Little did Elijah Hudson, a 29-year-old father from an upstanding family, know that he would be stopped and arbitrarily arrested. Though he was a legal gun owner, he was arrested due to an expired license sticker. Yes, Elijah found himself arrested and shackled to a bench in the 18th district police station for four hours because of that little piece of plastic that sticks onto license plates. Or at least that’s what the Chicago Police Department wants us to believe.
CPD wants us to believe that they had to stop Elijah and surround his light-blue Genesis four door with at least 12 police officers and 5 squad cars because his sticker was expired and he had a legal weapon. While hundreds of civilians are shot and killed in Chicago, at least 12 and as many as 14 police officers surrounded the car of a legal weapon owner who just happened to be a young Black man.
Like Sandra Bland and her turn signal and cigarette, like Irene Chavez, an Army veteran suffering from PTSD, Elijah found himself arrested over little to nothing because of racist practices by the Chicago Police Department.
There is no argument that gun violence in Chicago is a scourge, but unlike any other group of people, Black gun owners need protection against harassment and arrest because our communities need to protect themselves against violence.
Although the Second Amendment of the United States specifically allows its citizens to own weapons, it seems this right does not apply to African Americans, and has never applied to African Americans beginning in the days of slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Black Liberation Movement, all the way to now.
Consistently and constantly disarmed, Black Americans are having their legal weapons confiscated and destroyed by the very Courts that are supposed to protect their Second Amendment rights.
Without question, the charges against Elijah were trumped up. That is why they were summarily dismissed when he went before the Judge. But to his and the surprise of others, they were dismissed in lieu of his legal weapon being destroyed. No conversation, no following of Constitutional law, no proof of paperwork, just case dismissed and legal weapon destroyed.How many legal gun owners are experiencing this travesty of justice? And how often does it occur? How many legal weapons has the Chicago Police Department paraded in front of the public and claimed as part of their “gun recovery” numbers? Do these numbers even exist?
We know from other testimonies that legal weapons are being confiscated during raids and not returned to their rightful owners by the Chicago Police Department. One such raid confiscated and never returned a war veteran’s trophy of a World War II Japanese rifle that, no doubt, could now be hanging on the wall of a Chicago police officer’s home.
Clearly, the Chicago Police Department does not respect the Second Amendment rights of Black people. To arrest and confiscate legal weapons is proof of Constitutional violations and the Court’s support of these violations further exposes the systemic racism we all know exists—especially in Chicago.
All we know is that Elijah was in full compliance with federal, state, and municipal law and yet he was shackled to a bench for four hours because 14 police officers had nothing to do but harass and offend him and his family, and now the entire Black gun owning community.
On Thursday, December 15th, at the monthly Police Board meeting, per the request of President Ghian Foreman, the Chicago Police Department is to present a full and complete explanation of their policies, practices, and procedures concerning the stops of legal gun owners.
The Chicago Coalition for the Consent Decree demands an end to the Chicago Police Department’s discriminatory and arbitrary arrests.
We demand the Chicago Police Department hold town hall meetings and make an agreement with the community-at-large on how they will protect legal weapon owners, especially Black and Brown people, protected under Chicago’s Consent Decree against racist discriminatory policies, practices and procedures.
We demand an apology by CPD, the Court, the CCSAO, and the return of Elijah’s gun. Women’s All Points Bulletin WAPB supports the passage of the; Bland-Chavez Act in Chicago, Illinois, and the United States; the Anjanette Young Ordinance; a local Office of Violence Against Women, (OVW1), an independent agency for Police Complaints by women and children; Rekia’s Law; the CAHOOTS program; Good Kids Mad City’s Peacebook; and the CPAC referendum.