Racist and homophobic posts from user claiming to be a Chicago cop, R. Kelly’s trial begins and more in your Chicago news roundup
Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.
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 sunny with a high near 81 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low near 61. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a high near 83.
Chicago police investigating racist, homophobic posts by someone claiming to be a cop. ‘I hope the department knows I am posting here’
Chicago police have launched an internal investigation into a series of incendiary posts by a person claiming to be an officer in an online forum regarded as one of the darkest corners of the web.
Many of the posts on 4chan’s /pol/ board are racist and homophobic. They include photos of Chicago police uniforms, a city-issued ID badge and a gun — all covered by post-it notes with the forum’s name and a date written on them.
The person making the posts claimed to be a military veteran and a beat cop who worked in the Rogers Park and Chicago Lawn police districts. Among other things, the user bragged about racially profiling people and being involved in two on-duty shootings.
Like other people on the site, the user is only identified by a serial number.
The forum is widely regarded a hotbed of racism, antisemitism and other extremism. It was used to launch the unfounded QAnon conspiracy theory, which holds that former President Donald Trump is battling a cabal of Democratic pedophiles.
Jennifer Rottner, a spokeswoman for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, said the agency received a complaint about the posts on Monday and forwarded it to the police department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs.
Maggie Huynh, a police spokeswoman, would only confirm that an investigation has been opened.
The posts on 4chan began on Aug. 3 when the purported officer started a thread soliciting questions and including a photo of a shirt with a police patch. In the thread, the user spouted slurs for Mexicans and gay men and blamed the city’s violent crime solely on Black people.
The person also claimed to have voted for Trump three times in the 2020 election because “Chicago has a relaxed voting system.” The user appeared to advocate for armed insurrection, noting that American cities “are not worth fighting for.”
More news you need
- Evanston police today announced an arrest in a July shooting at a backyard party that seriously wounded a 13-year-old girl. The girl was with other teenagers on July 25 when someone fired at least 10 shots over a fence, police said.
- A 40-year-old man died two days after he was shot outside the 69th Street Red Line CTA station. Anthony Dinion, 40, was arguing with someone Sunday night outside the stop when the other person took out a gun and opened fire, authorities said.
- R. Kelly’s child pornography and obstruction of justice trial in Chicago kicked off in earnest this morning. Our Andy Grimm and Jon Seidel are at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse and have the latest developments here.
- Two Illinois sisters — one from Chicago — pleaded guilty today to joining the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, and now each faces up to six months in prison. Sentencing for Trudy Castle and Kimberly DiFrancesco is set for Nov. 22 in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
- In an effort to help Illinois seniors stay in their homes for longer, officials announced Monday the state will be participating in a new federal program that could provide them with an alternative to nursing facility care. Michael Loria has more on who qualifies for the program here.
A bright one
Tanka Bradford met her future boss, Megan Wickman, when Bradford was 17 and living in a homeless shelter for the first time. Wickman worked at the shelter and helped Bradford adjust to community living.
Years later, Wickman asked Bradford to join her organization, Lyte Collective, dedicated to supporting young people dealing with homelessness in Chicago. Now, Bradford and other members of Lyte Collective’s board are applying lessons they learned from their experiences with homelessness as they open the Lyte Lounge, a community center for homeless young Chicagoans.
The Lounge is at 549 E. 76th St. in Greater Grand Crossing. Its goal is to provide a sense of community and support system to young adults experiencing homelessness that isn’t typically experienced in homeless shelters and centers.
Lyte Collective — which also has a mobile youth support initiative and a transitional housing program — bought the building that would become Lyte Lounge in 2017. But the coronavirus slowed the project. The nearly 100-year-old building required $1.6 million in renovations. After fundraising, donors and a $500,000 loan, the Lyte Lounge finally was ready.
The two-story building, nestled in a residential neighborhood, has an array of features built to nourish the lives of visitors. The design was steered by people with extensive experience within homeless shelters — people who knew exactly what they’d change if they had a chance to create their own program.
The Lyte Lounge aims to support young adults and enrich their lives. The Lounge isn’t a shelter; it’s a place for those experiencing homelessness to meet their other needs.
“We don’t just want to say, you know, ‘Here’s a meal, go on your way.’ We want to say ‘Here’s a meal, come play basketball. Are you tired? How did you sleep last night? Was that shelter not too good? Let’s find you a new one,’” Bradford said.
From the press box
- Ahead of Game 1 of the Sky’s first-round series against the Liberty, Annie Costabile previews the team’s title defense.
- Coaches are quick to praise Justin Fields’ situational awareness, but the Bears QB needs to deliver on that progress with points on the scoreboard tomorrow in Seattle, Patrick Finley writes.
- The Blackhawks signed veteran defenseman Jack Johnson to a one-year contract.
- The Cubs activated lefty Steven Brault from the COVID-19 related injured list.
Your daily question ☕
Parents and guardians: How are you feeling about sending your children back to school next week?
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.
Yesterday, we asked you: Are large music festivals good for Chicago?
Here’s what some of you said…
“Good for the cash infusion, but shows a priority for tourists over locals, which is troubling.” — Jose Orozco
“I am sure these festivals played a role in cementing Chicago’s selection as Conde Nast’s ‘#1 Best Big City in the U.S.’ The increase in visitors to the city is great for our economy, but these last few weeks, I’ve struggled with the notion of how the safety of Chicago’s residents, mainly women, is impacted during these high-profile events. It’s time for the city to welcome a new era of transparency to ensure increased safety — especially for the thousands of women and girls, attending these events.” — Felicia Davis Blakley
“Music cures a lot of ills and brings people together.” — Darren Rowland
“Good for the city, bad for park access for residents who don’t pony up for admission costs.” — Jacob Peters
“They are good for us because it brings in money for our stores, hotels, restaurants, CTA, Uber/Lyft, museums/attractions etc. Our city in general.” — Jackie Waldhier
“I like them and have a good time going to them. I think it’s good for the city to provide opportunities for fun events. I wish the city would spread them more evenly throughout the park system instead of lumping them into just a couple of parks.” — Chris Carlsen
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