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.
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.
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Man shot by University of Chicago police officer called 911 and said he was armed and wanted to be killed by police, prosecutors say
Minutes before a man was shot by a University of Chicago police officer this week, he called 911 and said he had a gun and wanted to be killed by police, Cook County prosecutors said today.
But it’s unclear whether the officer knew that when he spotted Rhysheen Wilson on the street in Hyde Park waving a gun and finally firing at the officer late Tuesday morning, authorities said.
Wilson, 27, remained hospitalized with five gunshot wounds today as a bail hearing was held on charges of attempted murder of a police officer.
The university identified the officer as Nicolas Twardak, the same officer who shot Charles Soji Thomas while he was possibly having a mental episode in 2018. That shooting happened about a block from Tuesday’s.
Wilson was “having mental issues” when he called his cousin Tuesday morning and told him where he was, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said in court. The cousin found him crying and talking about killing himself, Murphy said.
Wilson — who suffers from schizophrenia, PTSD and mood swings — was off his medication, Murphy said.
Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered Wilson held on $2 million cash bail.
Wilson also faces counts of aggravated discharge of a weapon and aggravated unauthorized use of a weapon.
Twardak was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of investigations into Tuesday’s shooting, the school said.
It wasn’t clear during the court hearing whether the officer was aware of the 911 call Wilson had made. The university said Twardak had not been called to the scene, but had spotted Wilson while driving through the neighborhood.
More news you need
- The father of a 15-year-old boy who was fatally shot while trying to catch a bus in the West Town area called on elected officials today to stop “pointing fingers” and take action against gun violence in Chicago. Caleb Westbrooks was shot several times about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, blocks from Rauner College Prep where he was a freshman.
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot is a “micro-managing,” “name-calling,” “bad boss” who can’t get along with anybody — not just the Chicago Teachers Union, CTU vice president Stacey Davis Gates said today. Davis Gates wouldn’t say if she’ll challenge Lightfoot, whom she has said is on a “kamikaze mission to destroy” Chicago Public Schools.
- Back in September, the Cook County Board of Review hired a high-profile Chicago law firm last year through a contract worth up to $110,000 to look into alleged bribery in the county office. But it’s unclear if the public will get to see the results of the firm’s work.
- City Council’s License Committee yesterday unanimously approved an ordinance that dramatically increases fines and penalties for secondhand dealers, pawnbrokers and bogus phone repair shops that buy and sell stolen cell phones. Penalties include a fine of up $10,000 for each illegal sale and loss of a business’ license after two or more violations within two years.
- As part of the Biden administration’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, the federal government will soon make 400 million N95 masks available for free to the public at thousands of locations across the U.S. Here’s what Chicagoans need to know.
A bright one
To the Mural Mafia, a traveling group of muralists, a “piece” isn’t a weapon. It’s short for an artistic masterpiece.
On recent visits to Chicago, members of the group created a series of pieces, including one, titled “Home” and completed this past summer at 16th Street and Ashland Avenue, that depicts Mother Earth holding a globe to send a message about environmental sustainability.
“We are trying to put out positive messages of hope, love and equality,” says the Mural Mafia member who goes by Menace.
The group did another mural on a railroad viaduct along Hubbard Street at Aberdeen Street, in a stretch that includes dozens of murals, some dating to the 1970s. That Mural Mafia creation, done in December, features an underwater scene and showcases the styles of Mural Mafia artists Menace, Resa, Lindsay and another muralist, who goes by Task 2, who has worked with the group in Chicago. Each took on a different section of the wall.
Menace and Resa got their starts with graffiti art in New York before moving to Los Angeles, Lindsay is from Chicago, where she says the graffiti scene is more community-oriented than it is in other cities where the group has worked.
The Mural Mafia is aiming to have murals in every state.
“We want to be a community service for people in every state or small town we go to,” Resa says. “The first thing all American schools cut from their funding is arts education, but we believe it is so pivotal for child development.”
From the press box
- More than 100 names were considered for this year’s updated Chicago sports broadcast media power rankings. Here’s the full list.
- Today’s news on Lonzo Ball heading for surgery to repair a small tear in the left meniscus wasn’t the greatest for the Bulls, but for the DeMar DeRozan-led group, winning basketball will be the priority no matter who’s available, Joe Cowley writes.
- Speaking of DeRozan, he’s still on track to be a starter for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game.
- Sky star Candace Parker will serve as executive producer for an upcoming documentary about the impact of Title IX.
- The Seahawks have requested to interview Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai for the same position in Seattle.
Your daily question ☕
What’s a skill you hope to learn this year?
Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.
Yesterday we asked you: Do you live in a multi-unit building? What was your experience ordering free COVID tests from the federal government’s website?
Here’s what some of you said…
“We live in a duplex with a single address. We were denied because the neighbor did it first.” — Mona Gomez
“Smooth. The entry form included the unit number in addition to the address line.” — George Lales
“I live in an eight-unit building. It wouldn’t accept my unit number. It had four options for the address but none were correct. I tried a dozen different variations and finally added the word ‘unit’ and it accepted it.” — Carson Bording
“I had no issues ordering — let’s see about the delivery.” — Georgia Doane-Thomas
“Said I couldn’t because a test had already been ordered from the address.” — Mack Dee
“I live in a four apartment building and I tried adding 2R or 2F and it denied it saying someone had placed an order already.” — Candelaria Rosales
“Seamless. It took a minute, and the tests are on their way.” — Craig Barner
“Put in my address and apartment number and I was denied. It said someone already ordered from my address.” — Alyssa Albano
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