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Afternoon Edition: June 1, 2020

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

Looters at a 7/11 on Lake and Dearborn on Saturday.
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.

It’s hard to believe it’s really Monday, but here we are. This afternoon will be cloudy with some scattered showers and a high near 76 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 66 degrees. Tomorrow will be super hot: sunny with a high near 92 degrees.

Top story

Some 2,000 arrested over ‘chaotic’ weekend, and sheriff investigating who was behind orchestrated looting and vandalism

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Sheriff Tom Dart agreed that a line divides the peaceful protesters who were out over the weekend and those who looted and vandalized stores and other businesses.

But they were less certain who was behind what Dart describes as an effort to “utilize… the peaceful protesters for their own criminal acts.”

“Whether you’re talking in the city of Chicago, suburban Cook County — we’re seeing it everywhere,” Dart said today.

“There’s definitely organization [to the looting] but as far as the overarching organization, that’s being looked at,” the sheriff said. Preckwinkle said she had “no idea whatsoever” who was behind it.

An estimated 2,000 people were arrested over the weekend, Dart said. The county’s sheriff said 50 people have bonded out of Cook County Jail, while another 60 are still being held “as a result of not being able to make bond” or no bond having been set.

But the troubling images of men and women walking through shattered windows to ransack stores should not deter demonstrators from their mission, both Dart and Preckwinkle agreed.

“With the horrific thing that occurred in Minneapolis, please continue your peaceful protesting to have these issues raised in the appropriate way so change can in fact happen,” Dart said.

“But what we can’t do is we can’t conflate that with people who are committing criminal acts on purpose, so this notion that someone might have that some of these criminal acts are individuals who are peacefully protesting and then there’s something that changes it and it flips into something more violent — that’s not what we’re seeing.”

What Dart and Preckwinkle, and Bill Barnes, the director of the county’s Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security, are seeing are peaceful protestors who are “thoughtful, trying to get their voices heard” and another group that’s using the protests as a cover for their criminal acts.

Preckwinkle said she stands with those who protested over the weekend, but “we have to understand that the looting and the vandalism provide ammunition to those who want to marginalize, discredit, diminish our critique of America.”

Dart said that while there’s been “a bit of calm right now,” there’s no way to tell how long that calm will stretch on: “We do not know what tonight and tomorrow will hold, we are monitoring that as we speak,” Dart said.

Read the full story from Rachel Hinton.

More news you need

  1. Nineteen people were killed and at least 63 others were wounded by gun violence in Chicago’s most violent weekend of the year so far. More than half of the weekend’s victims were shot on Sunday.
  2. During a call with the nation’s governors after a violent weekend of looting and arsons, President Trump urged governors to “dominate” by sending people to “jail for a long period of time” and said they’d look like “a bunch of jerks” if they didn’t. Gov. Pritzker told Trump his remarks were only making things worse.
  3. Chicago needs 3,000 National Guardsmen — not 375 — to protect neighborhoods under siege from looters, some aldermen said today while accusing Mayor Lori Lightfoot of protecting downtown over the South and West sides. “There is no way … that we would ever let any neighborhood” go unprotected in favor of any other, Lightfoot said in response.
  4. Mayor Lightfoot and her top public health official warned that protesters and others who gathered in groups over the weekend may have exposed themselves to COVID-19. To avoid infecting others, they’re asking protesters to quarantine themselves.
  5. This weekend’s violence has forced the suspension of Chicago Public Schools’ meal distribution program and the closure of many businesses, including grocery stores, leaving thousands of families to fend for themselves. Here’s a list of resources for people facing food insecurity.
  6. While Friday, June 5 is National Doughnut Day — also known as National Donut Day — Krispy Kreme is celebrating its first “National Doughnut Week” with five days of free treats starting today, no purchase necessary. Dunkin’ has three days of deals this year and a contest.

A bright one

Singer John Vincent lifts seniors’ spirits one ballad at a time via nursing home ‘concerts’

John Vincent, the Cubs’ resident national anthem singer since 2003, has been spreading hope and cheer by performing classic hits to seniors through nursing home “concerts” around the city.

Vincent, who got his start singing Frank Sinatra’s classics at Ditka’s restaurant, boasts a repertoire of covers that includes “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding, “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, “Georgia on My Mind” by Ray Charles and “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.

“I just try to [bring] a smile to somebody’s face,” he said.

Vincent, who sings outside the residences to respect social distancing guidelines, recently wrapped up his ninth nursing home concert.

Read the full story from Evan F. Moore.

From the press box

Michael Jordan and the Bulls’ organization were among those who spoke out over the weekend as protestors marched over the death of George Floyd. ‘‘I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry,’’ Jordan said. ‘‘I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough.“

Your daily question ☕

What actions have people in your community taken that have brought you hope in recent days?

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

On Friday, we asked you where you’ll want to dine first now that restaurants are set to open back up around Illinois. Here’s what some of you said…

“Billy Goat Tavern. The original, under Michigan Ave.” — Deborah Fuller Tobias

“Grand lux Cafe in Chicago.” — Nancy Gonzales Alvarez

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