Afternoon Edition: CPD vows to root out officers with extremist ties

Plus: Suspect in teacher’s murder arrested, the state of Chicago’s music scene and more.

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Rioters loyal to President Donald Trump converge on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021.


Good afternoon, Chicago. ✶

This week, WBEZ, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and the Sun-Times published “Extremism in the Ranks,” an investigative series examining cops named on a leaked roster of an anti-government group and efforts to hold those officers accountable.

In-depth, painstaking reporting like this holds power to account — and it is made possible by our members and generous donors.

With your support, my colleagues and I can continue to work tirelessly to cover this great city, provide paywall-free stories and better represent hardworking Chicagoans like you.

Below, we detail how authorities are responding to our investigation. 👇

Plus, we’ve got the community news you need to know today.

⏱️: A 7-minute read

— Matt Moore, newsletter reporter (@MattKenMoore)


Chicago’s top cop vows ‘stringent’ efforts to root out officers with extremist ties after investigation by WBEZ, Sun-Times

Reporting by Tom Schuba | Sun-Times and Dan Mihalopoulos | WBEZ

Police respond: Chicago’s new police superintendent on Tuesday vowed “thorough investigations” after WBEZ and the Sun-Times revealed misconduct records of cops tied to the extremist Oath Keepers, the group best known for plotting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. But neither he nor other police brass explained the department’s lack of action since a membership list was leaked two years ago. Chicago Police Supt. Larry Snelling told a City Council hearing there would be “stringent” efforts to root out extremists and “remove those members from our ranks.”

‘Extremism in the ranks’: Snelling’s comments came days after ”Extremism in the Ranks,” which found 27 current and former Chicago police officers whose names appeared in leaked membership records for the Oath Keepers. Nine remain on active duty, some with troubling disciplinary records. Yolanda Talley, chief of the Bureau of Internal Affairs, signaled those nine officers are being targeted and promised to close the investigation “in less than six months.”

What we found: Personnel records show many of the Chicago cops who signed up for the Oath Keepers faced accusations of serious misconduct, including racist comments. Some of the Chicago cops disclosed their ties to the department and promised to recruit fellow officers for the Oath Keepers, according to the leaked membership records obtained by the OCCRP. The “Extremism in the Ranks” investigation also found other law enforcement agencies in Illinois shied away from disciplining officers whose names appeared on the Oath Keepers list, including the Illinois State Police and the University of Illinois-Chicago campus force.




Gifts sit outside the Garfield Ridge home of Adrianna Lopez, who was fatally shot Sunday night.

  • Suspect in teacher’s slaying arrested: A suspect wanted in connection with the slaying of a teacher outside her Garfield Ridge home Sunday night is in custody Wednesday after allegedly shooting an Illinois State Police trooper in Springfield, according to authorities. “There was no reason for him to take her life,” a family member said of Adrianna Lopez, 37. “No reason at all. She was so sweet, she was so nice to everybody. It’s senseless.”
  • Springfield man charged in Capitol riot dies: Roy Franklin, 67, who faced criminal charges for allegedly making his way to the floor of the U.S. Senate during the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol died Oct. 15, court records show.
  • Chicago crowned ‘rattiest’ city: It’s the ninth straight year we’ve topped the list, made by pest control company Orkin. Note: The ranking represents the number of residential and commercial rodent treatments the company performed in the last year, and doesn’t directly correlate to an approximate count of the rat population in each city.
  • Donation record broken for nonprofit: Chicago-based Cara Collective announced a “historic” $8 million gift from billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Last year, Scott also broke donation records for donating to other Chicago organizations.
  • Justin Fields’ healing is ‘progressing’: The Bears quarterback’s recovery from a dislocated right thumb is coming along, but the outlook for his return to play remains “week to week,” coach Matt Eberflus said Wednesday.
  • Looking back on the ‘The Right Stuff’: A flop at first, this great space epic still thrills with its expert casting and dazzling visuals, writes Sun-Times critic Richard Roeper of the film, which turns 40 this month.


Mike Reed, curator, producer and musician


Mike Reed outside the Hungry Brain on the Northwest Side.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped by the Hungry Brain on the Northwest Side and met up with curator, producer, musician — and the venue’s owner— Mike Reed.

For more than 20 years, Reed has been an essential part of Chicago’s music scene, leaving his mark on multiple fronts.

Take the annual Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park. As co-founder and director of the festival, Reed has worked since 2005 to keep the annual event a place to appreciate and discover cutting-edge music.

Reed’s talent for curation and tastemaking are also on display year-round at his two Northwest Side music venues, Constellation (3111 N. Western Ave.) and the Hungry Brain (2319 W. Belmont Ave.), the latter bought with a business partner nearly 15 years after Reed began hosting a weekly jazz showcase there, one of many Reed has hosted throughout the city.

And he’s a heck of a drummer, who has established a reputation for being a reliable backbone and a standout player on stages local and worldwide.

For Reed, producing shows and creating music are all connected, giving him multiple opportunities to express what he’s thinking and feeling.

“You make things because those things that live outside of yourself can be even bigger than you,” Reed told me.

You can catch Reed playing his new album, “The Separatist Party” — which drops Friday — with his band Thursday night at Constellation.




Cruel joke for trick-or-treaters or coveted seasonal delight? The great Halloween debate over candy corn goes on.


Gross or gratifying? The great Halloween candy corn debate continues

Reporting by Stefano Esposito

If you adore the waxy, violently sugary fall treat known as candy corn, it’s possible you may have been brainwashed as a child.

That’s according to the results of a totally unscientific Sun-Times survey of a handful of Chicago-area bakers, folks who should know a thing or two about sugar.

“I love candy corn. … Maybe the nostalgia of it from when I was young,” said Katie Bermingham, director of operations for Sweet Mandy B’s, with locations in Lincoln Park and Streeterville. “Seeing the candy corn just reminds me of fall and of Halloween and it reminds me of fun times.”

But then there’s this from James Cox, owner of Chicago Sugar Daddy Patisserie in Lake View. Cox grew up in a home with an English mother who deprived him of the try-colored treat: “I don’t mind it. I don’t completely hate it. It just tastes like pure sugar.”

However you feel about candy corn, the little orange-white-and-yellow candies are about as abundant this time of year as the soggy, yellow leaves killing the grass in front of your home.

Sweet Mandy B’s plans to begin making candy corn-decorated cakes in the coming days, but it won’t be without controversy: “We had a store meeting, and about 50% didn’t want us to do the candy corn cake,” Bermingham said.

Their reason? “It’s a gross dessert.”



Let’s settle the candy corn debate — do you think it’s gross or great? Explain your answer.

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Editor: Satchel Price
Newsletter reporter: Matt Moore
Copy editor: Angie Myers

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