Afternoon Edition: July 13, 2020

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

SHARE Afternoon Edition: July 13, 2020

Protesters and Chicago police officers during a march downtown Friday over the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

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Afternoon Edition

Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus issue on Saturdays that dives into the city’s storied history.

Who knew the low 80s could feel so cool? After many days in the 90s, we’ll take it: This afternoon will be mostly sunny, with a high near 83 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 65 degrees. Tomorrow will heat back up, with sunshine and a high around 88 degrees.

Top story

Record number of complaints filed against Chicago police during George Floyd protests

Complaints against Chicago police officers spiked to record levels last month amid citywide George Floyd demonstrations — including a single day when nearly 100 complaints were recorded, city data shows.

More than 900 complaints were filed against officers between May 26 — the date of the first protest after the murder of Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota — and June 29, the last day for which records were available. On June 4 alone the city reported 99 complaints against officers — the most of any day in the last 13 years, according to our review of publicly available data.

For comparison, 175 complaints were filed against officers during the week of the 2012 NATO summit that saw clashes between police and protesters, and 79 complaints were filed the week after video of the murder of Laquan McDonald by former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was publicly released in 2015.

Chicago activists say complaints filed with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and the Police Department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs likely don’t come close to the number of incidents in June where protesters were subjected to undue force by officers: “I think it’s evidence that there was a level of [police] brutality that people experienced at a historic, alarming rate,” said Aislinn Pulley, a founder of Black Lives Matter Chicago.

Chicago police declined to answer questions about the increase in complaints but said in a statement the department was committed to facilitating demonstrations in a safe and peaceful manner. 

Civil rights groups and attorneys representing organizers of the protests say videos taken during protests document many cases where police used force against protesters who were only exercising their rights — sometimes loudly — but were not participating in criminal behavior.

Sheila Bedi, director of the Community Justice and Civil Rights Clinic at Northwestern University, said CPD officers violated a federal consent decree that was imposed on the department last year with the use of pepper spray and striking protesters with batons. The consent decree, which mandates widespread reforms by CPD, requires officers to engage in de-escalation and avoid force whenever possible.

“What we see here is officers doing the opposite,” Bedi said. “The consent decree has been in place now for approximately a year-and-a-half, and we have received more incidents that demonstrate clear violations of the consent decree in the past month than the entire time it’s been in place.”

According to a report published by COPA, the oversight agency identified 413 complaints as directly related to the protests between May 29 and June 5. Of those, the top complaints were for excessive force (55%), improper searches (22%) and verbal abuse by officers (11%), the report stated.

“It’s certainly unfortunate that in response to people speaking out against police violence that they were met with violence,” said Karen Sheley, an attorney with the ACLU. “I’m not surprised that a group of people protesting police violence, that were met with police violence, would be motivated to make a complaint.”

Read the full story from Matthew Hendrickson and Matt Kiefer.

More news you need

  1. Citing the challenges of staging a large-scale event in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the Chicago Marathon has been canceled. It was scheduled to be held Sunday, Oct. 11.
  2. Most of Loyola University’s classes this fall will be online, and in-person classes will only be offered for courses that need face-to-face instruction, like labs, research and experiential learning classes. The move represents a scaling back of previous plans for a greater mix of online and in-person courses this fall.
  3. After a bloody weekend that saw 64 people shot, 13 fatally, the city’s police superintendent asked for patience from the public as he prepares to implement his crime-fighting strategies. “At some point, I’ll welcome the criticism, but not before it starts. It’s not even created yet,” Supt. David Brown said today.
  4. Several Chicago businesses received citations from the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection last weekend for violating Phase 4 reopening guidelines. One bar Wise Owl Drinkery & Cookhouse so egregiously broke guidelines that officials required an immediate shutdown.
  5. If you were disappointed by the cancelations of Free Slurpee day at 7-Eleven or Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A, you’ll be pleased to learn of at least one food holiday not interrupted by the pandemic: National French Fry Day. We rounded up today’s deals, like free fries at McDonald’s.
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A bright one

Stars sing ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ to aid local artists

Jim Belushi, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Keegan-Michael Key and dozens of other talents with roots in Chicago — singers, actors, dancers and more — belt out the city’s unofficial anthem in a new music video meant to ease the pandemic burden for local artists.

Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller counts down the beats to open the clip, which also spotlights the voices of stage stars E. Faye Butler (riffing, “Let me explain something to you …) and André De Shields (resplendent in a glittering butterfly pendant). Jazz singer Kurt Elling carries another chunk of the vocal load.

Ramsey Lewis tickles the piano. Survivor rocker Jim Peterik wails on the guitar. Rachel Barton Pine saws away on the violin. Twista spits a mile-a-minute list of the city’s greatest assets. Chef Rick Bayless dances in front of a flaming grill and confesses, “That was way harder than I thought it would be.”

The six-minute, quick-cut rendition of “Sweet Home Chicago” urges viewers to donate to the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund, which helps artists throughout Chicago and Illinois who are struggling in the wake of COVID-19 closures.

Read the full story from Darel Jevens here.

From the press box

The Blackhawks announced their upcoming postseason roster this morning, which includes defensemen Brent Seabrook and Calvin De Haan. Corey Crawford’s status is a mystery, however, after coach Jeremy Colliton called him “unfit to play” without offering any more details.

Cubs manager David Ross and five other Tier 1 employees – which include all essential on-field personnel including players, coaches and doctors – didn’t participate in workouts today while awaiting results from recent COVID-19 tests

“Out of an abundance of caution, we think it makes sense for the six of us to wait for clarity,” Ross said. “Situations like this have not been a worrisome indicator of a positive test result to date.”

Your daily question ☕

With today’s news that the Washington Redskins are retiring their name and logo, what do you think the new team name should be?

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Friday, we asked you if you feel comfortable with in-class instruction returning in the fall. Here’s what some of you said…

“No, I’m not comfortable at all. When my child hears the possibility of going back, his anxiety goes up.” — Gina Rincon

“As a teacher, I do not feel safe doing anything that encloses me in small places with so many unknown factors. Do you think EVERY family is social distancing from others, including their own families? Look at social media, look at your public spaces in your communities. No, thank you.” — Paul Packer

“My children want to go back, I want to go back to work as well. My daughter will be a freshman this year and has been vocal on how much she hated remote learning; she wants to be in school with her peers. My son also had a rough time during remote learning. I feel ok with them being back at school.” — Darlene Herrera

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