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Afternoon Edition: June 4, 2020

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

Flanked by family members, attorneys and supporters, Mia Wright, 25, cries as she recounts a violent encounter with Chicago police officers during a news conference in the parking lot of the Brickyard Mall this morning.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/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 partly sunny with a high near 86 degrees, though we’ll see some isolated showers and thunderstorms, too. Tonight’s low will be around 67 degrees. Tomorrow, more showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast for the morning before some sun and a high near 89 degrees.

Top story

Family of Mia Wright wants a criminal investigation into officers at Brickyard Mall

The family of Mia Wright is calling for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to open a criminal investigation into the conduct of a police officer who dragged Wright by the hair and knelt on her neck at a West Side mall over the weekend.

“There has to be justice for the family,” attorney Nenye Uche said today at a news conference held in the parking lot of the Brickyard Mall, a few steps from where the encounter with police took place Sunday afternoon. Uche also called for the disorderly conduct charge against Wright to be immediately dropped.

The family still doesn’t understand why police targeted their car in the first place, and they’re demanding answers.

They said Wright and three family members were trying to exit the mall parking lot after realizing the Target they wanted to go to was closed.

Wright was in the front passenger seat of her cousin’s car when police, for no apparent reason, began to smash the windows of the car with batons and order everyone out. An officer grabbed Wright’s hair, which had been wound into a bun, and yanked her from the car, Wright said.

While Wright was on the ground, the officer knelt on her back and neck. Wright, who got a piece of glass in her eye from the shattered window, was held overnight at a nearby police station, she said. Bystanders captured video of the incident.

“All I thought about was what happened to George Floyd and it could have been another situation like that,” Wright said today.

Wright and her cousin, Tnika Tate, said police addressed them using words like “bitch” and “savage.”

Wright’s mother, Kim Woods, who was also in the car, expressed anger and frustration: “I’m rather pissed off at the moment,” Woods said.

“I want her charges dropped. We didn’t do anything,” she said. “I want justice for all three of us. I want justice for the world. I don’t want anyone to have to go through this ever in their life again.”

Ald. Gilbert Villegas said there had been looting at the Brickyard Mall on Sunday, as well as some nonviolent protests. Wright said her family had nothing to do with either; they wanted to shop for party supplies at Target, but never even got out of the car.

In an email, the police department said Wright “was observed by responding officers assembled with 3 or more persons for the purpose of using force or violence to disturb the peace.” No additional details of the incident were provided.

Uche called the explanation by police “utter nonsense.”

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating the allegation of police misconduct.

Read the full story from Mitch Dudek.

More news you need

  1. A man wanted in a homicide case led police on a chase through Chicago last night. A squad car chasing him crashed in Lake View, leaving one woman dead and several other people injured. Here’s what police say happened.
  2. Former state Rep. Edward “Eddie” Acevedo has been drawn into the ongoing federal public corruption investigation that has gone quiet, but not dormant, amid the pandemic. Prosecutors subpoenaed the Illinois Secretary of State’s office for records related to Acevedo, his sons and his lobbying company. “I have no idea what that’s about,” he said.
  3. Lincoln Park Zoo has become the latest of the city’s cultural institutions to trim its staff, blaming coronavirus-related financial difficulties. The zoo has cut 18 employees, about 7% of its staff, a zoo spokeswoman said.
  4. Registration is set to begin Monday for the Chicago Park District’s Day Camp, but don’t expect your kid to have the same experience as in years past: There’s no swimming or field trips, and kids will be expected to bring and wear masks every day.
  5. Navy Pier is set to “cautiously” re-open Wednesday, minus the Centennial Wheel and with the addition of “social distancing ambassadors” reminding visitors to be safe. Outdoor restaurant spaces, the north and south docks, Polk Bros Park, Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion and Pier Park will all be open.
  6. “Shirley,” a stylized biopic on “The Lottery” writer Shirley Jackson, is one of the most visually arresting and intellectually provocative films of the year, writes film critic Richard Roeper. Read his full review, and watch the trailer, here.

A bright one

Stay-at-home cocktail hour: 7 delicious, easy drinks you can make

Is it the weekend yet? Well, maybe not yet, but it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere… especially in quarantine.

And when time has no meaning and you have no patience for sourdough starters, there’s only one thing left to do: Make cocktails!

There’s nothing quite like a Paloma on a hot day.
Maryna Voronova - stock.adobe.com

We gathered together some excellent cocktail recipes you can mix up at home, whether it be for your next Zoom happy hour, a socially-distanced barbecue or just a typical Thursday evening.

Click here to see the recipes for Hurricanes, Manhattans, Palomas and more. Enjoy!

From the press box

The NBA’s Board of Governors approved the 22-team restart plan today, which means the Bulls’ season is officially over. No longer looking at the possibility of needing to put a team back on the court this season, the new front office can comfortably move forward with a decision on head coach Jim Boylen’s future soon, Joe Cowley writes.

Are the Bears worried about returning to play during the coronavirus pandemic? That depends on who you ask, Patrick Finley writes.

Akiem Hicks also had some choice words for the NFL teams — including his own — that have refused to give Colin Kaepernick a shot because of his protests during the national anthem: ”We signed Mike Glennon.”

Your daily question ☕

Now that Illinois is opening its state-run drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites to everyone, regardless of symptoms, will you go get tested? Tell us why or why not.

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

Yesterday, we asked if you ventured out somewhere for the first time since March given the partial reopening of the city. Here’s what some of you said...

“Yes! I ventured to Orland Park. Needed some beautiful scenery!!!” — Marie Bradley

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