September 22, 2017

Project 21 Members Call Rumored Federal Lawsuit Against Ferguson Police Department a Misguided Attempt for “Pound of Flesh”

Press Release from National Center for Public Policy Research:

Eric Holder’s DOJ Reportedly Plans a Lawsuit Against the Ferguson Police for Racial Discrimination

Any DOJ Lawsuit Would “Ultimately Be a Lawsuit against the Taxpayers”

FERGUSON, MO/WASHINGTON, DC — With the U.S. Department of Justice rumored to be on the verge of filing a lawsuit against the Ferguson Police Department for alleged racial discrimination, members of the Project 21 black leadership network are calling such an act a cynical move by outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder to get a “pound of flesh” before he leaves his post.

“When the grand jury came back with no indictment, and Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department let it leak that they probably would not be able to pursue civil rights charges against former Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, it was clear they were still going to try to get their pound of flesh from somewhere. The obvious place to get it is going to be the Ferguson Police Department,” said Project 21 member Christopher Arps , a St. Louis area resident who attended the initial prayer service for Michael Brown and witnessed the rioting in Ferguson firsthand. “Ferguson will likely settle the case, and Holder will call this strong-arm tactic a triumph for justice. But it’s still questionable that it will satisfy those who, despite overwhelming evidence saying this was a justified shooting, still claim that Michael Brown was assassinated.”

In mid-January, it was leaked that the Justice Department would likely not bring civil rights charges against Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of Michael Brown. The shooting, and a grand jury’s decision not to indict Wilson, led to riots in Ferguson and elsewhere. In a February 17 speech at the National Press Club, Holder suggested the results of a federal investigation of the Ferguson Police Department for alleged discriminatory tactics could be released before he leaves office (Holder plans to remain until his successor is confirmed by the U.S. Senate). Failure to comply with the investigation’s recommendations could lead to a federal lawsuit.

“One of this nation’s most racially-polarizing figures, Attorney General Eric Holder, is leaving office with threats that he will sue the police department in Ferguson, Missouri,” said Project 21 member Joe Hicks , a former executive director of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission. “Any claims that Ferguson police acted in racially discriminatory ways appear to be based on Holder’s own biased disappointment that white officer Darren Wilson was not found worthy of prosecution by a grand jury for the shooting of a black teenager. And, despite the actions of a willing and compliant Ferguson Police Department, jumping through hoops to comply with the Justice Department’s politically-correct nitpicking, Holder now seems set on punishing the department simply to burnish his image with nihilistic hoodlums, street radicals, anarchists and race hustlers. This only adds to his shocking legacy of racial divisiveness.”

In late November of 2014, after Officer Wilson was not indicted and resigned from the Ferguson Police Department, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III announced several reforms that included plans for a civilian review board to monitor the police department, scholarships to help recruit more minority officers as well as employment outreach to historically black colleges and universities and an increased stipend for officers who live within city limits. Since then, there have been dozens of applicants for the position vacated by Wilson and another officer, and there are two expected retirements in the near future. It is reported that there are several experienced minority officers among this pool of applicants. Mayor Knowles recently told the local CBS affiliate, “we’ll absolutely continue these efforts to seek out a more diverse pool of applicants.”

“Having failed in his attempt to bring federal civil rights charges against Officer Darren Wilson, Attorney General Eric Holder now threatens charges against the Ferguson Police Department. When will Holder admit this entire event has been a fiasco of this administration’s own making?” asked Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper , a legal commentator who taught constitutional law at George Mason University and a former leadership staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives. “The ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ narrative was a lie, and the Michael Brown shooting itself provided no insight into law enforcement – minority relations. Instead of going after the Ferguson Police Department, the Justice Department should apologize for presuming the worst before the evidence was known. This shoot first, ask questions later civil rights policy is short-sighted and ultimately undermines overall public support for equality.”

“The American justice system is far from perfect, but it is one of the best in the world. The Justice Department’s imminent threat to bring a lawsuit against the Ferguson Police Department will ultimately be a lawsuit against the taxpayers of that community,” said Project 21 member Carl Pittman, a law enforcement professional who has served as a peace officer in National City, California and Harris County, Texas. “Outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has apparently not done enough damage. His inability to accept a grand jury decision arrived at through facts and evidence will not only serve to further damage the Ferguson community, it will also solidify his place as one of the worst and most racially divisive attorney generals in our nation’s history.

Project 21 has previously issued seven press releases and posted numerous news-oriented blog entries addressing the death of Michael Brown and related events. Project 21 members have completed over 250 interviews on the death of Michael Brown and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere. Several Project 21 members visited the area during and after the rioting, and two members live in the immediate area.

Project 21 members were interviewed or cited by the media over 2,000 times in 2014, including on MSNBC, Fox News Channel, TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, One America News Network, the Orlando Sentinel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch , SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations including WHO-Des Moines, KOA-Denver, WGN-Chicago, WBZ-Boston and KDKA-Pittsburgh on topics such as civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, voter ID, race preferences, education, illegal immigration and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 is currently participating in three cases under review by the U.S. Supreme Court and has provided substantial commentary regarding the Ferguson, Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner judicial proceedings and their aftermaths. Project 21 defended voter ID laws at the United Nations. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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Black Activists Comment on Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

St. Louis/Washington – After a grand jury chose not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death last August of local resident Michael Brown, members of the Project 21 black leadership network are speaking out about the ruling, what it means for the black community and how protesters might redirect their energies to find some redemption from the loss.

“Now that we have a grand jury decision, may the process of healing begin in earnest,” said Project 21 member Stacy Washington, a St. Louis resident who hosts a local radio talk show. “I truly hope for a refocus of protest energy towards reflection and away from blaming the police for the difficulties facing black Americans today. We must begin to look at improving ourselves instead of blaming groups of others for endemic problems that plague the black community. May God grant the Brown family peace and closure.”

“The grand jury’s decision shows that facts do matter,” said Project 21 member Joe R. Hicks , a former executive director or the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Los Angeles City Human Rights Commission. “From the inception — and despite the hyperbolic rhetoric from national black leaders, local protesters and political opportunists of all stripes — my position was that the facts and a thorough investigation would tell the story of what happened on that street between teenager Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson. Now that Officer Wilson’s actions have been deemed within the scope of a lawful police response to the dangerous actions of Mr. Brown, it’s now important to watch how the so-called black leadership responds. Will they irresponsibly reject the decision, along with the facts it revealed, and continue to claim that Brown was the murder victim of a racist white cop? To what extent will Ferguson protesters defy the orders of authorities for lawful behavior? We don’t need a replay of the violent, pathological riots we saw on the streets of that small suburb of St. Louis.”

“It amazes me that there are so many who dismissed the fact that Michael Brown robbed a convenience store and attacked a police officer prior to being killed,” said Project 21 member Michael Dozier, Ph.D “Once again, the black community largely turned a blind eye to the real issues affecting the very lives of our youths. Black-on-black crime is an epidemic and thousands of black children are brutally killed every year, yet we do not see the Al Sharptons or Jesse Jacksons protesting their deaths. The President doesn’t proclaim their lives would reflect the life of a son he never had. The black community needs to stop with the excuses and victimization and stop allowing antagonists to come into their communities to promote their own agendas.”

“Now that the grand jury has rendered a decision, people on both sides can now peacefully debate the result. The decision does not give anyone the right to engage in property destruction, physical assaults and general chaos if they don’t agree with that decision,” said Project 21 member Kevin Martin. “The grand jury looked at all the evidence, and it surely did its best to render a judgment respectful of all parties. It is long past the time for those who might seek to use violence to achieve an outcome to decamp from Ferguson and allow the community to heal.”

Since August, Project 21 previously issued six press releases and posted numerous news-related blog entries addressing the death of Michael Brown and related events. Project 21 members have already completed over 150 radio and television interviews on the death of Michael Brown and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri and been mentioned by Cal Thomas in his nationally-syndicated column. Several Project 21 members have visited the area in the wake of the initial rioting, and two members live in the immediate area and another is currently there to chronicle events as they unfold.

Additionally, Project 21 member were interviewed or cited by the media over 1,500 other times in 2014 – including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and the 50,000-watt radio stations WBZ-Boston, WHO-Des Moines, KDKA-Pittsburgh, KOA-Denver and WJR-Detroit – on issues that include civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, race preferences, education and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 has participated in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding race preferences and voting rights, defended voter ID laws at the United Nations and provided regular commentary during the Trayvon Martin judicial proceedings in 2013. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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Black Conservative Ferguson Experts Available for Interviews

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

MANY BLACK CONSERVATIVE EXPERTS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS ABOUT EVENTS IN FERGUSON, MISSOURI

TO BOOK AN INTERVIEW WITH ANY OF THE PEOPLE LISTED BELOW OR OTHER MEMBERS OF THE PROJECT 21 BLACK LEADERSHIP NETWORK, CONTACT JUDY KENT AT (703) 759-7476 OR JKENT@NATIONALCENTER.ORG

St. Louis/Washington – These and other members of the black conservative network Project 21 are available to discuss breaking news events in Ferguson, Missouri.

Project 21 experts in Ferguson/St. Louis:

Christopher Arps: Project 21’s Christopher Arps lives near Ferguson and attended perhaps the first prayer vigil related to the shooting. He has been a guest on TV or radio 35 times and quoted in the press 13 times about events in Ferguson. Chris is a managing partner with the digital media and political consulting firm NLB Enterprises LLC and is a co-founder of Move-On-Up.org.

Stacy Washington: Project 21’s Stacy Washington is a local radio talk show host in St. Louis, Missouri (FM NewsTalk 97.1), an Emmy-nominated television personality, Air Force veteran, local school board member and mom. Stacy has been a guest on 15 radio talk shows to discuss Ferguson so far and has repeatedly been quoted in the press about events there.

Lawrence B. Jones III: Project 21’s Lawrence B. Jones III is an investigative journalist who will be filming events in Ferguson first-hand for Project 21 and Glenn Beck’s The Blaze network. A pre-law student who has worked with Project Veritas as well as with Child Protective Services and the juvenile court in Dallas, Lawrence is the author of the Ferguson-themed op-ed “It’s Time to Mend the Ties between Police and the Black Community” published by Project 21 in September.

Project 21 experts who have visited Ferguson and met with key figures there:

Niger Innis: Project 21 founding member Niger Innis of Las Vegas travelled to Ferguson with co-Project 21 members Wayne Dupree and Dr. Alveda King, meeting with the mayor, police chief, State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D), and other figures and attending several prayer vigils, all under the auspices of Restore the Dream 2014, of which Niger is a co-founder. Niger is the national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), one of the nation’s most famous and influential civil rights organizations, and he is a frequent media commentator, having appeared on CNN, CNBC, NPR, the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, the BBC and many other media platforms.

Wayne Dupree: Project 21’s Wayne Dupree of Baltimore, better known in social media circles as the Internet media entrepreneur “News Ninja,” travelled to Ferguson with co-Project 21 members Niger Innis and Dr. Alveda King, meeting with the mayor, police chief, State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D), and other figures and attending several prayer vigils, all under the auspices of Restore the Dream 2014. Wayne has been interviewed extensively about events in Ferguson, including on FNC’s “Fox and Friends” and AmericaOne, and is an Air Force veteran.

Ferguson issue experts outside of St. Louis:

Horace Cooper: Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper of northern Virginia is a nationally-known legal commentator who taught constitutional law at George Mason University and served as general counsel for a U.S. House of Representatives majority leader for many years. Horace has discussed Ferguson events on TV and talk radio shows as a guest 48 times and been quoted in news stories about Ferguson over a dozen times.

Joe Hicks: Project 21’s Joe Hicks of Las Angeles is vice president of Community Advocates, Inc., a Los Angeles think-tank. He is a former KFI-AM Radio (Los Angeles) and PJTV.com host. Joe has served as the executive director of the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission and the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the civil rights organization founded by Martin Luther King, Jr. Joe has been a guest on the Fox News Channel, CNN, and local and national programs too numerous to count. Joe has discussed events in Ferguson on national and local television four times, and been a guest on radio shows or quoted in the press about Ferguson an additional 13 times.

Carl Pittman: Project 21’s Carl Pittman is a peace officer in Houston and ran for sheriff in Harris County, TX in 2012 with the endorsement of Maricopa County AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He previously served as a peace office in California. Carl is the author of the book The Personal Journey of a Black Common Sense Conservative (Xulon Press, 2014), a businessman and Marine Corps veteran. He has been a guest discussing events in Ferguson on nine radio shows for Project 21, five of which were nationally-syndicated.

Nadra Enzi: Project 21’s Nadra Enzi is a New Orleans anti-crime activist who has been a guest on one national television and three radio programs for Project 21 on events in Ferguson (two of which were nationally-syndicated).

These and other Project 21 members with extensive knowledge of events relating to the death of Michael Brown are available for interviews.

Project 21 has issued the following press releases on the death of Michael Brown and related events:

November 3: Black Activists Comment on Washington Post Report that Federal Civil Rights Charges Will Not Be Filed Against Darren Wilson in Death of Michael Brown

September 13: Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper Calls Out Washington Post Columnist for Attacks on St. Louis County Grand Jury; Cooper Says the Grand Jury Process Plays a Critical Role in the American Legal System

September 4: Obama Administration Probe of Ferguson Police Called “Well Past a Rush to Judgment”; DOJ May Be Signaling It Does Not Expect an Indictment in Michael Brown Shooting Death

August 20: Legal Scholar Horace Cooper Slams Missouri Governor’s Rush to Justice in Michael Brown Shooting Death; “A Rush to Judgment… Demeans the Justice System and the Rule of Law”

August 12: Statements of St. Louis Project 21 Members and Others on Continuing Unrest in St. Louis

* * *

In 2014, Project 21 members have been interviewed or cited by the media on current events over 1,500 times, including by the Fox News Special Report with Bret Baier, the O’Reilly Factor, Fox and Friends, CNN’s Situation Room, Salem Radio Network, Sean Hannity, Jim Bohannon, Conservative Commandos Radio, Bill Martinez, Radio America, American Urban Radio Network, Bill Cunningham, Roger Hedgecock, Mike Siegel, Dana Loesch, Thom Hartmann, Progressive Radio Network, The Blaze, EurWeb, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio, TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Orlando Sentinel and 50,000-watt talk radio stations including WBZ-Boston, WJR-Detroit, KDKA-Pittsburgh and WLW-Cincinnati.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org). Contributions are tax-deductible and appreciated.

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DOJ May Be Signaling It Does Not Expect an Indictment in Michael Brown Shooting Death

Obama Administration Probe of Ferguson Police Called “Well Past a Rush to Judgment”

DOJ May Be Signaling It Does Not Expect an Indictment in Michael Brown Shooting Death

Washington, DC – Activists with the Project 21 black leadership network are questioning Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to mount a federal investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department and other law enforcement in the region, saying this is “well past a rush to judgment” and most likely is compensation for the possibility that an indictment may not be handed down in the death of Michael Brown.

Obama Administration officials told the media that Holder will soon announce that the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department will launch a potentially wide-ranging probe of St. Louis-area police departments. Project 21 members think this federal response to the shooting death of Ferguson resident Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department on August 9 is political move on the part of the White House and an overreaction to the situation.

“I believe the fact that the Justice Department is planning to open this investigation signals they do not believe there is a strong case against Officer Wilson and that a grand jury will probably not bring down an indictment against him,” said Project 21’s Christopher Arps, a St. Louis resident. “If that is the eventuality, the Justice Department will have a tough burden proving that Officer Wilson shot Michael Brown solely on the basis of his skin color.”

“The Justice Department has raced well past ‘a rush to judgment’ and now is just piling on. Before the evidence is in as to what happened in the Michael Brown shooting, Attorney General Eric Holder plans to announce that — in addition to the over 40 FBI agents and other Justice Department staff who have been assigned to Brown shooting — he will ramp up even more agents and staff in order to investigate the entire Ferguson Police Department and other local law enforcement,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper , a legal commentator who taught constitutional law at George Mason University and is a former leadership staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives. “Meanwhile, there has been no announcement of the Justice Department starting a probe — or even sending one FBI agent — regarding terrorist Abdirahmaan Muhumed’s activity as an airport employee in Minnesota before joining the Islamic terrorist network ISIS. Does the Attorney General really believe the Ferguson police are more dangerous to the American people than the terrorists who behead our fellow citizens, or is this new investigation just racial grandstanding by Holder?”

Holder’s announcement will come on the heels of a academic study by criminologists at the University of Missouri-St. Louis that found the disproportionate rate of police shootings incidents involving blacks in the St. Louis area between 2003 and 2012 correlates to a similarly disproportionate rate of interaction between police and black residents there and crime being concentrated in black communities. David Klinger, one of the authors of the report, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Race is not a predominant factor driving [police] shootings. It’s violence in the communities.” A lack of black officers was also determined to lie in difficulties in minority recruitment efforts.

Project 21 members have already completed over 100 radio and television interviews on the death of Michael Brown and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri in addition to being interviewed or cited by the media over 1,000 other times in 2014 — including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and the 50,000-watt radio stations WBZ-Boston, WHO-Des Moines, KDKA-Pittsburgh, KOA-Denver and WJR-Detroit — on issues that include civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, race preferences, education and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 has participated in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding race preferences and voting rights, defended voter ID laws at the United Nations and provided regular commentary during the Trayvon Martin judicial proceedings in 2013. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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Obama Briefly Interrupts Golf Game

This article first appeared Lubbock Avalanche-Journal at Lubbockonline.com

President Obama very briefly interrupted his golf game on Thursday to announce that all is well in Iraq and that he will keep racial tensions stirred up in Ferguson, Missouri. It is reported that after his 9-minute speech, Obama quickly resumed his golf game.

Obama announced that the United States military had provided food and water to the Yezidi on Mount Sinjar in conjunction with limited military air strikes against the ISIL. However, Obama stressed he will limit any military action against ISIL and will not commit ground forces to the effort.

Obama will supply food, water, and other humanitarian aid to the Kurdish forces, similar to what he supplied to the Ukrainian military. However, it seems Obama will supply some military supplies to the Kurds. It appears Obama remains overly stingy with military aid to our allies.

“Now, the situation remains dire for Iraqis subjected to ISIL’s terror throughout the country, and this includes minorities like Yezidis and Iraqi Christians; it also includes Sunnis, Shia and Kurds. We’re going to be working with our international partners to provide humanitarian assistance to those who are suffering in northern Iraq wherever we have capabilities and we can carry out effective missions like the one we carried out on Mount Sinjar without committing combat troops on the ground.

We obviously feel a great urge to provide some humanitarian relief to the situation and I’ve been very encouraged by the interest of our international partners in helping on these kinds of efforts as well. We will continue air strikes to protect our people and facilities in Iraq. We have increased the delivery of military assistance to Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting ISIL on the front lines.

And, perhaps most importantly, we are urging Iraqis to come together to turn the tide against ISIL –- above all, by seizing the enormous opportunity of forming a new, inclusive government under the leadership of Prime Minister-designate Abadi. I had a chance to speak to Prime Minister-designate Abadi a few days ago, and he spoke about the need for the kind of inclusive government — a government that speaks to all the people of Iraq — that is needed right now. He still has a challenging task in putting a government together, but we are modestly hopeful that the Iraqi government situation is moving in the right direction.”

The problem is that Iraq is no more capable of holding back ISIL on its own than Germany was of holding back the Soviet Union on its own in 1951. A United States military presence is needed. In the case of ISIL and Iraq, at least heavy airpower coverage is needed because Iraq has no capable air power. ISIL should continue to be very pleased with Obama’s military plans for Iraq.

President Obama announced that the full force of Federal police power is being directed at the ongoing investigation in Ferguson, Missouri.

“This morning, I received a thorough update on the situation from Attorney General Eric Holder, who has been following it and been in communication with his team. I’ve already tasked the Department of Justice and the FBI to independently investigate the death of Michael Brown, along with local officials on the ground.

The Department of Justice is also consulting with local authorities about ways that they can maintain public safety without restricting the right of peaceful protest and while avoiding unnecessary escalation. I made clear to the Attorney General that we should do what is necessary to help determine exactly what happened, and to see that justice is done.”

Without apparently clearly knowing what happened that led to the death of the young man, Obama criticized the Ferguson police force. Obama has done this before, and Obama’s intervention has not been helpful.

“Of course, it’s important to remember how this started. We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking and tragic circumstances. He was 18 years old. His family will never hold Michael in their arms again. And when something like this happens, the local authorities –- including the police -– have a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they are investigating that death, and how they are protecting the people in their communities.”

Hundreds of young men are shot and murdered each year in Chicago. Over the Fourth of July weekend, 82 people were shot and 16 died. The Los Angeles Times reported,

The death toll from Chicago’s bloody holiday rose on Tuesday to 16 after two men who had been shot over the Fourth of July weekend died from their wounds.

Over the course of 84 hours during the Independence Day holiday in Chicago, 82 people were shot, prompting calls from Mayor Rahm Emanuel to put a stop to gun violence in the city.

Many of the shootings, which began about 3:30 p.m. Thursday, took place in some of the most violent South Side neighborhoods. Five people were reportedly shot by Chicago police, including two who died. The higher death toll was reported Tuesday by the Chicago Tribune.

President Obama has made little mention in the past of this immense Chicago tragedy and ongoing murder of innocents in Chicago. To my knowledge, Obama has sent no Federal authorities to Chicago to investigate. What is the difference between Fergusson(sic) and Chicago?

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