Afternoon Edition: Feb. 18, 2021

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

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At least 7 police officers involved in detaining a woman near the intersection on Montrose, Broadway, and Sheridan on June 1, 2020.

Victor Hilitski/For the 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.

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Afternoon Edition

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.

This afternoon will have a high near 25 degrees with an 80% chance of snow, mostly after 4 p.m. Accumulation of 1-2 inches is possible. Tonight’s low will be around 8 degrees. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny, but cold again, with a high near 20 degrees.

Top story

‘This can never happen again,’ ranking cop says in scathing inspector general report on Chicago’s response to summer riots

After the first wave of protests and vandalism that paralyzed downtown Chicago last summer, a top mayoral aide and the police superintendent congratulated each other for how the city’s officers did their jobs.

“Thank you for all your incredible work last night — you made Chicago proud,” the aide told police Supt. David Brown, who responded, “officers made the city of Chicago and the police profession proud!!!”

Their email exchange came on May 30, the day after the unrest began on a Friday.

Over the rest of that weekend, though, Brown and his staff were caught off guard by growing civil disturbances downtown and in the city’s neighborhoods, according to a 124-page report released todayf by the city’s inspector general, Joe Ferguson.

Officers were “outflanked, under-equipped and unprepared,” and the Chicago Police Department “critically disserved both its own front-line members and members of the public,” the report says.

Anti-police demonstrations were gathering strength across the country, but Brown said he “had not seen any reason for concern leading into that weekend,” according to the inspector general’s report.

And Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she didn’t assume there was a “potential for peaceful protests to turn violent,” the report said.

The damning report was based on 70 interviews with cops, city officials and protesters, most of whom aren’t named, along with more than 100 hours of videos from officers’ body-worn cameras and police data on arrests and uses of force.

“This can never happen again,” one unnamed command-staff member told the inspector general’s office.

Read Frank Main, Sam Charles and Fran Spielman’s full story detailing the inspector general’s report on the city’s response to civil unrest last year.

More news you need

  1. Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan announced this morning he will resign the seat he’s held for half a century at the end of the month. His resignation will kick off an appointment process that could see him personally pick his successor.
  2. Community activists and Ald. Daniel La Spata blasted Mayor Lightfoot today for spending more than $281 million in federal COVID-19 relief money to cover police personnel costs instead of using it to help people who were losing their homes and businesses. “We have every right to be angry,” said La Spata.
  3. Another snow-covered roof collapsed in Chicago today, the 19th structure to cave in due to the weight of snow after several winter storms. No one was hurt in the collapse of a vacant building on South Racine Avenue in Gresham, authorities said.
  4. Illinois’ vaccination sites rebounded yesterday following days of brutal weather by administering more than 73,000 shots. But this week’s snowfall is still delaying vaccine shipments from the federal government, health officials said.
  5. A vote by the city’s Committee on Public Safety to choose between competing proposals on civilian police review has been delayed. Lightfoot wants to submit a third proposal that would water down the committee’s power to make policy for the Chicago Police Department.
  6. Chicago’s Second City comedy club has been sold to a New York investment firm run by the CEO of the company behind the Grand Theft Auto and NBA 2K video game franchises. ZMC announced its acquisition of the iconic comedy business today.
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A bright one

Yoan Moncada’s new music video will get you pumped for the White Sox’ season

Setting the tone for what’s sizing up to be one of the most exciting White Sox seasons in recent memory, third baseman Yoan Moncada put his musical skills and Caribbean vibes on display in a newly released music video for his debut single, “Desastre Personal.”

The song is a collaboration between the Cuban baseball star and artists El Chacal and Lenier. In the video, Moncada sings in front of a swimming pool and dances with women while rocking a colorful outfit and a necklace referencing his uniform number with the White Sox.

“It started out as a hobby, meaning I always loved to sing at home,” Moncada told’s Jesse Sanchez of his budding musical career. “But one day, I published a song on Instagram singing one of Lenier’s songs, a Cuban singer, and he responded to me! We talked about getting together for a song when I was in Miami, that opened the door for me. That’s how I got my first song.”

Read the full story, by me, here.

From the press box

Bears fans can move on from the possibility of Carson Wentz taking snaps under center for the team next season after the Eagles traded the quarterback to the Colts this morning for a pair of draft picks. The search for a new starting QB continues.

With the Bears still in possession of the 20th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Patrick Finley served up his first mock draft for the first round. QB may be the biggest need, but Finley doesn’t see the Bears selecting a passer with their top pick.

And the Bulls’ Coby White says the message was received from coach Billy Donovan after he sat the young guard, Patrick Williams and Wendell Carter Jr. to open the second half of the team’s win over the Pistons last night.

Your daily question ☕

Now that Carson Wentz is off the table, what should the Bears do at the quarterback position?

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

Yesterday, we asked you: What’s a positive habit you’ve developed during the pandemic? Here’s what some of you said...

My sister, mom, stepmom and I started having Zoom ‘meetings’ every Sunday during the lockdown. We have continued every Sunday since. It is the highlight of my week!” — Amy Brennan

Reading. I use the 90 minutes of commuting time I save by not driving to work to read. I’ve read more books in the last 11 months than I had read in the previous 4 years.” — Ed Ader

“Getting up at 5:30 to drink coffee and watch an episode of ‘Star Trek’ with my husband before setting forth on the day’s adventures.” — Carolyn Bowes

“Learning how to be comfortable alone a lot of the time during this pandemic.” — Angela Aquino-Fanella

“Cooking for myself more, no going out to eat every night!” — Lynne Lapierre

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