressed hope for them to work together on helping out the state; but is hoping to count on his relationship with his old friend — Veep Mike Pence — to help out in that category.
Pence place . . .
Here’s a question that went astray soon after Vice President Mike Pence arrived at a vandalized Jewish cemetery, Chesed Shel Emeth, in St. Louis Thursday to perform voluntary cleanup and express President Trump’s hatred of anti-Semitism.
• The question: A woman, among a group who thanked Pence for being there, asked him how the desecration of the cemetery was any different from the (Muslim) travel ban.
• The answer: According to a reporter’s pool report of the event: “Staff and Secret Service moved us along before the answer could be heard.”
The Dem boys . . .
Not only has former reporter David Axelrod, who was Barack Obama’s campaign strategist, returned to his journalistic roots with his podcast “The Axe Files,” but John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman, has just joined The Washington Post as a contributing columnist.
Dear George . . .
Weren’t we all just waiting for Elisabetta Canalis, actor George Clooney’s last serious installation at his Lake Como digs before his marriage to Amal Clooney, to congratulate her old beau on his impending fatherhood?
Well, she just did.
And I wasn’t.
I spy . . .
Actor John Cusack, Chicago’s very own who is spending mega writing time here these days, spotted dining at Gibsons recently with Father Pfleger and Dr. Cornel West. . . . Actress Tasha “Empire” Smith spotted Sunday at Hugo’s Frog Bar. . . . George “Star Wars” Lucas and wife Mellody Hobson dining at Le Colonial and Gibsons last week. . . . and actress Vivica A. Fox at Gibsons on Tuesday night.
Sneedlings . . .
Watch for newly appointed Special Deputy Gov. Leslie Munger and hubby Don, both alums of the University of Illinois (as well as their two sons) — to rep the governor in kicking off the U of I’s sesquicentennial celebration next Tuesday. Ahem: They’ll also celebrate their first meeting in the school’s quintessential campus bar, Kam’s. . . .Today’s birthdays: Floyd Mayweather, 40; Mary Smith, priceless, and former Gov. George Ryan, 83, who will be celebrating with 30 members of his family at his home in Kankakee.