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.
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Mayor, superintendent plead for help in shooting of 15 outside funeral in Gresham
Following a shooting outside the funeral of a gang member that left 15 people injured in Gresham, and a separate shooting that left a 3-year-old girl injured after an altercation at a gas station in South Shore, a visibly shaken Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined the Chicago Police Department in pleading for witnesses of either incident to tell police what they know.
“This is a mourning morning. Another day that we start with despair. Another day we start with reporting on violence that has struck a neighborhood,” a clearly exhausted Lightfoot told reporters at City Hall.
“We cannot give the killers, the shooters, any shelter. … Someone listening at this moment knows who is responsible for these and other crimes. … I implore you not to be silent in this moment.
“I recognize there is fear. But if we are silent, the violence will continue. … This is our time to step up. We are the majority. We are the people who will change this narrative, but only if the silence is broken.”
Last evening’s shooting at the funeral of Donnie Weathersby, 31, produced the largest number of victims in a single Chicago shooting in recent memory. Weathersby was shot and killed last week in the 7400 block of South Stewart — about a mile and a half northeast from where yesterday’s shooting occurred.
Police Superintendent David Brown and Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said police knew that the funeral was for a man killed in a drive-by shooting with a “gang connection.” As is the response for all funerals of gang members, a full tactical team was in the area prior to the shooting, along with two squad cars. But although police were there in the event of retaliation, they were powerless to stop it, Deenihan said.
The founder of Mothers Against Senseless Killings, a South Side violence prevention group, said last night that she had warned Chicago police that morning about the potential for shooting at the funeral: “It’s scary because you know you’re on your own out here, we’re not going to get any protection…” Tamar Manasseh said. “We saw something, we said something … the community spoke up and this still happened.”
Fifteen people were shot; one of them is still in “extremely critical condition.” Another victim is in critical condition. Doctors believe the rest of the victims “will make it,” Deenihan said. Nearly 60 bullet casings were recovered from the shooting scene. Police are working with the shooting victims, but they desperately need additional witnesses, he said.
Lightfoot similarly pleaded for help locating suspects in the shooting of a 3-year-old a few hours later who was riding in her family’s car in South Shore. The mayor urged the toddler’s parents to tell police about the altercation that prompted someone to shoot into their car while the girl’s father was driving away.
The child was shot in the head, but is in stable condition and talking, Deenihan said. “By the grace of God, she is still with us,” Lightfoot said.
More news you need
- President Donald Trump will send federal agents to Chicago as part of an expanded version of “Operation Legend” designed to bolster existing law enforcement efforts — not the Portland-style paramilitary strike force that attracted widespread criticism. The agents will act cooperatively with Chicago police and Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office.
- As Illinois saw its worst day for new coronavirus cases in more than seven weeks today, Gov. J.B. Pritzker blamed “virus deniers” for the uptick. “The enemy is not your mask. If you’re not wearing a mask in public, you’re endangering everyone around you, so the enemy is you,” he said.
- Just before 7 a.m. Friday, only a few hours before federal authorities took the wraps off their big investigation of Commonwealth Edison and House Speaker Mike Madigan, the doorbell rang at the McKinley Park home of state Rep. Theresa Mah. It was the FBI, with questions for her about clout players and valuable land, explains Mark Brown.
- The Chicago Park District board has voted to rename Douglas Park to commemorate abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who escaped slavery and, as a well-known speaker and author, advocated for equality and human rights. The North Lawndale park’s current namesake, Stephen Douglas, was an Illinois senator who owned slaves.
- Carlos Rosas is being remembered as the friendly manager of Calumet Fisheries known to offer customers samples, invite people in to check out the smoker, and who always remembered the orders of regulars at the Chicago fish shack that has hooked critical acclaim. He died at 41 after contracting the coronavirus.
- City Council agreed today to rein in a vehicle impoundment program that became Chicago’s catch-all solution to crimes of all kinds, but also trapped motorists in a cycle of debt. The vote is another installment of Lightfoot’s ongoing plan to bring equity to an overly-punitive ticketing and towing policy.
A bright one
3D chalk artist Nate Baranowski is helping spotlight small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic with his anamorphic art, a style of drawing that gives the appearance of leaping off the page — or sidewalk — and into reality.
As part of this summer’s Virtual Chalk Howard Street, a street art festival on the divider between Evanston and Rogers Park that features mind-bending 3D chalk scenes, Baranowski completed a rendition of vegetables, jollof rice and an entire fish on Instagram Live. While he sketched, cohost Badara “Badou” Diakhate, 57, talked about how he makes Senegal’s national dish at Badou Senegalese Cuisine, Diakhate’s restaurant on Howard Street.
Since the pandemic brought the restaurant industry to a near standstill in March, maintaining his business has been an uphill battle, Diakhate said, especially because people would often hold parties and events at his restaurant. It’s for that very reason that Baranowski hopes Virtual Chalk Howard Street will attract customers to businesses struggling: “They are the stars of these virtual events,” Baranowski said. “If people like the chalk art along the way, to me, it’s a bonus.”
Over the past few weeks, Baranowski has drawn Settlers of Catan game pieces from Athena Board Game Cafe, rum punch from Good To Go Jamaican Cuisine and a pizza from Salerno’s on Tap. Antique shop Lost Eras marks the next stop on the virtual tour on Aug. 14, and, going forward, Rogers Park Business Alliance plans to continue the series.
From the press box
The Red Stars have overcome a lack of offense to reach the semifinals of the NWSL Challenge Cup, but they’ll likely need more on that end tonight against Sky Blue FC. “It’s in our DNA to find a way to win,” midfielder Danielle Colaprico told us. “Whatever the game calls for, we’re up for it.”
And the NFL announced today that if teams are allowed to host fans at stadiums this fall, face masks will be required for all.
Your daily question ☕
Have any of your favorite local businesses been forced to permanently shut down because of the pandemic? Tell us which ones, and what you’ll miss most about them.
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 which of Robin Williams’ iconic roles was your favorite. Here’s what some of you said...
“Live on Broadway. It’s nearly 20 years old, but still makes me laugh.” — Tim Stang
“There are so many that I love, but the one that pops into my head first is ‘The World According to Garp.’” — Stephen Keith Bussell
“His stand up on golf is still the funniest skit he’s ever done in my opinion. It is hilarious.” — Kenny Perales
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