CPD leadership blamed for fractious response to weekend gatherings, Ed Burke Day proposal pulled and more in your Chicago news roundup

Today’s update is about an eight-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

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Stock image of a Chicago Police Department officer.

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

— Matt Moore (@MattKenMoore)

Weather ☀️

This afternoon will be sunny with a high near 56 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low near 38. Tomorrow will be cloudy with a chance of showers and a high near 65.


Top story

Alderman blasts fractious CPD leadership for flat-footed response to violent weekend gatherings

City officials were caught flat-footed by a series of violent gatherings over the weekend that left at least three teenagers shot.

It included a turbulent Saturday night downtown marked by a communication breakdown and infighting between city and police officials and a flood of jarring videos that stoked outrage on social media.

Downtown Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) said the gatherings fueled by social media devolved into three nights of “mayhem” because of a “total breakdown in command and control” at the Chicago Police Department.

Officers made 15 arrests during Saturday’s mayhem, though Hopkins said there could have been “dozens more” if not for the “hostility and violence” that confronted officers who attempted to move into the crowd. That included numerous reports of officers being punched, kicked and pelted with bottles and other objects.

Hopkins said interim police Supt. Eric Carter and Chief of Patrol Brian McDermott got into a shouting match Saturday night, and there was a heated disagreement between “Chicago police leadership and CTA management about who was in charge” of determining whether to cut off mass transit service to downtown.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has struggled to rein in the events despite her administration investing in a series of youth-friendly parties last summer and instituting a new curfew at Millennium Park, which was roundly criticized and seldom enforced.

“It’s not the first time that we’ve addressed these issues,” Lightfoot said Monday. “But our young people have an opportunity and a right to enjoy the entirety of our city. But they have to do it in a way that is respectful for people and property.”

Her failure to get a firm handle on the gatherings offers a window into one of the many challenges awaiting Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, who ran on a commitment to address “the root causes of violence and poverty.” He denounced the “destructive activity” over the weekend but insisted “it is not constructive to demonize youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities.”

Yesterday, the police department issued a statement saying additional security measures would be in place going forward, like checking bags at beach entry points. The curfew for Millennium Park will also be in place.

Tynetta Hill-Muhammad, the Chicago chapter organizer for the activist group Black Youth Project 100, said Lightfoot’s efforts to address the large gatherings were “Band-Aids” that failed to adequately counter the systemic inequities at the center of the problem.

She said the “disheartening” videos of Saturday’s takeover are now being weaponized by bad actors. BYP100 offers safe spaces during the summer, taking kids to the movies and bowling.

“These young folks are experiencing violence every single day and without having access to basic resources, like therapy or mental health clinics or hospitals or after-school programs that other students and other young people do have access to,” she said.

Our Tom Schuba, Fran Spielman and Emmanuel Camarillo have more on the fallout from the weekend gatherings.


More news you need


A bright one ☀️

Jordy, pop star from Northbrook, gives 2000 hit a queer update with ‘Story of a Boy’

At the heart of Jordy’s new album “Boy” is an artist reframing his childhood through song. Over the course of 12 tracks, the local native unravels the layers of his formative years that shape the successful pop star he is today, premiering a video on RollingStone.com, appearing on the “Today” show and getting love from the iHeart Radio Music Awards.

But back when he was growing up in Northbrook, he was just a gifted theater kid in primary school and Glenbrook North, surrounded by classmates including K-pop phenom Johnny Suh of NCT 127 fame and Broadway star Nathan Salstone. And though he praises GBN theater teacher Julie Ann Robinson and choir directors Chad Davidson and Andy Wallace for leading him down the right path, Jordy also carries memories of being bullied and trying to understand his own identity and sexuality.

The studio time for “Boy,” his second full length album (out Friday via Elektra Records), dovetailed with his time spent in therapy sessions, and by the end of collecting all the material, he says, “I knew I needed to call the album ‘Boy’ because these are the songs I needed as a kid. They exist because of those experiences I had.”

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Jordy (pictured earlier this month at Chicago’s House of Blues) says the songs on his new album “Boy” resulted from his experiences as a kid.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

One of the anchor tracks is a song called “Story of a Boy,” in which Jordy reinterprets the Y2K hit “Absolutely (Story of a Girl)” by rock group Nine Days as a modern-day, queer anthem. “I grew up with that song, but there I was, closeted me sitting in the car listening to it, and in my brain I was always shifting the lyrics a bit. Nobody knew in my head I was whispering ‘boy’ to myself instead of ‘girl’ because I knew that’s what made sense to me and what felt natural,” Jordy shares.

The idea came up to take his unique spin on the song and put it on his latest album — and in so doing, Jordy found the full blessing from Nine Days singer and songwriter John Hampson, who also makes a cameo in the music video, which was released in January.

“Honestly it was a very healing experience for me,” Jordy adds. “As a kid I didn’t always feel valid in the rock space, I always felt I was this more feminine, theatrical, flamboyant kid who loved Spice Girls and ’N Sync and found himself really relating to the pop world, but for this rock star to be supporting me, a queer voice and a queer artist, was incredible.”

Selena Fragassi has more with Jordy ahead of the release of his new album on Friday.


From the press box


Your daily question☕

How would you describe what spring is like in Chicago to someone new here?

Email us (please include your first and last name) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: What do you think is the best way to support young people in this city?

Here’s some of what you said…

“Provide intro high school courses to various trades like electrician, carpentry, plumbing, etc. like they use to with automotive, wood shop, home economics and tuition-free community college and trade schools.” — George Recchia

“Adults need to behave like adults. We need to lead by example. We need to show them how to live with love, empathy, forgiveness and compassion. We need to let them know they are loved and we absolutely care what happens to them. It takes a village.” — Ryan Barrett

“The best way to support young people is to connect them with the organizations already engaged in the work of lifting up our city. Pay our young people to spend their summer being passionate about solving the concerns in their neighborhoods. Whether that is providing housing security, or combating hunger, or cleaning the environment, every community in this city can be better. Perhaps we can take the Peace Corps and Americorps models and mimic that in a way that connects our high school students with improving their neighborhoods.” — Andrew Martinek

“What would best support young people in this city is a lot of things to do that are fun, entertaining, and to provide jobs in each neighborhood. The Park District has too few spaces and programs, so these could be increased too. ... Get these programs going this summer, because next summer with the eyes of the world on us for our convention — just getting the cops out is not enough. We have to have alternatives. ” — Linda Weide

“Parenting classes, job opportunities, safe and updated learning environments, community centers — like Boys and Girls Club — affordable housing, grocery stores, strong leadership, support and unconditional love.” — Dornette Ashley

“It’s doubtful that they all need the same type of support. Having said that I do believe that everyone can benefit from diverse experiences. Take them outside their familiar communities, open their brain circuitries to new pathways, for example, internships at hospitals, stables, investment firms, sports centers, the senate or House of Representatives, universities, etc.” — Charles Woods

“Seeing their potential, giving them a chance, and staying POSITIVE about them.” — Angela Memoli

“Parents, summer programs, activities and accountability!” — Donna Vernier


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

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