Men Claim Crime Commission Defamed Them

CHICAGO (CN) – The Chicago Crime Commission defamed two men by calling them gang leaders in “The Chicago Crime Commission Gang Book,” the men say in Cook County Court.
     Max Cerda sued the commission and its Chairman J.R. Davis, and Stephen Teppell filed a similar, separate complaint.
     Cerda claims the commission’s book, published in January, falsely identifies him as a leader of the “Insane Unknowns.”
     Teppell says it falsely identifies him as a leader of the North Side Insane Popes.
     The Chicago Crime Commission, established in 1919, claims to be dedicated to improving the criminal justice system in Chicago and educating the public about organized crime.
     It published “The Chicago Crime Commission Gang Book” as a “guide and training tool … to be of use to the most expert gang investigators, as well as to the parent, educator or business owner who may know little about Chicago metropolitan street gangs,” according to the commission’s website. It includes gang statistics, gang colors and identifiers, and gang territory maps.
     Teppell says the 2012 Gang Book falsely identifies him as “a leader of the North Side Insane Popes in Chicago, Illinois. The Gang Book includes plaintiff’s picture, name, alleged nickname and date of birth.”
     But Teppell says he “is not a member of a gang, has never been affiliated with any gangs, gang activity, illegal activity associated with the North Side Insane Popes or any other criminal enterprise.”
     Cerda says the Gang Book calls him a leader of the Insane Unknowns in Chicago, but that he “is not a member of the Insane Unknowns or any other criminal enterprise. The claims made in the Gang Book by the defendant, Chicago Crime Commission, are false and defamatory.”
     They seek damages for defamation and an injunction preventing the Chicago Crime Commission from selling the Gang Book.
     They are represented by Lesley Pickering with Deutschman & Associates.
     Another man sued the commission on July 25, in the same court, on similar allegations.

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