Monday, November 21, 2011

Chicago Police Posting Pictures Online

The Chicago Police Department now posts online the picture and the approximate address of the people who were arrested in Chicago for prostitution related charges - the pictures are removed 30 days after the arrest. See: www.chicagopolice.org/ps/list.aspx. In the last 30 days, 53 people have been arrested for paying or being paid for "love." The ancient Greeks gave the definition of love four meanings to capture the different "love" relationships we have among us. They are: 1) Ag├ípe; 2) Phillia; 3) Storge and 4) Eros. 

Agape refers to true love, such as the love a husband has for his wife. Phillia refers to the love one has for a friend. Storge refers to the love of affections. And last but not least, Eros means erotic or sensual love after the Greek God Eros of love - thus the term, erotic.

Almost all of the folks posted online were looking for the God Eros and could only find him if they paid for it - an unfortunate situation. To think of it, not something you would put past a Greek God. The remainder of those arrested were the few prostitutes who were willing to go along with the journey. In essence, almost all of these guys were trying to fulfill an undeniable basic human need. Unfortunately, as a society, we have decided to criminalize their behavior and threaten them with prison time. Further, upon arrest, the police will impound the given person's car if it was used in the process and the City will return it only if fees in excess of $1,000.00 are paid. If the fees are not paid to the City, it will junk it. If there are lien holder(s) on the car, they may or may not get proper notice. The public humiliation is the icing on the cake. 

Is this really necessary? Do we honestly believe that these people are criminals? 

According to Fox News, "At least 10 people were shot by guns throughout the city between Saturday afternoon and early Sunday -- one day after a man was killed and at least seven others wounded by gunfire." See: http://www.myfoxchicago.com. Three of those shot were teenagers. One would think that with this level of violence, we would be wiser and use our police and Court resources in a more meaningful way. Who really knows how many people were victims of robbery, rape, or murder over the weekend? 

Further, a clear observation should be noted that the color of those arrested appears to be darker in complexion. I didn't notice any cases from Rush Street's "Viagra Triangle." The race issue in criminal proceedings has recently been raised by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. After personally observing bond hearings at the main Criminal Courts building at 26th and California, she stated that: “If you have a $2,000 bond, you pay your $200 and you’re out. . .If you have a $2,000 bond and you’re impoverished and you don’t pay it, are you any more of a risk? No, you just don’t have $200. . . . Most of the people in jail are guilty of being poor.” She also observed that: ". . .Most of the defendants are African Americans, with a few Hispanics and two white women accused of prostitution. . " See: http://www.suntimes.com/news/steinberg/

Anyway, back to love. It's not like those arrested robbed, raped or shot someone. I can't see much of a societal benefit in criminally prosecuting these people or by publishing online such personal information - the policy degrades and humiliates. Continuing to criminalize prostitution forces the oldest profession into the underground where pimps, drugs, human trafficking and exploitation is common. It may be wise to decriminalize prostitution and focus on real criminals. Either it be in Amsterdam or in Nevada, legalized prostitution not only decreases crime, but also substantially decreases the spread of sexually transmitted diseases as prostitutes are tested. 

As for the folks who were arrested while looking to hire a prostitute, if they can post bond they can get out of jail awaiting their case. If they can't, the Cook County taxpayer will pay $143.00 per day to house each prisoner in jail. As for the given impounded car, unless the fee of over $1,000.00 is paid to the City, it will junk it. As for the the actual case, the State's Attorney will usually offer a criminal conviction if the person has been arrested in the past - even for unrelated matters. What a brilliant policy! As for what happens to the prostitutes after their arrest, I will inform our readers in my next post. 

The Beatles told us that money can't buy you love. Well, it can if you are in the right part of town and can afford it!

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at www.legaldefenderspc.com or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.