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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s ‘Census Cowboy’ rides horse during protest till its feet bleed and it collapses. Now he’s facing a felony charge, and the horse may need to be euthanized.

Authorities arrested 33-year-old activist Adam Hollingsworth — also known as the “Dreadhead Cowboy” or “Census Cowboy” — after a Monday protest in which he rode a horse on a Chicago highway until the bleeding horse collapsed.

The horse, which is in critical condition due to its injuries, may now need to be euthanized.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) tapped Hollingsworth to work with her earlier this year to
boost census participation in the city.

What are the details?

According to a report from
WTTW-TV, Hollingsworth rode the horse for more than seven miles on the Dan Ryan Expressway during Monday’s impromptu protest.

The horse, which was reportedly not outfitted with proper shoes for concrete, collapsed after running for about an hour.

Cook County prosecutors said the horse’s treatment was the “equivalent of forcing an 80-year-old woman run a marathon,” WTTW reported.

Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Deboni said that the horse was nearly run to death and suffered “extensive damage” to its health.

Deboni said that the horse’s eyes “were dilated to the point they looked like cartoon eyes.”

All for #KidsLivesMatter

Hollingsworth said that he rode the horse on the Dan Ryan Expressway during rush hour to support the #KidsLivesMatter movement, according to the outlet, which describes the initiative as one “that aims to raise awareness and motivate residents to fill out the census to help communities receive better funding.”

According to Block Club Chicago, the movement is in response to children killed by gun violence.

In August, Hollingsworth told the Block Club, “When you get kids occupied and they’ve got things to do with their time and their life … all this senseless killing that’s going on, it’ll slow down a whole lot. It’s important to support dance groups [or] anything that’s got something to do with kids. If it’s something positive, support it.”

Witnesses of the Dan Ryan Expressway incident told the outlet that they saw Hollingsworth kicking and whipping the horse to keep it running even after it slowed its pace due to exhaustion and injury. Shortly after, the horse collapsed on the ground.

Emergency veterinarians responded to the scene and took the horse in for treatment of severe dehydration, overheating, and lacerations to its front legs that caused heavy bleeding. Authorities took Hollingsworth into custody.

WFLD-TV reported that the horse also had sores beneath its saddle, which was not properly padded.

A felony charge and a rebuke from the mayor

In a statement, Mayor Lightfoot’s office condemned Hollingsworth’s “stunt.”

“There is a right way and a wrong way to call attention to issues of great importance and this stunt was decidedly the very wrong way,” the mayor’s office said in its statement.

Hollingsworth was charged with a felony count of aggravated cruelty to an animal, as well as misdemeanor counts of reckless conduct, trespassing, and other traffic-related offenses.

At the time of this reporting, the horse remains in critical condition, and will never be able to be ridden again.

The horse may also have to be euthanized due to its injuries and “due to the suffering the animal will likely endure for the rest of its life.”

Hollingsworth was held on $25,000 bond during a Wednesday court appearance, and was required to pay 10%. He is due back in court on Sept. 30.

‘Lori, come help me, I can’t do it alone’

On Thursday, a tearful Hollingsworth told the Chicago Sun-Times that he did not abuse the horse.

“My focus is on the ‘Kids Lives Matter’ because if you look up the history of when it comes down to kids getting killed, 2020 is the highest rate … and it ain’t right,” he told reporters. “Everybody is trying to steer away from that part, and that is very important — that is an important topic we need to stick on.”

Hollingsworth insisted that how he treated the horse was “no different than how horses are treated in the circus or at a racetrack,” the outlet reported.

“The people that don’t know anything about horses looking from the outside in, you would think that what I did was cruelty to animals,” he explained. “But if you go to a racetrack, it’s 100 times worse, if you go to a circus, worse. … It’s way worse than what I do to my horses. I probably could’ve did a little bit less, but I had to make a statement.”

He also insisted that the description of the horse’s injuries were exaggerated, and that he would like to appoint an independent veterinarian to examine the horse.

“I think that is just a way to make the situation seem worse than it is because I am a black brother and I am doing very good for the community and standing up for the Kids Lives Matter movement and not focused on anything else,” Hollingsworth reasoned.

He also revealed that he has been the subject of abuse since his arrest.

“Every day I step outside I am taking a chance with my life,” he said. “I basically look at [the hate mail] and just close them. I can’t change how a person feels.”

He also called upon Lightfoot to defend him.

“When [Mayor Lightfoot] called upon me [to assist with the 2020 census], I was there for her,” he added. “Monday was my stress signal: Lori, come help me, I can’t do it alone.”

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Sheriff’s office releases bodycam video of deputy shooting allegedly armed man running from traffic stop in Chicago

A police officer shot an allegedly armed man who fled a traffic stop Wednesday in Chicago. On Thursday, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office released bodycam footage of the incident after the man’s family disputed that he had a gun.

Cook County Sheriff’s deputies pulled over a driver for speeding in Chicago’s LeClaire Courts neighborhood at 7:20 p.m. Wednesday. The vehicle is said to be missing a front license plate and had illegally tinted windows, as reported in the Chicago Sun-Times.

The driver stopped, opened his door, but refused to exit the vehicle. He then allegedly drove off and turned down an alley. He abandoned his car and fled on foot. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office alleges that the man had something in his hand, and dropped a black cellphone while fleeing police.

The man, identified as Durel Foster, reportedly ignored deputies’ commands to stop. Bodycam footage appears to show Foster, 27, brandishing a handgun as defies orders and runs past cops.

After Foster runs past one of the police officers with what looks like a firearm, the cop fires four shots at the man. Foster was hit by two shots, one struck him in the shoulder and the other in the buttocks. Foster falls to the ground, sits back up, then flails back down.

Deputies claim that Foster resisted arrest after being shot, and ran to a nearby porch. Foster was eventually taken into custody after a police officer used a Taser on him.

He was handcuffed, arrested, and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he is said to be in good condition. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office claims a handgun and bags of suspected cocaine were found near Foster.

Foster’s father, Maurice Foster, said, “Police stopped him because of the way he looked.”

“He’s a young Black man, he had nice jewelry on, nice clothes,” Maurice Foster said. “They didn’t even tell me when they put him in the ambulance, he was already shot twice and tased, he had the handcuffs on … and they put him in the ambulance for 10 minutes.”

The father denied that his son was armed and disputes that he had a gun during the incident.

“I can’t see real good from the footage,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I can’t see what’s in his hand. I see him toss a bag. It goes by real fast, and it’s blurry also.”

The father said he hasn’t been able to speak with his son since the arrest. He added that his son is “an excellent basketball player, he’s smart, he’s intelligent, he’s respectful, and he’s good to his family.”

Cook County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect had three prior felony convictions, including aggravated battery on a police officer in 2018, according to the New York Post. He was sentenced to four years in prison and had been on parole in Illinois at the time of Wednesday’s arrest.

Chicago police are conducting an independent investigation into the shooting.


Cook County Sheriff’s Police Release Body Cam Video After Officer Shoots Man

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Judge rules against Jussie Smollett — he’ll have to face new charges of disorderly conduct

Jussie Smollett lost his request to have charges of disorderly conduct dismissed after a judge said that the prosecution did not amount to double jeopardy.

Smollett appeared in court by video conference on Friday.

A Cook County judge said that because the former charges against Smollett were dropped, it would not constitute a violation of his rights to face the charge of disorderly conduct related to the same incident.

Smollett agreed to pay a fine and complete community service in relation to an incident where he claimed that he had been the victim of a racial attack in Chicago, Illinois.

Police were able to apprehend the two men who were involved in the incident, but they accused Smollett of orchestrating the fake attack in order to bolster his acting career. Police said they also uncovered other evidence indicating that the attack was a hoax.

Judge James Lin ruled that since Smollett never went to trial for the original charges of making a false police report that he could still legally face the disorderly conduct charge.

Smollett has maintained that he is innocent of all charges. He will face his next hearing on June 17. He has admitted that he knows the two men that attacked him, but denies orchestrating a hoax or making a false report to the police.

Here’s a local news report about the ruling:


Judge Rules New Charges Against Smollett Are Not Double Jeopardy

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