Hate crime charges filed after StreetWise vendor is allegedly attacked for selling “gay” edition

Jeffery Olsen and the StreetWise magazine cover. | CPD; StreetWise 

Editor’s Note: CWBChicago has been pursuing this story since early July. We withheld publication until today because Chicago police provided minimal information regarding the case. The case’s electronic court records are virtually non-existent. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said it had no written proffer. So, our editorial team filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the relevant arrest report on July 10th to get a complete accounting of the allegations. The Chicago Police Department provided the requested report at 5 p.m. on August 6th, nearly three weeks after their response was legally due.

A man is facing hate crime charges after he allegedly attacked a StreetWise vendor for selling a rainbow-adorned edition of the newspaper in the West Loop on June 30th. Jeffery Olsen, 45, faces additional charges for allegedly threatening to kill a black police officer who helped take him into custody.

Police said a 48-year-old white man was selling a June edition of the magazine near Old St. Patrick’s Church on the 100 block of South Desplaines around 10:30 a.m. on June 30th.

A cover illustration showed “Lily, the first Muppet to experience homelessness.” A six-colored rainbow that resembles the LGBTQ rainbow flag adorns a wall in the background of the cover photo.

Olsen allegedly approached the StreetWise vendor and asked, “Hey, are you a f***ot?”

To which the victim responded “no.”

Olsen then stared at the magazine cover before punching the victim in the chest, knocking him to the ground, and running away, police said.  Witnesses flagged down a passing patrol officer to report the incident. Cops found Olsen a few minutes later on the 500 block of West Madison.

“There are a bunch of f***ots out here,” Olsen reportedly said before telling a black officer that he, “hates n****rs and I will beat the f*ck out of you,” according to a CPD report.

“Give me one chance and I will kill that n****r,” Olsen reportedly said of the officer. “I hate n****r cops. Kill all the cops!”

Olsen then became irate and began to pull away from arresting officers while repeatedly yelling, “I hate n****rs,” according to a CPD arrest report.

Olsen was initially charged with felony hate crime on the premises of a church or synagogue, felony hate crime, and felony aggravated intimidation of a peace officer. A grand jury added two felony aggravated battery charges to the allegations on Monday.

Olsen has been held without bail since his arrest. He is due back in court on Sept. 16th.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com