Blog Archive

Blog Archive : March 2005

Jose Aspera posted a blog on Mar 22, 2005

Judge Gottschall Rules in favor of African-American Firefighters in Lewis v. City of Chicago

On March 22, 2005 Judge Gottschall ruled that the City's use of the 89 cut score on the 1995 test was discriminatory. Specifically, the judge held that the City had not shown that the 1995 test effectively measured the skills it was supposed to measure (like the ability to learn from demonstration) or that performance on the 1995 test predicted performance in the Fire Academy or on the job. She also found that performance on the video portion of the 1995 exam hinged on one's ability to take notes--an ability that was not important to being a good firefighter.

Jose Aspera posted a blog on Mar 16, 2005

Hate Crime Lawsuit Filed in Anti-Muslim Bombing

For further information, contact: Betsy Shuman-Moore

Chicago Lawyers' Committee: 312-630-9744,


CHICAGO . . . On Thursday, March 17th Abbas Salmi and his family filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against Eric K. Nix for bombing the family’s van in Burbank, IL on March 21, 2003. According to the lawsuit, Nix threw a large, mortar-type firework into the Salmi family’s van parked in front of their home. The bomb exploded, causing irreparable damage to the vehicle and terrifying family members who were home at the time, including Salmi, his wife, two small children, sister, and parents.


The Plaintiffs, Muslim-Americans of Palestinian descent, allege they were attacked because of their ancestry, nationality and/or religion. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for loss of civil rights, emotional distress and property damage. In September 2003, Nix pled guilty to arson and hate crime charges for the bombing. The 26-year-old was also convicted of criminal damage to property in 2001 for vandalizing an Arab-owned furniture store two days after the 9/11 attacks.


"Bombing an innocent family’s property because of their religion or ethnicity is unconscionable and terrorizes entire communities," said Diana M. Lin, Chicago Lawyers' Committee Equal Justice Works Fellow. "All Americans grieved after the 9/11 attack, including Muslim and Arab Americans."