Afternoon Edition: Jan. 19, 2022

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

SHARE Afternoon Edition: Jan. 19, 2022
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown sits down for an interview with Chicago Sun-Times reporter Sam Charles at CPD headquarters, Wednesday afternoon, May 13, 2020.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown during an interview with the Sun-Times on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin/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 partly sunny with a high near 26 degrees and wind gusts as high as 30 mph. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low near 6 and wind chill values as low as minus-8. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high near 18 and wind chill values as low as minus-11.

Top story

CPD leaders say they’ve lost faith in Supt. Brown: ‘I can’t think of one member of the command staff that is willing to back him’

Following a brutal year of violence and a not-so-veiled threat to demote his top brass, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown now faces a crisis of confidence among his command staff, sources said.

Four police supervisors all raised concerns in interviews with the Chicago Sun-Times that Brown isn’t fit to serve as the city’s top cop during a particularly tumultuous period for the police department. They all commented on the condition of anonymity so they could speak freely.

“His strategies and his efforts [and] the threatening of command staff shows a lack of leadership,” one source said. “I can’t think of one member of the command staff that is willing to back him.”

Brown was handpicked by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and confirmed by the City Council in April 2020, three months after the first case of COVID-19 was detected in Chicago and just over a month before riots broke out across the city following the police killing of George Floyd. Throughout his tenure, violent crime has continued to surge. Chicago last year saw the most homicides in a quarter-century, 836 by the Cook County medical examiner’s count.

As the department sought to recalibrate during a closed-door meeting on Jan. 4, Brown and Lightfoot effectively threatened to demote members of the police command staff if they couldn’t produce more arrests and community outreach, warning that underperforming tactical officers could be moved to patrol streets and answer 911 calls.

Within days, district commanders were told that 60% of their tactical officers were being moved to beat cars without a clear explanation, sources said. When Brown later blamed the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases during a meeting, police sources continued to question his motive for the move, which prompted members of the tactical unit for the Grand Central District to quit that team en masse.

Tom Schuba has more on what CPD leaders said about Brown here.

More news you need

  1. A week after it suspended operations amid scrutiny from authorities in multiple states, a suburban Chicago company that purports to run hundreds of COVID-19 testing sites has been sued by Minnesota’s attorney general. The lawsuit alleges the Center for COVID Control and its affiliate collected test samples from locations in Minnesota and “either failed to deliver test results or delivered test results that were falsified or inaccurate.”
  2. Family, friends and local politicians gathered today in Marquette Park to remember Tamiko Talbert-Fleming and ask for help finding the person who fatally shot her Jan. 14. Talbert-Fleming, who had recently celebrated her 49th birthday, was a mother, grandmother, salon chair counselor and all-around lovely woman, friends said.
  3. A gunman shot and seriously wounded by a University of Chicago police officer refused to drop his weapon as he approached the officer, even after he was struck by a bullet, according to new details released today. Video of the shooting will be released publicly “as soon as possible,” a statement from the university said.
  4. A new public testing site is set to launch tomorrow on DePaul University’s Loop campus. The site, operated by SHIELD Illinois, will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. inside the Barnes and Noble bookstore at 333 S. State St.
  5. The first of three Cook County mass vaccination sites — located at 7630 W. Roosevelt Rd. in Forest Park — reopened yesterday. Another mass vaccination site at 4647 Promenade Way in Matteson opens tomorrow and 1155 E. Oakton St. in Des Plaines opens Saturday.

A bright one

Angel Bat Dawid working to change the music landscape for Black musicians

For the accomplished Chicago composer-clarinetist-pianist-vocalist Angel Bat Dawid, 2021 can best be summed up courtesy of Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times and it was the worst of times,” she said during a recent call from her home and studio in south suburban Matteson.

Dawid recalled how bleak things seemed just a year ago when she was recuperating from COVID-19 and also mourning the passing of her sister.

“I didn’t know how I was going to get through it,” she said. “But it was also the greatest year as far as music and the opportunities that I had. I am so grateful to still be here.”

Things really shifted in the latter half of 2021, with Dawid releasing a live album, a follow-up to her acclaimed 2019 debut “The Oracle,” as well as finding herself opening for the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra over the summer and being named the artist-in-residence at this year’s NYC Winter JazzFest.

Angel Bat Dawid. photo credit Juri Hiensch 

Angel Bat Dawid

Juri Hiensch Photo

If you’re in Chicago, you may want to head to Sleeping Village tomorrow to hear Dawid as part of the multi-venue Tomorrow Never Knows multi-day concert series.

In all of her work, Dawid says it’s important for her to take on topics of racism and inequity head-on. Which is why she created her latest group, Sistazz of the Nitty Gritty, to empower young Black female composers, noting there are many “powerhouses” in Chicago.

“I’m not trying to be a musician to be a celebrity,” Dawid says. “I want to have a different trajectory for my career to provide safe spaces for Black musicians. ... I want to create in a world where people are impacted by each other and can learn to understand one another.”

Selena Fragassi has more from her conversation with Dawid here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

Do you live in a multi-unit building? What was your experience ordering free COVID tests from the federal government’s website like?

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: How has the Omicron surge impacted your 2022 plans?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Staying in more. Avoiding unsafe people, situations and environments. The choices seem to make themselves and I’m happy with whom I spend time.” — Briggs Thiele

“It hasn’t impacted my plans, but the government has.” — Jake Collins

“Will not fly anywhere until the infection rate of COVID goes way down. Not worth the risk of being in a confined space with so many people for several hours.” — Barbara C Smith

“Not at all. We continue to live our lives and do everything we can. It is frustrating when things are shut down, canceled and changed. We all have to learn to live with this, just like you do the flu.” — Dawn Lee

“Still basically living in a bubble. Go out as little as possible, connect only with those I know have been vaccinated.” — Ellen Mentessi Zarnick

“I wish I could say it canceled my vacation plans or my dinner plans with friends. But, as a nurse working the COVID floor since the surge started, I’ve been isolating from my mom and only see her with a mask on for a short time. We live together and I can see she’s lonely without me around. We usually don’t do much but I miss being together without worrying about spreading the virus to her before I know I even have it.” — Jenn Borc

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

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