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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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.”
More news you need
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
A bright one
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.
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.”
From the press box
- After the Bears’ disastrous loss to the Browns yesterday, here’s the latest from our beat writers: Matt Nagy says ‘everything’s on the table’ to fix offense, Myles Garrett says stopping Nagy’s scheme “came easily,” and our Rick Morrissey calls out GM Ryan Pace for assembling the offensive line that kept collapsing under constant pressure.
- It won’t be the ideal start to Bulls training camp with key young players Patrick Williams and Coby White sidelined by injuries.
- Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton expects a better, deeper group of defensemen to cover the blue line this season.
- The Cubs’ Adrian Sampson is making a late-season case to be a member of the team’s bullpen again next season.
Your daily question ☕
Who is your favorite “Saturday Night Live” cast member of all time? Why?
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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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