Chicago’s laser sights ban reconsidered, Police officer wounded in shooting, Zach LaVine signs new Bulls contact and more in your Chicago news roundup

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

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Justice Thomas Attends Forum On His 30 Year Supreme Court Legacy

Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speaks at the Heritage Foundation on October 21, 2021 in Washington.

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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.

This afternoon will be mostly cloudy with a high near 81 degrees and a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Tonight clouds will move in and the temperature will dip to 65 degrees. Saturday and Sunday will see clear skies with highs near 84 and 85 degrees respectively. And the sun will be shining on Independence Day with a high near 87 and a chance of thunderstorms.

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Afternoon Edition
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Top story

Judge looks to Supreme Court gun ruling as he weighs whether to shoot down Chicago ban on laser sights

Chicago’s little-known ban on possessing laser gun sights is coming under new court scrutiny after the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down a key provision of a New York concealed-carry law.

U.S. District Judge Robert Dow Jr. has asked lawyers involved in a Chicago gun-rights lawsuit to offer arguments on whether last month’s Supreme Court ruling applies to city ordinances that prohibit the possession of laser sights for firearms in Chicago.

Dow has given the lawyers until mid-July to respond in the case, Second Amendment Arms v. Chicago, which was filed in 2010 by a gun dealer in an effort to overturn the city’s ban on gun stores operating in Chicago.

In a separate case, another federal judge in Chicago struck down that gun-store ban in 2014.

Because the ban was overturned, Dow ruled that Second Amendment Arms wasn’t entitled to compensatory damages from City Hall.

But the judge still is deciding another issue in the case: whether Chicago’s separate laser-sight ban is constitutional.

On Monday, he wrote that “the court is particularly interested in whether the parties believe that the Supreme Court’s framework impacts the analysis and/or result on the laser-sight issue.”

On June 23, in the case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, the Supreme Court voted 6-3 to overturn a regulation that prevented people in New York from getting concealed-carry licenses unless they could show they have a special need.

Justice Clarence Thomas, in the majority opinion in the New York case, wrote: “To justify a firearm regulation the government must demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”

A key legal question remaining in the current Chicago gun case is whether the right to “bear arms” extends to laser sights.

Frank Main has more on the future of the laser sights ban here.

More news you need

  1. Authorities say a Chicago police officer’s condition is “serious but stable” after he was shot while answering a domestic disturbance call in University Village this morning. When he stepped off an elevator, he was ambushed and shot multiple times, according to police.
  2. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the shooting was another example of the “significant surge” over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in domestic violence-related calls and the havoc those calls create. “Domestic-related” homicides by firearm and non-fatal shootings have increased by a staggering 125% since 2019, our Fran Spielman reports.
  3. Concerned South Shore activists gathered to voice their anger and sadness after a 5-month-old baby was shot in the neighborhood last week. Cecilia Thomas was killed during a drive-by shooting in the 7700 block of South Shore Drive.
  4. Norvell Meadows, a 19-year-old beloved father, community member and athlete, was fatally shot yesterday on the West Side. An All-City high school basketball player at Orr and Prosser, Meadows was “one of those kids that it is hard not to love,” one of his coaches said.
  5. Family, friends and fans are also mourning the loss of Dennis Cahill, a guitar great and virtuoso of Irish traditional music, who died at age 68. After growing up on the South Side playing guitar in rock groups and wedding bands, he went on to achieve worldwide fame and headline concerts around the world.
  6. A Chicago man today admitted his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, pleading guilty to charges that could result in up to six months in prison. Records show Athanasios Zoyganeles often posted about his intentions to storm the Capitol online, writing in one instance, “They can’t stop a million people.”
  7. For years, the Urban Prep Charter Academies charter school network in Chicago has gotten national attention for getting 100% of its graduates admitted to college. But Urban Prep has been mired in such deep financial trouble that CPS officials say they have “grave concerns” about its sustainability, WBEZ’s Sarah Karp reports.
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A bright one

‘Billiken,’ new short film about Chicago’s Bud Billiken Parade, spotlights parade’s young dancers

Around 10 p.m. on a recent night, Wills Glasspiegel went to the Merchandise Mart to test-run “Billiken,” a new, eight-minute art film he co-directed with Shkunna Stewart, with animation by Brandon K. Calhoun.

He wasn’t preparing the film for a screening inside a theater. He was getting ready for something bigger, with the movie to be projected onto the mammoth, 340,000-square-foot facade of the Merchandise Mart.

Selected as the centerpiece of Art on theMART’s summer programming, “Billiken,” which premiered Thursday, will be projected onto the outside of the Merchandise Mart every night through Sept. 7.


“Billiken,” a new short film showing this summer as part of Art on theMART, centers on the youth dancers of Chicago’s historic Bud Billiken Parade, the largest and longest-running African-American parade in the United States.

Courtesy Wills Glasspiegel

Young dancers featured in the movie — from teams including The Jesse White Tumblers, Dance Force, Geek Squad and Bringing Out Talent Dance Co. — were there for the opening.

“Billiken” honors the youth dancers of the Bud Billiken Parade, the largest and longest-running African American parade in the United States. Started in 1929, the parade, which goes down South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Bronzeville, heralds the start of the back-to-school season.

On the night of Glasspiegel’s test screening at the Mart, “There happened to be some kids out there with their mom, and they were dancing at the end of the projection, kind of a continuation of it,” he said.

“That’s when I knew it was done. It was making people dance. It’s doing a good thing for the city.”

WBEZ’s Isabella DeLeo has more on the “Billiken” film here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What’s the key to a perfect BBQ?

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

Yesterday, we asked you: What’s the best park in Chicago?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Calumet Park on the far Southeast Side. Lakefront view, beach, walking paths and the Southeast Chicago History Museum in the iconic field house. Oh, and the Station Calumet U.S. Coast Guard!” — Wayne Garritano

“I prefer the Lakefront by the planetarium. I always liked that spot overlooking the whole Chicago skyline.” — Frederick Darrin

“Gill Park! All are welcome, including our pets and there is a pool there and lots of fun playground equipment for the babies. Steps from Lake Michigan and breezy in the summer. Movies in the park are cool for a nice evening with the family. Gill Park is the greatest.” — Ashabi Tanze

“Milton Lee Olive Park near Navy Pier is great. It’s this hidden-in-plain-sight little place no one seems to know about. It’s quiet and a wonderful place to just ignore the rest of the world. (Even with DLSD 50 yards away.)” — Julia B. Meyer

“Ellis Park. We party in peace and the kids can play in peace.” — Tyree Beamteam

“Sherman Park — got everything plus a library.” — Dennis Novak

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

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