McHenry County IL Press

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Archive for June 2006

Scared to tell the truth – Marengo, IL

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A few nights ago on the news, it was mentioned that The Northwest Herald would have a complete story on the videotape of State Police Officer Kroncke hitting a prisoner in handcuffs and knocking him out for almost an hour. Kroncke also repeatedly slapped Kevin Gaughan, who was there to file a complaint against Marengo police officer Scott Crawford. This was all caught on tape and the NWHerald was scared to tell the truth. It took over a year for the courts to release the tape to the Gaughans under a subpoena. Now, this tape and an exclusive interview with the Gaughans was given to both CBS, channel 2 and the NW Herald. Viewers all across Illinois, and indeed, the country, would be allowed to see acts of police brutality that were shocking and demand action.Is this what happened?No, the State Police lawyers intimidated CBS and the NW Herald and threatened to sue them if they came out with the contents of this tape. The State’s Attorney’s Office for McHenry County put pressure on our supposedly independent newspaper for McHenry County, the NW Herald, to not publish the article. They did publish it, but it was a watered down version of the what they originally planned to publish. First of all, there were no interesting articles on the front page that day, except an event that was completely out of the County and in Elburn. So, there was no reason not to put this shocking and interesting event right in front for everyone to read. Instead, it winds up in the local section, which few people view. At the top of the article there is an announcement that the State Police say the video is not what it seems. In what way? I watched the video, as you may too, and there is no other way that I can see to interpret the events that take place on it. Sure enough, in the article there is also a quote from the state police, saying what? Why, that they believe that the video is not what it seems, of course!! How does THAT prove that point is beyond me. There was no reason for the NW Herald to put such an asinine quote in their article, instead of intelligently describing what had taken place in the video and interviewing the Gaughans about the events of that day. I can’t believe that the NW Herald took something that could have made a fantastic front page story, full of interesting details, and made it into THIS pathetic little article. Why did they do it? Fears of lawsuits and pressure from the State’s Attorney’s office and the State Police. Its ridiculous. This is supposedly an independent paper that serves McHenry County. Yeah, right! Apparently, the news they provide is biased toward those in authority. We have contacted the NW Herald and received a response back that they are “still working on it”. Still working on what? They have not come out with anything since they told us this and it has been over a week. I don’t think they plan on doing so.Here is a site where you can view the tape in question:

http://marengogazette.blogspot.com/

Marengo, IL
June 30, 2006

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Written by mchenrycountyilpress

June 30, 2006 at 8:02 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Prosecutors in the Gaughan Case in Marengo, IL

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This is some of the stuff that prosecutors in the Gaughan case had to say:”We are concluding that we are still going ahead with the trial,” Lou Bianchi said, McHenry County State’s Attorney.
“It shows, obviously, what I knew it would,” Crawford said Friday, about the State’s Police report which clears him of wrongdoing.
However, Lou Bianchi would not release the document, saying that it would be unethical. Unethical!?
How about this? Is this State Police investigation ethical?
http://marengogazette.blogspot.com/

Is hitting and yelling at an 18 year old to make him drop a complaint against a police officer instead of investigating the officer in question ethical?
Is arresting people who filed a complaint “for filing a false complaint” by knocking down their doors and holding guns to their heads while yelling at them ethical?
How about ignoring the 23 witnesses that the Gaughans have? Is that ethical? Oh, wait, they claim they did not know about the witnesses and after that it was too late to investigate. But that, in fact, isn’t true. Brian Gaughan Sr., the boys’ father, told the police, prosecutors, and whoever would listen about the 23 witnesses right from the beginning and urged them to investigate. This was not done.
Why are they continuing to go ahead with the trial despite abundant evidence that both of the Gaughans are innocent and Crawford is at fault? Well, it’s a little too late to say that they made a mistake after prosecuting the Gaughans for almost two years, isn’t it? It will make Lou Bianchi, Nichole Owens, and the others look bad. It will make them seem responsible should they be named in the Gaughans’ multi-million dollar lawsuit. Instead, they are hoping that the Gaughans will go broke while fighting these charges and this is why they make false statements like the ones above to the local papers.

Marengo, IL
June 26, 2006

Written by mchenrycountyilpress

June 26, 2006 at 7:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized

State Police Officer Kroncke hitting a person in Marengo, IL

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State Police Officer Kroncke is responsible for hitting a person whom he was interviewing. Officer Kroncke asked Kevin Gaughan to come into the police station with him in order to file a complaint against Officer Scott Crawford. While the Gaughans thought Kroncke would be investigating Crawford, Kroncke interrogated Kevin Gaughan for almost six hours. He asked Kevin Gaughan to sign a confession stating that he had committed the burglaries in Doral Ridge. When Kevin refused, he was harassed, hit in the face, and threatened. Officer Kroncke placed Kevin in a jail cell two times in order to scare him and actually knocked out a prisoner in handcuffs in front of him, so as to make him think that this would happen to him next. This is the way Kroncke investigates complaints against police officers. He should not be allowed to keep his job after what he did during this interview. Here is the tape of parts of the interview for those who are interested:

http://marengogazette.blogspot.com/

Marengo, IL
June 18, 2006

Written by mchenrycountyilpress

June 18, 2006 at 7:43 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Lie detector tests in Marengo

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Here is how things are done in McHenry County. The Marengo Police Department routinely gives citizens lie detector tests. So does the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department and the Illinois State Police. Right? So, why is it that when there were questions of police misconduct, all three of these agencies refused to give their officers lie detector tests? They claimed that lie detector tests were not effective and therefore were nonsense. They refused to administer them.
Officer Scott Crawford was accused of lifting Brian Gaughan by his handcuffs and causing serious harm, after which he threw his face into a police station wall, actually breaking the wall. He then charged Brian Gaughan with aggravated assault, damaging state property, and other serious charges. His brother, Kevin Gaughan, ran to Brian Gaughan’s side after he was down on the ground and screaming in order to see if he was alright. He was also charged with assault and other felonies. Officer Crawford charged the brothers in order to avoid taking responsibility for his actions. Why would the Marengo Police refuse to administer a lie detector test to him? State Police Officer William Kroncke, who attempted to have Kevin Gaughan drop his complaint against the Marengo Police Department by yelling and hitting him, as outlines in this video, has also not taken a lie detector test.:
http://marengogazette.blogspot.com/
But here is something interesting. Brian Gaughan Sr., the boys’ father, took his sons at his own expense to take lie detector tests. They both passed. Notice, the police departments in question refused to administer the tests to either brother. Their father had to take them at his own expense to take those tests. Don’t you think they have something to cover up? Otherwise why not administer the tests. Surely, both the Marengo and the State Police administer lie detector tests to any and all other suspects whom they think are guilty of a crime. I suggest the reason they did not want to use lie detector tests in this case is that they knew that the Gaughans would pass and that the officers involved in the police brutality would fail.

Marengo, IL
June 15, 2006

Written by mchenrycountyilpress

June 15, 2006 at 7:41 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Kelly Given was forced to resign – Marengo, IL

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Marengo Police Officer Kelly Given resigned on May 2, 2006. This is very good news, as she has used her police dog to brutally attack a 14 year old girl, Nichole Surber. Two weeks previous to this date, Officer Given has submitted sealed arrest records of this girl, for publication by the Northwest Herald. This is illegal and a felony, yet the Marengo Police Department did not bring charges against Officer Given, but instead allowed her to resign. I wonder if they plan of giving her a good reference as well, so that she can then be hired by an another department?
Officer Given has caused the Marengo Police Department numerous embarrassment and harm. Mainly due to her incompetence as a canine officer, the Marengo Police Department has had to get rid of Quanto, the police dog, for whom a large amount of taxpayer funds was spent for acquisition and training. Marengo claims that there were not enough funds for the dog, which is not true, as the only cost for keeping a police dog after he is trained involves veterinarian visits and food.
During the incident with Nichole Surber, who was arrested for underage drinking at a high school football game, Officers Given and Crawford sat on her chest, allowed the police dog to bite her, which resulted in scars Surber carries to this day, and pulled her out of the police car by her feet, which resulted in her head hitting the roof of the car, and purposely exposed her breast to onlookers. Two weeks later, Officer Given grabbed Kevin Gaughan hard by the arms while he was bending over his injured brother, pulled him away, and charged him with aggravated battery, even though she very well knew he did nothing wrong. She also falsely testified against both of the Gaughan brothers before a grand jury hearing. Why did she do so?
I have information from various reliable sources that she was dating Scott Crawford and had a need to protect him. In fact, I believe her relationship with Crawford effected her home life, causing her fiancĂ©e to leave her. This is the reason, I believe, that she sent in the sealed police report on Nichole Surber to the local paper, who were then immoral enough to print an article on the report. Luckily, because of the serious nature of such an action, she was forced to resign. Not so luckily, the State’s Attorney’s Office has not been willing to bring charges against her, due to the need to cover up their own questionable actions in bringing charges against the Gaughans and others who were falsely convicted.

Marengo, IL
June 14, 2006

Written by mchenrycountyilpress

June 15, 2006 at 7:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Please offer support for the Gaughans in Marengo, IL

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Originally, I expected that people in our town – Marengo, IL, would jump in to offer support for the Gaughan family once they saw the injustice of the situation and how much the Gaughans need their help now. Five years ago, when we first started running the Marengo Message Board http://lenasbooks.proboards28.com/index.cgi, a case had come up with a local resident, Paul Shirmer. Paul fell asleep while driving a semi truck in the state of Georgia. He crashed his truck into a UPS truck, killing both the driver and his own son. He was charged with manslaughter by the Georgia prosecutors. People in Marengo poured in with their support.
What happened with the Gaughan case? People do not want to get involved. The prosecutors in this case are local and the officials who are against the Gaughans are town officials. It doesn’t sit well with people and I have been unable to gather any sort of support for the Gaughans and their situation.
I first became involved with the Gaughans in a somewhat unusual way. The father, Brian Gaughan Sr., got in contact with us through our message board and told us a very strange story which I was reluctant to believe. He said his sons were falsely arrested by Officer Scott Crawford, who beat up his older son and put his face through a wall. That now they faced various charges against them, and that he, as a former police officer himself, could not believe what kinds of crimes are being perpetrated in Marengo. I felt bad for the person who contacted me, but did not at first believe much of what he told me. The following week I talked to a friend in town who had connections with the Police Chief and town government officials. I asked her who this person was. I only had his first name and very little other information, yet she was able to tell me who it was and to please stay far away from him, as the whole town is against him and whoever has anything to do with him will have a lot of problems of their own. In the following months, I was able to find out that many more people have been attacked by Officer Crawford and had false charges brought against them. The only difference is that not one of them fought back. They all took the easy way out and pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
Because the Gaughans chose to fight the false charges that were made against them. Because of this they have faced arrests, intimidation – look at the video on this website for instance, http://marengogazette.blogspot.com/, and false arrest for further charges that the State’s Attorney’s Office managed to dig up. We in Marengo really need your help. There is little help from people of this town, who simply deride our efforts and complain about our ongoing support of the Gaughan family. Please write to Lisa Madigan, Attorney General in Illinois to have her look into this situation:

Lisa Madigan
IL Attorney Generals Office
100 W. Randolf St
Chicago, IL 60601
312-814-3000
www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov

Marengo, IL
June 9, 2006

Written by mchenrycountyilpress

June 9, 2006 at 7:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized