For years he’s been one of Chicago’s leading voices against gang violence. In fact, he was here at WGN for an interview just yesterday.
But now Illinois CeaseFire director Tio Hardiman is himself accused of domestic violence.
Hardiman, 50, was taken into custody at about 9 a.m. Friday. His wife came to the police station in Hillside, Ill. at 8 a.m. with signs of injury, police say, and filed a formal complaint against him. Sources tell WGN he kicked his wife in the rear.
Hardiman’s organization, CeaseFire, receives state funding to send out violence interrupters to mediate gang conflicts in neighborhoods throughout the city. Hardiman is seen as the pioneer of the violence interrupter concept. Last fall, CeaseFire received its first contract with the city — a $1 million grant as gun violence was skyrocketing.
The relationship between the Chicago Police Department and CeaseFire has been an uneasy one, however, as the organization hires ex-cons to mediate gang disputes. Hardiman’s organization was started in 2000 by the Chicago Project for Violence at University of Illinois at Chicago. The details from police of Friday morning’s events are undoubtedly eyebrow raising, in light of the energies Hardiman has spent fighting violence.
Hardiman is spending the night at the Hillside police lock-up. He’ll be in bond court in Haywood at 8:30 a.m. Friday.
Hardiman’s colleagues at CeaseFire are commenting on the incident, and there’s no word on how this incident will impact Hardiman’s position in the organization.