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Anderson Cooper Slams Chicago's Handling Of City Sticker Debacle (VIDEO)

First Posted: 02/14/2012 1:05 pm Updated: 02/14/2012 1:05 pm

Anderson Cooper Chicago City Sticker

It turns out, accusing a sobbing 15-year-old of being in a gang and taking away an award he worked hard for is not going over well with some people.

The Chicago City Clerk's office has received national attention for its handling of the 2012-13 city sticker controversy, and CNN's Anderson Cooper weighed in on the matter Monday night.

For those not familiar with the ongoing story, each year the city holds a contest allowing Chicago students to submit a vehicle sticker design. The designs often have a theme, and this year it was meant to honor Chicago's first responders.

Thousands of Chicagoans voted on the design from a batch of nominees, and 15-year-old Herbert Pulgar won a $1,000 savings bond, praise from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Clerk Susana Mendoza and the chance for his work to be on thousands of vehicles citywide.

All of this changed, however, when a police blog claimed that the sticker contained gang signs, and accused the young Pulgar of being in the Maniac Latin Disciples street gang. Though there were questionable photos on the boy's Facebook page, Pulgar and his family deny any gang affiliation -- and the boy's art teacher said she helped him draw the hands in the design, which allegedly were throwing up gang signs.

Cooper blasted Mendoza's handling of the situation in his "RidicuList" segment, playing a clip of the sobbing 15-year-old and saying that perhaps "the city of Chicago should look into that 'Teaching Children How To Succeed' pamphlet for possible gang signs as well. It's pretty similar."

Cooper also had a message for Pulgar:

"As far as we're concerned, you are a winner, and we're not going to take that back ever."

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Filed by Jen Sabella  |