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Afternoon Edition: March 4, 2020

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

A man was shot by a CPD Mass Transit officer last Friday at the Grand Red Line station.
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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.

It’s starting to feel like spring. This afternoon will be sunny with a high near 47 degrees. Tonight, the low will be around 32 degrees. Tomorrow will be a real treat, with sunny skies and a high near 54 degrees.

Top story

CPD officers in Grand Red Line shooting stripped of police powers

The two officers involved in a shooting at the Grand Red Line station last week have been stripped of their police powers as various agencies — including the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office — investigate the use of deadly force.

Interim CPD Supt. Charlie Beck stripped the officers just hours after the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) — the agency that investigates uses of force by CPD officers — recommended he do so Wednesday.

“As a result of the superintendent’s review of the incident, both of the involved officers have been relieved of their police powers pending the outcome of the external reviews into this matter,” CPD spokesman Tom Ahern said Wednesday.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who had tweeted her concerns about the viral video hours after the shooting, said Wednesday it was “not a surprise” that COPA recommended the two officers involved in the shooting to be stripped of their police powers.

Some background: Last Friday afternoon, two officers assigned to the CPD’s Mass Transit Unit saw a man passing between cars on a Red Line train. The officers and the man got off the train at the Grand station in River North.

In a widely circulated video taken by a witness, the officers can be seen struggling to arrest the man, who was trying to free himself and ignoring their commands to stop resisting. Then, a female officer uses pepper spray on the man while her partner tries to restrain him. The male officer repeatedly tells her to “shoot him,” which she did, twice.

The man who was shot was initially charged with resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance, manufacturing/delivery of cannabis, as well as unsafe passage between CTA train cars. But at Beck’s request, the state’s attorney’s office dropped the charges.

Read the full story from reporter Sam Charles.

An attic fire led to the death of a 1-year-old girl and hospitalized eight other people.
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More news you need

  1. Chicago police have arrested a person of interest in connection to the fatal stabbing of 23-year-old Kenneth Paterimos last month outside Richard’s Bar in West Town. Read more about the case and the latest charges.
  2. A 1-year-old girl died last night after a fire gutted a home in West Lawn, injuring eight other people, including an infant and another toddler. What neighbors said at the scene.
  3. Brian Urlacher’s brother was at Chicago’s federal courthouse today for arraignment in a case alleging he helped run an illegal multimillion-dollar sports gambling ring that involved as many as 1,000 people. Jon Seidel breaks down the 28-page indictment.
  4. Italian-American civic groups say the Chicago Board of Education broke the law when they voted to drop Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples Day. Why they say the change must be reversed.
  5. After their Super Tuesday victories, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will be stumping in Illinois next week. Lynn Sweet’s got the info on where you can see them.
  6. It’s time to start thinking about your weekend plans. The European Union Film Festival is the place to check out new films from across the pond, a virtual reality experience re-creates the 1963 March on Washington and the first major exhibition in over 15 years devoted to El Greco debuts at the Art Institute. Here’s our full roundup of things to do.

A bright one

Today, our beautiful city turns 183.

Back in 1837, the state of Illinois officially gave Chicago the bump to city status using the exact language you’d expect from a law written back then: “That the district of country in the county of Cook in the state aforesaid … shall hereafter be known by the name of city.”

Happy birthday, Chicago! Original photo: Colin Boyle/Sun-Times

Unlike the Midwest metropolis it is now, the newly anointed city of Chicago had a population of just 4,500 at the time.

Those early decades brought big challenges before the city could reach its potential, including…

  • A collapse of the national economy within months of being incorporated
  • A canal project that initially put the state in financial despair
  • Outbreaks of deadly diseases like cholera, dysentery and typhoid
  • The country dissolving into civil war for four years
  • A fire that wiped out huge parts of the city

But those challenges taught the city critical lessons that helped it grow, improve and thrive. Chicago’s massive water-related government projects informed how many other U.S. cities would provide those resources. And the steel- and stone-heavy structures built in place of the wood buildings destroyed in the Great Fire set the stage for other modern cities embracing similar materials.

So it’s fair to say that Chicago has a lot to celebrate on its 183rd birthday today. Make sure to wish it a happy one!

Read the full story to take a look back at some of Chicago’s history.

From the press box

The coronavirus is here, and the sports world won’t be immune to its effects on the public. NCAA officials said today that they couldn’t rule out holding March Madness with empty stands to help contain the spread of the virus.

The Bulls get a key starter back into their lineup tonight with Lauri Markkanen set to start against the Timberwolves (7 p.m., NBCSC) in his first game since January. It puts the team one step closer to full strength following the return of Otto Porter Jr., who impressed Monday against Dallas.

Your daily question ☕

What do you think of the results from Super Tuesday? Reply to this email and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you if you’d be following the Super Tuesday results, and if your mind was already made up on who you’ll vote for. Jeremy A. Toms, of Chicago, wrote to us on Facebook:

“I will BOTH be following tonight’s results (closely) AND my mind is pretty much made up. This isn’t a sports game or a Vegas bet for me. I don’t need to cast a vote for the winning team to boost my ego and brag about it. I vote for what I believe in and that’s Bernie Sanders.”

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

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