Andy’s Candyland, Why I Waited 3 Years

For context, here’s the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxY9HQOqQ8s

I woke up to a lot of hateful messages calling me everything from a “coward” to a “piece of shit” for not releasing it immediately. Let me attempt to explain why I made that choice.

Like I said in the video 3 years ago, this isn’t anything new. This certainly isn’t the first time someone has reported on it, whether coming from independent or major journalism. Saying there’s deep corruption in Chicago is like saying the sky is blue.

The situation on my block was a delicate ecosystem. Gang members patrolled the streets and families said “hi” to them while walking to church. I had a non-profit music school a block away that had plenty of local children as students, and I was involved with larger local non-profits.

50,000 Youtube views and, at most, a blurb in the newspaper wasn’t worth jeopardizing all of that.

Plain and simple. It wasn’t about my safety, it was about keeping other things that help the community outside of the scope of collateral to be used against me for filming and uploading the video.

Furthermore, all I had was what I experienced, what I recorded, and hear-say. I can tell you that Andy certainly wasn’t smart about the way he setup his rec center. He had no business license and didn’t even have a plan to follow things like fire code. (Andy got in touch with me, and he was legit with his paperwork. I apologize for letting hearsay somehow become fact in my memory.) That’s why I was initially there with the camera. I wanted to help him get on a legit path to keep the center open. I cannot attest to Andy’s side of the story, all I have is what I recorded.

For those of you not in south Chicago, you’re too optimistic about what this video could have accomplished. What do you think would have happened? Would cops get fired or suspended? No. Would the city help Andy move his things back in and repair the place? No.

All it would have accomplished at the time was making me look like a whistle blower for 15 minutes and lighting a fire that would burn down other services to help children. If you believe that’s cowardice, you’re allowed your opinion.

Finally, the message here isn’t “all cops are evil” as some people are taking it. This is a look into the climate of this area of Bridgeport, which has always been unique.