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Ald. Brookins seriously injured in ‘freak’ bike accident

21st Ward aldermanic candidate incumbent Howard Brookins Jr 2019 mayoral election

21st Ward aldermanic candidate and incumbent Howard Brookins Jr. in 2016. | Sun-Times file photo

South Side Ald. Howard Brookins Jr. is recovering from a “freak bicycle accident” and has undergone multiple surgeries to his face and upper body.

Brookins was riding his bike on Sunday, Nov. 13 along the Cal-Sag Trail, when debris lodged in the spokes of his bicycle, flinging him over the handlebar, according to a Brookins spokesperson. Brookins returned home from the hospital on Thursday.

The alderman posted details of the accident on Sunday morning on his Facebook page. “I am sorry to report that I will be unable to attend any Ward or neighborhood events for the near future as I was seriously injured in a freak bicycle accident. First, I am okay and I have been recovering in the hospital since the accident. I will, however, require multiple surgeries to recover from damage to my face and upper body,” the alderman said in a the post.

Howard Brookins Facebook post

His post also notes that he’s unable to attend events, and he’s asking his constituents to call his office with any questions or to have his staff attend events on his behalf.

“I cannot travel to and from events and provide you with the service you deserve until my treatment is complete and I have sufficiently recovered,” Brookins wrote.

Brookins has served as 21st Ward Alderman since April 2003. He was chosen to chair the City Council’s Education Committee in April — almost immediately declaring that the selective enrollment school on the North Since once known as Obama Prep shouldn’t be built.

Brookins is the former chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus who served on Mayor Emanuel’s school closing commission. The alderman sat through scores of public hearings across the city in a process that culminated in the mayor’s controversial decision to close a record 50 public schools.

The move alienated African-American voters who helped elect Emanuel in 2011 and nearly cost the mayor his re-election bid.

Brookins lost in his challenge for U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush’s 1st Congressional District seat in the March primary.

Brookins’ 21st Ward covers parts of Auburn Gresham, Washington Heights, Gresham, Chatham and Roseland.