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.
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.
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CPD’s plan for 1.5M ‘positive’ interactions with residents ‘deeply problematic,’ AG says
Four days after Chicago closed the book on its most violent year in a quarter century, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Supt. David Brown pinned their hopes on a novel crime-fighting approach.
Brown, Lightfoot’s handpicked choice to usher in sweeping court-ordered reforms outlined in a federal consent decree, set a goal for the year of logging at least 1.5 million “positive community interactions,” or PCIs, a three-fold increase from 2021. The effort to prioritize such exchanges — like helping change a tire or giving directions — was presented as a means to both build trust and crack cases.
The department has encouraged community outreach for years but has never enforced it at such levels. A Sun-Times investigation now raises serious questions about Brown’s plan — and even its legality.
While officers must record each interaction, they often leave out crucial information that makes it virtually impossible for the department to verify that an account is accurate, according to a review of internal records.
Many records are missing the officer’s name or their star number, and other records don’t give detailed information about the location where a PCI occurred. But perhaps most notably, not a single record contains information about who was helped or what made the interaction positive.
The state attorney general’s office found so many problems with the program that it urged city lawyers to “suspend or at least pause” the effort to notch 1.5 million interactions, calling it “a quota system” that is “rife with significant downsides.”
“As you are likely aware,” states a Feb. 7 memo obtained by the Sun-Times through an open records request, “the use of quotas in law enforcement — whether described as goals, targets, performance standards or activity metrics — is deeply problematic.”
Read more on the AG’s comments here.
More news you need
- Lawyers for Jussie Smollett have asked an appeals court to release the former “Empire” actor from jail while he attempts to overturn his conviction. In a motion filed today, Smollett’s lawyers say the actor is being held in a “psych ward.”
- On a Zoom call today with the mayor of Kharkiv, Ukraine, Mayor Lori Lightfoot got a first-hand account of the horrors and hardships that innocent civilians are enduring as Russians invade the Eastern European country. After hearing the harrowing details, Lightfoot pledged Chicago’s ongoing support for the duration of the war.
- For Ukrainians who fled after World War II to places like Chicago, watching today’s news is like reliving a nightmare. “It’s horrible because I truly can identify with the families and the children … and the horror of it, and not knowing what tomorrow will bring,” Olena Matwyshyn, 83, said.
- The first day at Chicago Public Schools since the district ended its mask mandate looked like most recent ones with many kids still wearing masks despite not being required to do so. Stefano Esposito reports on parents’ reaction to CPS making masks optional.
- Will the huge sign that Donald Trump slapped on his Chicago skyscraper come down because of the role the former president may have played in inciting the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection? An ordinance that passed a City Council committee today could make it possible.
- Drivers for services like Uber and Lyft in Chicago would be paid substantially more if they were classified as employees instead of as independent contractors, according to a recent study of city data. David Roeder has more on the study from Illinois Economic Policy Institute and researchers at the University of Illinois.
- Legendary disc jockey Pervis Spann of WVON-AM, who helped make Black radio a powerhouse in Chicago, died today at 89 at his South Side home from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Read Maureen O’Donnell’s obituary for Spann.
A bright one
What made Glenbard West memorable
There were plenty of people in the high school basketball world that believed Glenbard West was the best team in the state as far back as last June.
Then there were others who doubted, maybe questioned and needed to see it to believe it. Even throughout the first month or two of the season there were some detractors, almost a missing appreciation for how good this team was.
Maybe it’s because it was Glenbard West, traditionally a basketball program you just don’t elevate to elite status — ever. There were other early barometers many failed to recognize with this team. They were that good, clearly the No. 1 team, if you just paid attention.
But over the course of the season the Hilltoppers lived up to the expectations of being the preseason No. 1 team. They not only lived up to it but thrived in every instance, whether it was a dominating point differential or shining in all of their big-stage moments.
Even the one loss on the season, a crushing buzzer-beating defeat to national power Sierra Canyon out of California, didn’t alter the plan or lessen the buzz surrounding this team.
Still, nothing compared to the show and clinic Glenbard West put on in the Class 4A state championships game Saturday in Champaign. Quite honestly, you couldn’t have asked for a more exceptionally played game than what the top-ranked Hilltoppers gave the audience in its 56-34 rout over Young.
Read more on the Glenbard West boys basketball team’s magical season after its Class 4A state championship win over the weekend.
From the press box
- The Bears got started in free agency by signing former Bengals defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi to a three-year, $40.5 million contract.
- Former Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky will get his latest opportunity in Pittsburgh after agreeing to a two-year deal with the Steelers.
- Spring training is here! Unfortunately, a pair of Cubs arrived in Arizona injured.
- Before we turn the page on the high school basketball season for good, Joe Henricksen gives his full recap of state championship weekend.
Your daily question ☕
As spring training gets started, what are you looking forward to most from this baseball season?
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.
On Friday, we asked you: Where can you find the best corned beef sandwich in Chicago? Here’s what some of you said...
“A & P Deli - Awesome corn beef sandwich.” — Vanessa Amos
“Manny’s on Roosevelt Road and little west of Canal St. Great Corn Beef Sandwiches.” — Chris Thomas
“Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen 100%! We drive for over an hour for their Amazing Sandwiches And Soups!” — Rhonda Polick
“Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen. Still the best along with their soups, latkes and assortment of bakery items. Yum!” — Dana Lori
“The Onion Roll on North Avenue in Oak Park.” — Joanne Dedowicz
“The Corned Beef Factory Sandwich Shop on Lake St in the West Loop.” — Karen Komarnicki
“Dillinger’s on west 127th street in Calumet Park has great Corned Beef. But A&P Deli is hard to beat.” — John Owens
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