Inside a tense meeting with Supt. Brown and court-appointed monitor, Chef Dominique Tougne remembered and more in your Chicago news roundup

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

SHARE Inside a tense meeting with Supt. Brown and court-appointed monitor, Chef Dominique Tougne remembered and more in your Chicago news roundup
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown addresses reporters at City Hall on Wednesday, March 2, 2022.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown addresses reporters at City Hall in March.

Anthony Vazquez/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.

This afternoon will be cloudy with scattered sprinkles and a high near 78 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low near 65. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a chance of showers and a high near 81 degrees. Sunday will also be partly sunny with a chance of thunderstorms and a high around 76.

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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.

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Top story

Chicago’s top cop fired reformer even after getting heat from federal monitor

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown held a tense meeting this week with the court-appointed monitor tracking his department’s compliance with a federal order mandating sweeping reforms, our Tom Schubareports.

He struggled to explain how he would meet a key deadline while deeply cutting staff that was implementing those reforms, according to several people at the meeting.

The next day, Brown fired the police official overseeing the court-ordered changes because he raised the same concerns in an email to the superintendent, setting off a firestorm of criticism and questions about the department’s commitment to reform.

The official, Robert Boik, objected to Brown’s plan to take 46 officers from the Office of Constitutional Policing and Reform and assign them to patrol duty. Brown has been under pressure to boost patrols on the CTA and other high-crime areas, a struggle that has required him to cancel officers’ days off.

Boik argued that those officers were crucial to providing 40 hours of required training to nearly every officer by March 3 — training that is a key component in many of the reforms ordered by a federal judge in the wake of the police killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

That deadline loomed during a meeting Monday between Brown and officials assessing the department’s progress, including Maggie Hickey, the court-appointed monitor, and representatives of the Illinois attorney general’s office.

Hickey asked Brown to explain his decision to move the 46 officers and questioned him about meeting the March 3 deadline, according to people at the meeting.

The superintendent insisted the department would rely on an overtime initiative, tapping officers to volunteer to teach classes during their regular days off. Qualified officers would themselves have to be trained for a week.

The monitoring team and the attorney general’s office pressed Brown about his plan, and multiple people said the superintendent was unable to provide specifics.

Tom Schuba has more on the meeting here.

More news you need

  1. A family is searching for answers after their 5-year-old son Taha Khan was killed Wednesday night — when he wandered from her home and into traffic. Misbah Khan today pleaded for help from anyone with information or video of the accident that claimed the life of her son, who was weeks from turning 6 and was looking forward to a party with a Pokémon theme.
  2. The Chicago Office of Police Accountability last year recommended firing a Chicago cop who lied and falsified reports while working under corrupt former Sgt. Ronald Watts, according to a new report. The recommendation was the conclusion of a COPA report handed over to Supt. Brown in March 2021 that detailed instances of Officer Alvin Jones’ alleged dishonesty.
  3. Tributes are pouring in for Chef Dominique Tougne, who died last month of a heart attack at age 56. Mr. Tougne’s career was forged in the heat and stress of French haute cuisine kitchens, but he remained kind, according to friends, employees and customers, our Maureen O’Donnell writes in Tougne’s obituary.
  4. Seven years ago, defense attorney Beau Brindley faced perjury and obstruction of justice charges in a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber, who cleared the rising-star lawyer. Brindley will represent R. Kelly when the singer goes to trial Monday in front of none other than Judge Leinenweber, our Jon Seidel reports.
  5. A lot has changed since R. Kelly’s 2008 trial in Cook County’s criminal courthouse — especially in the wake of his 2021 conviction in New York. Our Jon Seidel and Alison Martin break down everything you need to know as the trial gets underway next week.
  6. Workers who offer rides, deliver groceries, pet-sit or perform other tasks on apps are being targeted by old scams repurposed for the gig economy. Our Stephanie Zimmermann has more on the most common scams here.
  7. Meals on Wheels in Chicago is launching a food pantry to expand its services to more of the city’s older residents. The Nourish Chicago Food Pantry is aimed at people 60 or older who need help stretching their grocery budget but aren’t eligible for Meals on Wheels’ delivery service.
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A bright one

In Ukrainian Village, two-flat’s owner was glad to have out-of-this-world mural decorate ‘ugliest building’

A recently completed mural in Ukrainian Village would have passersby think that we’re being taken over by extraterrestrial superheroes and cannabis.

The mural was painted on a two-flat at 2100 W. Superior St. in April by a Belgian artist named Renaud Taelemans, who goes by “My Name Is Ebo,” to promote a Chicago concert for the electronic dance group Ganja White Night.

Taelemans works with the band, whose two members are from Belgium and now live in Los Angeles, to create murals in advance of its performances in Chicago and elsewhere.

Screen_Shot_2022_07_27_at_6.17.03_PM.png

The artist who goes by “My Name is Ebo” painted this mural in April on a two-flat in Ukrainian Village to help promote a Chicago show by the electronic dance duo Ganja White Night.

Robert Herguth/Sun-Times

The Chicago painting — roughly 27 feet tall and 37 feet across — portrays two superhero characters and a forest of what Taelemans says are “alien weed plants.”

“It shows a charismatic city like Chicago has been taken over by the organic elements,” Taelemans says.

Joey Dumas owns the two-flat that’s home to the mural. He’s glad to have it to add something “colorful, interesting” to what he calls the “ugliest building in Chicago.”

Nicky Andrewshas more on the story behind the mural here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

Harry Caray at “Field of Dreams,” Tupac at Coachella, etc. How do you feel about holograms of late icons appearing at major events?

Send us an email at newsletters@suntimes.com and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: When the ice cream truck or paletero man rolls through on a summer day, what’s your go-to pick?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Agua de Sandia – watermelon popsicle – from the paletero.” —Rita Alvarez

“Toasted almond bar.” —Harry S Brinker III

“I love a good ice cream sandwich.” —Analia Beltran-Lang

“Esquimal de coco chocolate vanilla only way to go!” —Danny Escobar

“Soft serve cone.” — Bill Koehler

“I used to get toasted almond by Good Humor. Now they only have strawberry shortcake. I get that.” —Cyndy Ritchie Szustak

“My go to paleta? Maguey.” —Sara Diaz

“Coconut ice cream bar.” —Lida Cimino

“Sno-cone or chaco-taco (RIP)” —Rachéal Monique

“The chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich is my fave, since it combines two great treats in one!” —Paul Lockwood

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition. Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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