‘Thug’ in Quinn Anti-Violence Program Accused in Teen’s Murder

Dave McKinney and Frank Main, Chicago Sun-Times, March 7, 2014

Both Jermalle Brown and Douglas Bufford were gang members hired to play a small role in helping combat violence on the South Side through a program hatched by Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration.

Paid $8.50 an hour with taxpayer funds to hand out anti-violence pamphlets in their South Shore neighborhood, the two low-income teens were part-time foot soldiers in the governor’s $54.5 million Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, a program he once described as “a comprehensive and concerted effort to keep our young people safe, off the streets and in school.”

Quinn launched that program a month before his 2010 election as an answer to gun carnage in the city—even though murders that year, Chicago Police would later disclose, dipped to a nearly 50-year low.

But instead of embodying a bold new way to fight bloodshed on the South Side, Bufford is now dead, and Brown is charged with his murder, putting a dramatic and deadly new blemish on the one-time Quinn showpiece, which was pilloried last week in a report by Auditor General William Holland.

At the same time they were on the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative payroll, Brown, then 19, and Bufford, 16, allegedly broke into a Grand Crossing home in July 2012 with one other man and announced a robbery in what Chicago Police believe was a gang-related crime.

It’s not clear, based on court and police records, what happened next. But Bufford was fatally shot in the back of the head with a shotgun, and Brown and an associate now face murder charges tied to the shooting.

Jermalle Brown

Jermalle Brown


The statement from Grant Klinzman, a Quinn spokesman, said: “It’s critical to have strong anti-violence programs for at-risk youth that provide mentorship and job training in order to reduce the risk-factors associated with violence. Community organizations must provide meaningful opportunities for our youth to keep them off the streets. That’s why today CJIA [Criminal Justice Information Authority] partners with programs that focus on preparedness for future employment and job training.”

While Quinn may not have been aware of Bufford’s death, his administration certainly knew about it two weeks after it happened, according to a series of emails within the now-disbanded Illinois Violence Prevention Authority.

Just days after the fatal home invasion on July 25, 2012, Bufford’s murder was brought to the Quinn administration’s attention by an incredulous South Shore activist, prompting the now-defunct state agency charged with administering the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative to scurry into damage control.

“First, let me begin by expressing my utter disbelief [t]hat your agency would spend money trying to make scholars out of young adults who terrorize our neighborhoods daily,” South Shore resident Gina Olson wrote in an email to an official in the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority.


“So many youth going away to college this year could not find jobs for the summer. But some conglomerate of organizations in South Shore employ people like the guy in this link with our tax money,” she wrote, alluding to an attached online news report that featured Brown’s booking photo. “I’m furious about this.”

Olson went on to ask the state agency why it was allowing government grant money to go “to hire thugs and criminals to do positive outreach in my community. Are you out of your minds?”

The decision to hire Brown and Bufford belonged to the Black United Fund of Illinois, a nonprofit that Quinn’s administration put in charge of doling out $2.05 million in Neighborhood Recovery Initiative funds to an array of community groups in South Shore. Former Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) recommended the group to the Quinn administration.

The same day that Olson’s email arrived within the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority, the agency’s then-director, Barbara Shaw, reached out to two Black United Fund of Illinois officials and learned that the teens were part of the Mentoring Plus Jobs program, a component of the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.

In a brief interview Thursday with the Sun-Times, Talmadge D. Betts, senior program officer for Black United Fund of Illinois, said the teens’ hiring was made at the “staff level,” and he offered details about what the teens were hired to do.

“They were getting skills, and they were getting those skills by handing out information, positive messages, engaging with people in the neighborhood related to those positive messages that were on the materials they handed out,” Betts said.


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  • Oil Can Harry

    Is this Illinois state program that much different from Obamarx’s new federal My Brother’s Keeper program?

    Both deal with “at-risk youth” aka those conceived by black parents.

    • Spartacus

      Obama’s program is different, because it has a different name .

    • MBlanc46

      Quinn was just throwing taxpayer money at the Negroes. Apparently Obama wants to lean on the private sector to make them hire unqualified ‘hood rats.

  • ncpride

    “They were getting skills, and they were getting those skills by handing out information, positive messages, engaging with people in the neighborhood related to those positive messages that were on the materials they handed out,” Betts said.

    What a load of hogwash. What those thugs were getting was a perfect excuse at taxpayer expense to case homes in the neighborhood for future home invasions, as evidenced here. Just goes to show, they will do anything, even put your life in danger trying to ‘uplift’ blacks and make them civilized humans.

    • So CAL Snowman

      Lefties have completely left the reservation. Handing out anti – violence pamphlets, oh yes I’m sure that will have about as much effect as those lauded “take back the night” marches. The Whites that support this non sense are a lost cause, now and forever, there is no getting through to them. Imagine what a $54.5 million neighborhood recovery program would do for the poor Whites in places like West Virginia.

      • Truthseeker

        White liberals operate on the belief that more money, more involvement, more anything will somehow solve any problem. The possibility that some people are so genetically degraded that nothing will help them doesn’t even register. They have to believe in the human ability to fix anything. No matter how many times these programs fail or have disastrous consequences, they convince themselves that the problem was that they didn’t do enough. It’s truly pathological.

        • So CAL Snowman

          No argument here, it’s mental illness bordering on clinical insanity.

        • Jesse James

          Let’s be specific, liberals believe that more of somebody elses money will solve any problem. Study after study puts them below conservative in terms of charitable giving.

        • Da Troof

          Honestly I’m not even buying it. I think it’s more of a desire to do SOMETHING. At least, something comfortable that doesn’t require any actual work.

          The results or lack thereof really aren’t an issue for liberals. It’s just about self aggrandizing.

      • Irishgirl

        You know, I was planning to be a murderous drug dealer, but then one day an at-risk youth handed me an anti-violence pamphlet so I decided to go to college and make something of my life instead.

        Yes, that is exactly how it happened.

        • Sick of it

          Crime statistics make a joke out of these efforts, don’t they?

      • Snowman, you reminded me of Bill Clinton’s “midnight basketball” pile of manure. It stunk then, and whatever the new libtard insanity dreamed up is, it stinks. It stinks every time and I damn well resent having to pay for it.

      • r j p

        There was a study done in West Virginia the revealed the most easy to eliminate unemployment and poverty was purchasing cars for welfare recipients. $54.5MM would have bought 10,900 cars at $5000. So what does Obama do, Cash for Clunkers, running up the price of used cars.

        • It is worse than you think. The pollution trading credit program allows utility companies that operate coal-fired power plants to buy up old cars and then scrap them. This doesn’t clean up the air, but it does make it quite difficult for guys who restore old cars to find proper original parts for them.

      • Max

        What they REALLY need is a “candlelight vigil” to stop the violence.

        • Sick of it

          Where someone will inevitably end up shot dead.

          • Max

            Maybe vigils with folks in hoods and burning crosses to reduce violence in the cities…

          • Sick of it

            Said group no longer exists. The only remaining organizations which use their likeness are government constructs. Trust me, if they’re gone in Louisiana, they’re gone.

      • MBlanc46

        I’m not sure that very many whites support wackazany things like that. It was apparently just a ploy to buy black votes for Quinn at election time. Quinn was barely elected, and, had the Repubs put up a more credible candidate than Brady, he probably would have been beaten.

      • bubo

        The blog “second city cop” has talked about stuff like this. The black aldermen control the gangs. It’s every bit as corrupt as anything in Mexico or Central America.

        Chicago, like Baltimore, Newark, Detroit and others isn’t a part of America anymore.

      • Andy

        “Imagine what a $54.5 million neighborhood recovery program would do for the poor Whites in places like West Virginia. It would actually have a beneficial effect…”

        Would it? I have little knowledge of West Virginia, but in my area, I suspect such a project would work little better than in black ghettoes. One dear young lady that I know has recently acquired a wealthy boyfriend. She still ignores her responsibilities (primarily, her children from previous relationships) and engages in various illegal activities, but now she brags about how much her clothing and car cost.

        A few of the “poor whites” I’ve known have been decent people, just unintelligent or down on their luck. Most of them have been the sort that need social controls, not more money, to lead productive lives.

        • We’re technically poor. I spent all day yesterday and all morning today woodworking. When Mr. dd21 and I went hiking last Thursday, there was a lot of steep trail work before we got to the top of the plateau, and then it was “reassemble in reverse” getting back down a slightly different way. I am a bit sorry if it looked like “mountain goat” trails at times. Thanks to the recent woodworking I’ve done, now my arms and shoulders hurt to match.

          My whole prison bit came from not my desire for money but from my anger over the way my ex-father treated my mother, my sister and me; I will never warn anyone ever again.

          I made through-wires for heavyweight salt-water fishing lures this morning. I used 4mm diameter wire after finishing a jig for bending that last night. I welded the joints closed after breakfast. Nothing in fresh water is going to pull open a weld in a 4mm joint. Perhaps we are rich, after all.


  • At the risk of thread hijacking:

    Don’t look for the Republicans running for Illinois Governor this year to be of any real help. All four of them said in a debate this past week that they’re for drivers licenses for illegal aliens. Including Bill Brady, who was the Republican nominee for this office four years ago, at the time he was opposed. I gave him money, and since I lived in Illinois at the time, I voted for him.

    Since Illinois now has CCW, there’s no reason even to cast a vote in the Illinois Governor’s race for any candidate, either primary or general.

    • r j p

      Who do I vote for?

      • Best thing to do is to write in your own name.

        • MBlanc46

          If you feel you have to go to the polls, write yourself in, or Mickey Mouse, or spoil your ballot. Anything else just encourages the bahstahds.

          • The way I see it, even if I hate all the candidates on the ticket, there’s always some new tax or other ballot initiative I want to vote against.

          • r j p

            They are now selling Cystic Fibrosis lottery tickets in Illinois.
            There is nothing honorable about this state or its actions.

          • MBlanc46

            We don’t have initiatives on the ballot in Illinois, so it’s only voting for candidates. There are sometimes local revenue authorizations. Perhaps it’s worth weighing in on them, but since nobody but the connected know what they’re about most people ignore them and they pass.

          • No new state taxes are legal in Colorado unless they have been approved by state referendum.

          • MBlanc46

            The pols in IL would never, ever allow the voters to have a say in tax increases.

  • NoMosqueHere

    Olson went on to ask the state agency why it was allowing government grant money to go “to hire thugs and criminals to do positive outreach in my community. Are you out of your minds?”

    Worse than that. They’re white liberals.

    • Probable reply from a state agency Affirmative Action bureaucrat to Gina Olson: “What are you, Mrs. Olson, some kind of mean-spirited racist?”

  • Spartacus

    White people’s money getting stolen by beasts in semi-human figure .

  • Whitetrashgang

    Why not just hand out pro violence pamphlets at least it will do some good. On a lighter note its like Mcdonalds I am loving it.

  • MekongDelta69

    “two low-income teens” = two low-IQ black thugs…

  • BonV.Vant

    once a negro, always a negro

  • Pro_Whitey

    Brown: “Oh, wait, you mean it’s an ANTI-violence program? Aw, man, I always screw that up!”

  • IstvanIN

    The things “our” government wastes money on. How many miles of stolen copper line could be replaced with that $2.05?

    • If it was really important to get this literature out, paying some commercial bulk-mailer to send it through the Post Office would be far cheaper than hiring criminals at $8.50 an hour to hand-deliver it door-to-door.

      Does the US mail still work in Chicago?

      • If St. Louis, said to be Chicago writ small and a lot less insane, is any indication, then no for the most part. In a typical six day residential delivery week, you’ll average three different carriers, at least one of them and probably two will be totally illiterate, and rarely will you see a white.

        • r j p

          In Chicago you have the following “regular” delivery people:

          Regular mail
          Priority Mail
          Express Mail

          For anything that needs signed for you must go to the Ghost Office.

          It is a treat.

      • Max

        Not well, it is also staffed primarily with black criminals.

        • r j p

          That I know from experience.

          Received empty plastics Macy’s shippings bags twice.

          Who the hell risks their job to steal socks, boxers, and t-shirts?

      • r j p

        Does the US mail still work in Chicongo?

        Barely. The USPS in Chicongo is basically a joke at this point.

  • Garrett Brown

    You just can’t make this stuff up.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    “It’s critical to have strong anti-violence programs for at-risk youth that provide mentorship and job training in order to reduce the risk-factors associated with violence.”


    You mean to tell me that all those hug-a-thug programs didn’t work??

    The home visits:

    “Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy ordered his staff to draw up a list of warring gang leaders in the area…Within 48 hours, the commander of the Grand Crossing District was knocking on their doors, warning them to halt the shooting.”

    The heat strategy:

    “With the help of mathematical analysis from Yale, Chicago police hope to home in on people it believes are most at risk of shooting someone or being shot themselves. The strategy calls for warning those on the heat list individually.”

    The Friendly letters:

    “Chicago police are going to hand deliver letters to people suspected of committing or being victims of gun crimes in an effort to stem violence in the city, according to a new report.”

    Rep. Bobby Rush’s “Emergency Summit on Urban Violence:”

    “The people themselves are gathering around tables and in rooms and they are discussing not just the problems, but they are coming up with solutions as a ways out of this violent dilemma and violent episode that we are witnessing throughout our nation and every urban center in America,” Rush said

    Banning Assault Weapons:

    “The Chicago city council voted unanimously to toughen its existing ban on assault weapons by adding more types of guns to the banned list and imposing stiffer fines for violations of the law.”

    Blame placed on the GOP:

    Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman astutely pinpointed the reason for Chicago’s carnage:

    “And let’s be very clear about what’s happening in Washington today and why it’s undermining the city of Chicago, because there’s a mindset from the Republican members of Congress… that we can in fact engage in these massive irresponsible cuts that no one thinks is a logical approach to budgeting… leads to violence and leads to more Chicagos.”

    And the NRA, (just like David Axelrod said):

    “People are afraid of the NRA and trading their jobs for young lives in places like Chicago.”

    The solution to violence in Chicago will be more government programs to help black youth and sternly warn them away from crime with letters from the police, just ask the pointy heads at Yale!!

    Either that or allow the people of Chicago to carry and let the citizens do the work the government and police won’t do.

    • “It is critical to have strong anti-violence programs for at-risk youth…”

      I thought we called those programs “police departments”, “courts” and “prisons”.

      • Whitetrashgang

        I think they should make these youths judges or cops. Failing that maybe politicans and debt collectors. The USA owes 17 trillion why not go collect it somewhere like Israel or something.

        • The Israelis would chew these punks up and spit them back out… hey; maybe you’re onto something there!

          • MBlanc46

            That’s a very intriguing idea.

          • PesachPatriot

            I’m pretty sure the first flash mob in downtown Riyadh or Jeddah would be met with hails of automatic gunfire from AK-47’s…..any survivors would be rounded up, whipped in public and then executed by having their heads severed…..I will leave it your imagination mr. blanc and that of the other readers, as to what body part is removed as the penalty for rape…

          • I story I remember from about 20 years ago involved a pair of black US Muslim converts who decided that life here was too oppressive, so they moved to Pakistan. Deciding to “keep it real” there, they committed an armed bank robbery, and were completely taken aback when they were sentenced to death by hanging.

            As you have just pointed out, Saudi would be better.

    • Reverend Bacon

      Can you make me one that says, “Libs love Gibs”?

    • soul hunter

      Actually as a tax base, I suggest
      an endeavor of oven production.

    • Sick of it

      As I’ve stated before, if they simply shot the gang members, gangs would disappear rather quickly. And I don’t mean shoot to wound.

      • Bon, From the Land of Babble

        There are some things the Chinese get right:

        “Kill one to terrorize ten-thousand”
        –Sun Tzu

        I suspect those who committed that knife attack a few weeks ago in China that killed 29 are long executed and forgotten (as it should be).

        • Most of them were killed by Chinese cops. They appear to have captured one of them; some sort of Turkistani al Qaida gang, judging from the black jihadi flag they had with them.. She’s not long for this world.

  • Zimriel

    so… Chicago tax refund for the money spent on this dumb program?

    • MBlanc46

      Alas, the taxpayer response will probably be re-election for Pat the Clown.

  • Luca

    Rather than analyze the root of the problem and come up with viable solutions, politicians simply see a problem and throw wads of taxpayer cash at it.

    The sad part is they never learn, or they never care, or both.

  • MBlanc46

    Just a typical government “program” for disadvantaged youth.

  • I’m a little curious about Chicago paying gang members $8.50 an hour for fake “work” like this. Is this the same city of Chicago that is going bankrupt or some different city of Chicago that actually has money?

    • Luca

      Big city liberals have big ideas about curing the societal ills which they created in the first place. I remember some crazy scheme in LA whereby they paid gang members to buy back guns off the streets. Lo and behold they were selling 50% of the guns that they took in. Now who could have predicted that?

  • JohnEngelman

    The best anti violence program I can think of is a harsh criminal system where the emphasis is on capital punishment and long prison sentences at hard labor enforced by corporeal punishment.

    • The best anti-violence program I can think of would involve expelling every Mestizo Hispanic and every black. Countries with the ethnic makeup of Estonia or Japan don’t need elaborate prison systems.

      • Luca

        I am in favor of deporting or outsourcing our criminals. I remember when I was in the service I heard of guys who went to court and who were given an option (during Vietnam), 2 years in jail or 2 years in the Marine Corps.

        I would give a similar option: 20 years in prison or surrender your passport after you are shipped to a country on another continent that will take you.

        • CaptainCroMag

          Didn’t Arnold Schwarzenegger suggest opening prisons in Mexico to house California’s prisoners to save money on costs? The liberals were outraged at the suggestion, but I thought it was a great idea.

        • Andy

          I would limit it to countries of the same ethnic make-up, or we’ll have Sweden flooding itself with our criminals too.

          • I’m in favor of sending them to Hell, but as dd21 and I decided last week, we can’t all be Spartacus just yet.

        • MBlanc46

          “[A]fter you are shipped to a country on another continent that will take you.”

          I think that’s the weak spot in your proposal.

          • There’s always the bottom of the ocean. Plenty of room there.

          • PvtCharlieSlate

            Yes, but not all the way out in the ocean. Keep it a bit closer to shore. Feed the lobsters.

  • Sloppo

    I believe the “school to prison pipeline” should be replaced by a “school to Africa pipeline” with a much larger diameter.

    • Sick of it

      Why don’t we exile violent criminals if we aren’t going to kill them? It would save us money AND prevent them from further ruining our nation.

    • Max

      His Hopefulness has already made it clear that he is against profitable pipelines in the country.

    • Alexandra1973

      Execution for capital offenses, entire family gets deported to Africa for other offenses.

  • Sick of it

    Our own legal punishments when the Constitution was written might fit the bill of what you consider cruel and unusual punishment, but the Founders did not consider them to be.

    • Alexandra1973

      According to your garden-variety leftie, denying prisoners access to cable TV is cruel and unusual!

      • Sick of it

        They think it’s cruel to lock up a poor black kid for a mere triple homicide, so it’s not like their opinion matters.

        • r j p

          A triple homicide should be hung in front of the judiciary building imposing his “sentence to death”.

      • r j p

        I don’t have cable TV.

      • At the Federal Detention Center in Engelwood (a Denver suburb) there was originally cable TV in every cell. I could tell by the wiring and fittings. A bunch of Cubans destroyed it all, and it was never replaced.

  • jackryanvb

    I’m in long walking distance to the neighborhoods where these gang bangers did their deeds. Chicago has long history of wasting $millions on Black gang members, presenting themselves as authentic leaders in the community as somehow reformed gang members with street cred. lBJ’s a great Society urban initiative gave a few $million to Jeff Forte’s Black Gangster Disciples, whichnJeff used to buy guns and drugs.

    There was some 1960s retro propaganda film about supposed street smart, reformed gang members/communit activists being the “interrupters” to go where Conservative Whites dare not go and save at risk Black urban youths….

    SecondCityCop is a good blog to see where all these “programs” go bad.

    • MBlanc46

      I believe that Fort’s outfit was the Black P Stone Nation, formerly the Blackstone Rangers.

      • jackryanvb

        You are correct.

        I believe the Gangster Disciples are the descendants of the Blackstone Rangers, though it’s hard to prove paternity in these groups .

  • Sick of it

    Christians were a persecuted minority. We have no excuses.

  • JamalJenkum

    He was just providing the neighborhood with a little cultural enrichment through the wonders of diversity.

    I’m sure handing out pamphlets worked well on the 1.5% of the neighborhood residents who knew how to read. After all we all know how effective those ‘stop the violence’ rallies are. I’ve never been to one myself, as they’re usually on a Tuesday afternoon and I have a job.

    • Violence often breaks out at stop the violence rallies.

      • texasoysterman

        Also at thug funerals and future-thug, kindergarten graduations.

  • Jenkem Huffington

    Just when they were turning their lives around too…. what a loss.

  • Kit Ingoldby

    “They were getting skills, and they were getting those skills by handing out information, positive messages, engaging with people in the neighborhood related to those positive messages that were on the materials they handed out,”

    They were meal tickets for the bureaucrats who run hideously expensive government programmes. Actual results are irrelevant.

    Just another example of government making a bad problem worse.

  • Hanging for horse thieves. The logical analogy today would be automobile theft, and nylon rope is pretty cheap at Wal Mart.

  • Da Troof

    Nigs gona nig.

  • Pamphlets – the Progressive answer to many violent issues do little good when the prson receiveing the pamphlet can’t read. Progressive actually fear the public learning about their terror policies – against the law abiding. Muslims and Minorities are protected by the state so their violent actions will spead fear into law abiding communities – making them more willing to part with tax dollars and accept policies that deprive their freedoms. We stand in lines at airports because Democrats refuse to shake down terrorists – this assures the law abiding are hassled and fear filled when they fly. Violent Minority communities are left to their own devices (save pamphlet donations) so the violence terrifies the law abiding. Add to this gov’t agencies that terrorize political opponents, confiscate emails and other communications – and you have the Democrat Terror wing – Muslims, Minorities and Regulators.

  • MystiKasT

    So you can get paid to be a thug now?


      “So you can get paid to be a thug now?” < By the government, of course! There's always use for thugs in the business of state. Who else is going to create and re-create the miserable living conditions that the government always declares and re-declares, over and over as it's goal to fix or alleviate?

  • scutum

    This reminds me of an old Freedom to Choose program I saw on TV many years ago back when they still had the federal jobs corp program. The show was part of a series presented by Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize winning economist from the University of Chicago. Thia particular episode featured a group of a dozen or more jobs program yuffs that were supposed to be painting a building. Only one or two members of the group were doing any painting the rest were sitting around smoking and bullshitting. Need I point out that the group was black?


      You mean Job Programs were meant for more than just blacks?

      And those Free To Choose programs are great. One includes a youthful, even skinny, but no less eye stressing Michael Moore of about 20 years old being spanked by Mr. Friedman. Those videos also do a pretty good job of showing just what little Communist factories the Universities in America have become just by allowing students to ask questions. Every one of those questions ended with them looking to government as the great savior. – ( America Where Have Thou Gone? )

  • disqus_Xz3UA6obwj

    Passing out flyers attempting to change the spots on a leopard. What an absolute waste of money.