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.
Our balmy November ends today: This afternoon’s high will be near 75 degrees — with thunderstorms, dangerous wind gusts and potential tornadoes in the forecast — before dropping to a low of 37 degrees tonight. Tomorrow will be sunny, with a high near 50 degrees.
With Joe Biden unlikely to defund police, will his honeymoon with Chicago activists last?
Marchers shouted “defund the police!” during huge protests in Chicago and across America this year, but President-elect Joe Biden isn’t likely to do that, according to former Mayor Rahm Emanuel, an unofficial Biden campaign adviser, and others.
During his campaign, Biden said he didn’t support defunding police. He said he’d spend $300 million to hire cops and provide training as long as police departments met “basic standards of decency.”
Black Lives Matters, which led protests over George Floyd’s killing and other police-involved deaths, celebrated Biden’s victory in cities across America.
“But if their agenda is not met, there will be protests again,” said Fred Waller, former chief of operations for the Chicago police.
Biden needs to thread a needle between his tough law-and-order stance of the 1990s and activists’ calls for extensive police reform, Waller said.
Asked whether there’s any chance the president-elect would push to defund police, Emanuel — who worked with him in Congress and when Biden was vice president — said, “He has been clear in that. No.”
Asked how Biden might still appease the Black Lives Matter movement, Emanuel said, “The attorney general appointment and the head of the civil-rights division will be key.”
Civil rights activists in Chicago say they’re focused for now on what President Donald Trump will do next: “If Trump continues to enact an attempted coup through the courts, we must be ready to demonstrate our power in the streets, through mass actions,” Black Lives Matter and the group Lifted Voices said last week.
Biden’s victory comes as the Chicago Police Department is struggling to enact reforms and hold supervisors more accountable.
Barbara West — the deputy superintendent who was overseeing police reforms called for in a federal consent decree — retired this year after only a few months in that new job. Police Supt. David Brown’s chief of staff Robert Boik, a civilian, was named acting deputy superintendent for that position Nov. 2.
Meanwhile, CompStat, the weekly meeting at which commanders were grilled about what they’re doing to prevent crime, recently was ended. The department is looking to “retool” the program, which could be relaunched next year, police sources said. Smaller CompStat meetings have continued at the city’s five area commands.
The Biden campaign focused on the types of reforms the Chicago Police Department has been slowly enacting. His platform included revitalizing the Community Oriented Policing Services program, which pays for additional officers and “training on how to undertake a community policing approach.”
Biden also pledged to reduce the number of people in prison while still reducing crime, to root out discrimination in the justice system and to push for rehabilitation. He said he’d spend $20 billion to spur states to shift their priorities from incarceration to crime prevention and $1 billion a year to improve the juvenile justice system.
This story doesn’t end here. Read Frank Main and Fran Spielman’s full report.
More news you need
- Illinois’ skyrocketing COVID-19 resurgence showed no signs of letting up today as public health officials announced another record-breaking total of 12,623 probable and confirmed cases of the virus statewide. That’s 185 more cases than the previous record set on Saturday.
- A federal prosecutor told a judge today to expect additional charges in the coming months against Patrick Doherty, a former high-ranking Cook County official accused early this year of bribery. In February, the feds hit Doherty with three bribery charges for his work as a paid consultant for a politically connected red-light camera company.
- The Chicago Federation of Labor served up a cost-cutting proposal today with potential to save the city up to $272 million — more than enough to avert the need for layoffs and, possibly, a $94 million property tax increase. Here’s what the report recommends.
- Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s decision to close restaurants and bars to indoor patrons has driven partiers underground, and a downtown alderman says they’re taking advantage of “cheap” rates at Chicago hotels and Airbnbs to host them. Those parties have the potential to become “super-spreader” events, Ald. Brendan Reilly says.
- Joe Reilly, who rose from reporter to be Sun-Times metro editor and later trained generations of Chicago journalists when he headed the storied City News Bureau of Chicago, died in his sleep yesterday, according to his son Brian. He was 81.
A bright one
Black Chicagoans celebrate VP-elect Kamala Harris’ monumental moment in Black history
From the South Side to North Side, West Side to East Side, Black Chicagoans celebrated with much excitement the finally announced presidential election results — making Kamala Harris the first Black and South Asian American and first woman vice president.
“First of all, it’s a miracle, against the history of prejudice and discrimination that Black people have experienced in this country since slavery,” said Beverly Addison, 67, of Englewood.
“America has always tried to keep Black people down, as if we are not all human — whether pink, yellow, Black, white, blue or green,” she said. “So to have the first Black woman vice president is such an incredible moment in history, and particularly meaningful for me as a Black woman.”
JoAnne Henderson, 60, of Chatham, called the election “legendary.”
“So many of us are still just amazed that we have a Black woman vice president,“ said Henderson. “Black women feel so honored to have broken that ceiling.”
For April Williams, 40, of the Gold Coast, Harris’ ascension to the White House is carries great significance for Williams’ 9-year-old daughter.
“I’m so proud of Kamala Harris! Up until now, I’d been telling my two sons that if Barack Obama could become president, they can too,“ said Williams. “Now I tell my daughter that if Kamala can do it, she can too.”
Read more Chicagoans’ reactions to Kamala Harris’ victory here.
From the press box
The White Sox have been under fire on social media today after news broke that manager Tony La Russa was charged with DUI in Arizona last month for an incident that happened in February.
The Sox say they were aware of the charge against La Russa, who also pleaded guilty to DUI in 2007, when he was hired.
Bears reporter Patrick Finley broke down the five most interesting things he heard from position coaches this week, including QBs coach John DeFilippo’s thoughts on the team’s offensive play calling.
Your daily question ☕
For those of you with about six months of working from home under your belt, what are your tips for staying productive?
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: How do you plan on celebrating Thanksgiving this year amid the pandemic? Here’s what some of you said…
“Dad, stepmom, and me (adult daughter). We will Zoom with other family members and bring food to elderly grandparents. It’s not ideal, but we care about other people than ourselves. Small sacrifices will create a bigger reward.” — Amy Brennan
“Same as always, gonna live my life without fear!” — Mike Barnes
“My immediate family of 6 only and watch some good old movies on hallmark. It’s ok to have small gatherings. I think those are the best. Less drama and less dishes to wash, less to clean up.” — Teresa Hernandez-Sanchez
“With my bubble family. I wish it were with my family family though.” — Jeff Rosinski
“Alone. I’m a senior. I will not be with family. Too dangerous.” — Genevieve Williams
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