Voters worry about crime, police chief lays groundwork for exit 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.

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A Chicago police officer escorts a group of people through a crime scene in the Loop in September.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times file

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a five-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

— Matt Moore (@MattKenMoore)

This afternoon will see some rain and snow with a high near 43 degrees. Expect similar weather tonight with a low near 30. Tomorrow will be cloudy with a high near 34.

Top story

POLL: Chicago voters feel unsafe from crime, unhappy with police relations — and looking for a candidate to fix it all

Nearly two-thirds of Chicagoans planning to cast a ballot in this month’s municipal election don’t feel personally safe from crime. And roughly the same number think the relationship between cops and the community is not a good one.

Those are some key takeaways from a new poll commissioned by the Chicago Sun-Times, WBEZ, Telemundo Chicago and NBC5. The survey also shows nearly half of voters are looking for the mayoral candidate who can best deal with the city’s endemic crime.

When asked to rank issues guiding their decision in the mayor’s race, 44% said crime and public safety were most important, distantly followed by criminal justice reform at 13% and the economy and jobs at 12%.

Even further down the list were education and immigration, both at 6%; city taxes and spending at 5%; housing and homelessness at 4%; public corruption at 3%, and drugs and transportation each at 2%. Just 1% of those polled cited public health as their key issue.

Men and women were equally concerned about crime, with 47% of men ranking it No. 1, and 42% of women. The racial breakdown of those prioritizing crime showed a more pronounced difference: 61% of white voters, 30% of Black voters and 37% of Hispanic voters.

While gun violence is down this year compared to last, Chicago ended 2022 with 697 murders and saw its most violent year in a quarter-century in 2021. But zooming back further, data show the city is just slightly above the average number of murders per year over the last six decades.

Chicagoans are also worried about crime other than gun violence, including theft, robberies and carjackings, as incidents have crept into areas of the city unaccustomed to high rates of crimes.

WBEZ’s Mariah Woelfel and our Tina Sfondeles have more on the poll’s findings here.

More news you need

Elections 2023


(from left) Mayoral candidates Ja’Mal Green and Ald. Roderick Sawyer speak during a Sun-Times, WBEZ and University of Chicago forum at the school’s Hyde Park campus.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

This week, the Sun-Times teamed up with WBEZ and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics to bring the city’s mayoral candidates together for two forums to speak to the issues Chicagoans care about.

Today’s forum saw candidates Ald. Roderick Sawyer and activist Ja’Mal Green answer questions posed by Reset host Sasha-Ann Simon. Many questions came from our People’s Agenda survey of voters. Fellow candidates Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson and businessman Willie Wilson were slated to appear but did not. You can watch the full forum here.

During yesterday’s forum on UIC’s campus featured incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot and mayoral candidates U.S. Rep Chuy Garcia, former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, state Rep. Kam Buckner and Ald. Sophia King. Read our Fran Spielman’s full recap of the first forum here.

And don’t forget to check out our Voter Guide ahead of this year’s election — it’s a valuable tool that’ll provide you with what you need to make a decision.

A bright one

Great Chicago music moments in photos, from Led Zeppelin to Liz Phair to Nirvana

Name a concert in Chicago over the past four decades, and the odds are good Marty Perez was there with his camera.

As a high-schooler in Beverly, Perez started bringing his camera to stadium shows by groups like Queen and Led Zeppelin.

Soon, it became a life capturing the onstage and offstage moments of musicians, from blues legends like Muddy Waters and Tail Dragger to Mudhoney and Lou Reed.


Blues great Tail Dragger, shown in 2009 singing to a fan at Buddy Guy’s Legends. It’s among 200 photographs by Marty Perez in his new book documenting 30 years of photographing the music scene in Chicago.

Marty Perez

Perez’s new book “Kill a Punk For Rock & Roll” ($34.99), published by Chicago’s HoZac Books, reflects many of those moments, with more than 200 pages of his photographs, spanning 1976 to 2019.

Perez says he’s still motivated to photograph new bands, but making a living at it has become harder due to the decline in print media and explosion in phone technology that puts a camera in everyone’s pocket.

“There’s definitely new folks coming up through the ranks keeping the music alive and the drive to capture it still resides in me,” he says.

WBEZ’s Mark Guarino has more with Perez and the stories behind some of Perez’s most iconic photos here.

From the press box

Your daily question☕

What do you think of AMC’s choice to charge more for the best seats in the theater?

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

Yesterday we asked you: What should Illinois’ official state aroma be?

Here’s what some of you said...

“The wonderful smell of grease from the Billy Goat on lower Michigan.” — Kathleen Machek

“The official state aroma should be the proverbial ‘smell of the meat a cookin’ at the General Assembly, when they’re getting ready to pass out the legislative pork.” — Don Gross

“Hot dogs and pizza are the obvious ones but I go for the smell of chocolate from the Blommer Factory. So sweet.” — Howard Moore

“As the no. 2 corn producer in the US behind Iowa, the scent of corn being processed at the Argo plant. It could be considered an icon and is truly indescribable, yet instantly recognizable to all Southwest siders.” — William Helmcke

“Vienna hot dogs!” — Christina Gillespie

“I’d love for Illinois’ state aroma to be chocolate — memories of Blommer Chocolate Company, etc. — but our main aroma is more likely, and more frequently, the stink of corruption, unfortunately.” — Paul Lockwood

“Corn with a hint of exhaust.” — Gene Tenner

“The aroma of freshly tilled farm fields.” — Irene Lathrop

“Lake Michigan’s water smell. I lived within walking distance of the Lake on the North Shore, and ever so often in the summer, there’d be this smell of alewife fish.” — Jeenie Whatley

“Grilled onions on a polish.” — Ken Smith

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

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