Afternoon Edition: April 28, 2021

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

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A screenshot from video released by COPA shows an officer point his gun at Anthony Alvarez moments before firing.

Civilian Office of Police Accountability

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 brings a chance of showers with a high near 50 degrees. Tonight will be cloudy with a low around 46. Tomorrow there’s a chance for more rain, mainly before 2 p.m., with a high near 61.

Top story

Police bodycam video shows officer shoot Anthony Alvarez as he ran from cops with a gun in his hand

Video released this morning shows a Chicago police officer fatally shoot Anthony Alvarez as he ran from police with a gun in his hand in the Portage Park neighborhood.

A Chicago police officer yells “Drop the gun! Drop the gun!” before firing five shots from close range, according to the police bodycam video released by the city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which investigates police shootings.

Anthony Alvarez, 22, collapses onto the front sidewalk of a home on the 5200 block of West Eddy Street in the early-morning hours of March 31.

A gun can be seen in Alvarez’s right hand in the footage captured by the body camera of the officer who pulled the trigger.

A camera mounted to the home feet from where Alvarez collapsed shows a gun fall from his hand as he fell to the pavement.

“Why you shooting me?” Alvarez asks the officer.

“You had a gun,” said the officer, who then tells his partner to place handcuffs on Alvarez.

“No, I’m going to render aid,” his partner says before applying a tourniquet and administering chest compressions.

The video doesn’t show Alvarez pointing a gun at the officers in pursuit.

Alvarez was wounded twice, once in the right side of his back with an exit wound in the upper right chest, and once in his right thigh, according to a police document released Wednesday. Alvarez was pronounced dead at Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

Read Mitch Dudek and Fran Spielman’s full story on COPA’s release of the videos in the police shooting of Anthony Alvarez.

More news you need

  1. The city plans to reveal more details for its proposal to create a COVID-19 vaccine passport for major Chicago events in the coming days. Mayor Lightfoot said today the goal will be to use the system as an incentive to bolster vaccination rates among young people most likely to attend outdoor events like Lollapalooza and Riot Fest.
  2. Students returning to public universities in Illinois this fall may need to take the COVID-19 vaccine first. During an unrelated press conference today, Gov. Pritzker didn’t rule out a statewide mandate requiring students to take the vaccine before going back to state universities later this year.
  3. Larry Panozzo, one of the Chicago area’s longest-running funeral directors, died earlier this month at age 91, his son announced. Licensed for 67 years, Panozzo ran the Panozzo Brothers funeral home, which was founded in Roseland, up until his retirement in February.
  4. Candace Rae Jackson-Akiwumi, President Joe Biden’s nomination to sit on the Chicago-based Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, would be the very rare judge who – if confirmed – previously served as a criminal defense lawyer. Lynn Sweet looked at Jackson-Akiwumi’s unique background ahead of her confirmation hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee today.
  5. Arlington International Racecourse will open the 2021 season on Friday. Tickets for what’s potentially the final season of horse racing at the venue, which has been put up for sale by its corporate owner, are now available.
  6. Steppenwolf Theatre Company today announced its 2021-22 comeback season, which for the first time will feature works written exclusively by ensemble members. Along with the return of in-person productions, Steppenwolf will also debut its highly anticipated new theater center.
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A bright one

Batavia-based Fermilab welcomes first bison calf of the year

Along with flowers, baby bison are in season at Fermilab in Batavia as the national physics lab welcomed its first bison calf of the year earlier this week.

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, or Fermilab, was established in 1967 as a United States Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab’s first director, Robert Wilson, established the herd in 1969.

The calf was born on Monday morning, according to a statement from Fermilab. The lab says it’s expecting 16 to 18 calves to be born this spring.


The first bison calf of the year was born Monday morning at Fermilab in Batavia, Ill.

Ryan Postel/Fermilab

The herd currently has 32 bison with 30 females and two males that are switched out periodically to promote the herd’s health and genetic diversity. Through genetic testing, the lab says it’s confirmed the herd shows no evidence of cattle gene mixing.

Bison nearly went extinct in the 19th century, but thanks to conservation efforts, that’s no longer the case. Still, conserving the bison genome is still a federally recognized priority, the statement said.

The lab is currently closed to the public, but those who’d like to view photos or read more about the bison herd can visit Fermilab’s website.

— Grace Asiegbu (full story link here)

From the press box

Just a day before the 2021 NFL Draft, Rick Morrissey has a message for Bears fans: If you want GM Ryan Pace gone sooner than later, you should hope that he doesn’t draft a quarterback in the first round this year. Trading up to land one of the big-name QBs, which may be the plan, would likely buy Pace at least another year or two in Chicago, Morrissey writes.

Not only did the Blackhawks lose Adam Boqvist for the remainder of the season to a wrist injury, but their loss against the Lightning last night effectively put their postseason odds close to zero. Since March 6, the Hawks have won just nine of 24 games.

Your daily question ☕

How do you feel about Chicago’s planned “Vax Pass” system to limit admission to select concerts based on vaccination status?

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: If you know someone who’s graduating this spring amid the pandemic, how are you planning to celebrate? Here’s what some of you said...

“My daughter graduates virtually on Mother’s Day.” — Kathy Paskvalich Adler

“My daughter is graduating from high school and we will have an outdoors graduation. Limited tickets but we’ll still celebrate afterwards outdoors as a family!” — Estell Clark

“This momma is watching two graduate from college via zoom. I’ll be popping a bottle of champagne for each. They are both so amazing and I’m so proud of their accomplishments.” — Melody Felton

“Pool party for her and her friends. Not spending money at any restaurant this year.” — Carl Loewes

“Catholic School got approval from Arch this week for graduation. Ceremony will be smaller. Masks required. Our party afterwards will be in backyard. Most of the family is vaccinated.” — Pam Coz

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

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