Afternoon Edition: Sept. 27, 2021

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

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Police investigate the scene where 7-year-old Serenity Broughton was killed and her younger sister, Aubrey, was injured in a shooting in the 6200 block of West Grand Avenue in Belmont Central, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.

Anthony Vazquez/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 be mostly sunny with a high near 85 degrees. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low around 60. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a high near 76.

Top story

How a Chicago murder suspect was charged, then uncharged, in an extraordinary behind-the-scenes battle among law enforcement

When Cook County prosecutors rejected charging a suspect in the shooting that left 7-year-old Serenity Broughton dead and wounded her younger sister, it set off an extraordinary chain of events earlier this month that veteran court observers believe is unprecedented in recent history.

A high-ranking Chicago police commander, frustrated by another recent case rejection by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office and confident in his detective’s work, went to a judge to have the suspect held in custody for longer and circumvent prosecutors to charge the man with murder and attempted murder.

But hours later, top police brass reversed course — and persuaded another judge to essentially “uncharge” the suspect, as a source familiar with the case described the move.

The court proceedings were so hush-hush — done without an attorney for the suspect or a prosecutor present — that no record of any of the actions were ever officially filed within the court system.

While previous news accounts highlighted the disagreement between police and prosecutors, the new revelations include documentation of the extent cops went to pursue the case without Foxx’s involvement — and also show how it ended up driving a wedge between police leaders and their subordinates.

The case has had lasting reverberations in the Chicago Police Department, with some saying it has decimated morale among an already beleaguered police detective division.

What’s more, the family of the victims have been left without justice and unsure if there is a clear path to getting it. While law enforcement authorities were feuding, the suspect was released from custody and now can’t be found, according to a law enforcement source.

“We don’t know where to go,” said Regina Broughton, the sisters’ grandmother. “It’s not seeming like the justice system is working for us. And that’s disheartening, it’s just angering.”

Tom Schuba and Matthew Hendrickson have the full story.

More news you need

  1. R&B superstar R. Kelly was convicted by a jury today in his federal sex trafficking case in Brooklyn after decades of allegations. On the second day of deliberations, the jury of seven men and five women found Kelly guilty of racketeering.
  2. An 18-year-old shot and killed over the weekend in West Elsdon had just returned home Saturday evening after spending the day with their mother. David Struett has more on one of the at least nine people killed in Chicago gun violence over the weekend.
  3. Former Chicago Ald. Ricardo Muñoz pleaded guilty today to wire fraud and money laundering in his federal corruption case. Muñoz, who served the city’s 22nd Ward, admitted to stealing caucus money to pay for personal expenses like skydiving.
  4. Though Chicago’s population grew over the last decade, the number of people living in Englewood dropped by more than 20%, according to census data. Housing stock in the area also dropped significantly, which has been devastating for the community, Manny Ramos reports.
  5. Sarah Sherman, a boundary-pushing Chicago comedian also known as “Sarah Squirm,” will be part of the cast for the upcoming season of “Saturday Night Live.” Sherman joins the “SNL” cast as New Trier grad Beck Bennett says goodbye after eight seasons, NBC announced today.
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A bright one

50 couples tie the knot outside Wrigley building

Wedding bells were ringing under the Wrigley building bridge on the Magnificent Mile yesterday.

Fifty couples were chosen for the opportunity to get married outside of the building, which is celebrating its 100th year anniversary.

“I wanted to get 100 couples, or 100 people, to represent the 100 years,” said Bradley Borowiec, vice president of Zeller, the real estate group that manages the building.

In the building’s plaza, four aisles were set up beneath the bridge. White carpets, flanked with floral arrangements, led each couple to a Cook County judge. Every 10 minutes, a new group of couples made their way down the aisles with two witnesses of their choosing in tow.


David Gombert and Shaun Airey stand at the altar outside the Wrigley Building on N Michigan Ave during the Meet Me on The Mile Sunday Spectacle Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. 50 couples were married outside the Wrigley Building during The Mile.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Family members and onlookers cheered as couples said “I do” and a four-person orchestra performed.

Perla and Edgar Bernal were part of the first group to make their way down the aisle. After seven years of being together, and postponing their wedding twice due to COVID, the couple was happy to finally tie the knot.

“This is where we met, so it means a lot to us, and this is where we started our family,” Edgar Bernal, 37, said. “Chicago born and raised.”

Katie Anthony has the full story.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

Who is your favorite “Saturday Night Live” cast member of all time? Why?

Send us an email at and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

On Friday, we asked you: What is one iconic, but long-gone Chicago business you would bring back if you could? Tell us why. Here’s what some of you said...

“Marshall Fields ... worked there for 10 years. Started downtown then opened Woodfield. Have so many childhood memories getting dressed up and having lunch at the Walnut Room. Really miss that store.” — Linda Bergstrom

“Father and Son pizza, Woolworth, Marshall Fields, Zayre. Memories of decent customer service and quality merchandise. Seems like that is lacking lately. Miss the old days.” — Tracy L. Lopez

“Marshall Field & Co., Chas. A. Stevens, and Carson Pirie Scott. Also, Treasure Island groceries and Kroch’s & Brentano’s.” — Lynne Victorine

“The Velvet Lounge… no experience quite like listening to the best of Chicago jazz, watching jazz legend himself and owner Fred Anderson chopping it up with folks at the bar, and getting some rib tips from Fitzee’s during intermission and bringing them back in to eat and wash down with some cold beer and sizzling jazz.” — Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle

“U.S. 30 Drag Strip. Thousands of people went there every year and thousands of kids learned mechanical skills being inspired by what they saw.” — Jeffrey Hart

“The Busy Bee. Great breakfast served cheaply by friendly Polish waitresses. Damen and North, under the El tracks.” — Eric Herman

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