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.
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Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said today he is waiting for more information before deciding whether to discipline a police officer seen in a viral video restraining a woman who was walking a dog at North Avenue Beach.
Lawyers for the woman, who is Black, have called the altercation with the white officer “an obvious case of racial profiling.”
Brown wouldn’t comment on the allegation, saying only that “there was some closure of the beach that preceded this interaction. That’s the extent of what we know. We don’t have an arrest, apparently, by this officer. And we don’t fully understand because we haven’t interviewed this officer yet.”
Brown said the woman in the video hasn’t been interviewed either.
The superintendent said the investigation is being conducted by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which looks into allegations of police misconduct. Brown said he is awaiting a briefing from COPA before considering whether to place the officer on desk duty or strip his police powers during the investigation.
“I know it’s frustrating for the public to wait,” Brown said. “I would just ask for the public to allow COPA to complete its investigation. And then allow this process of finding out what happened, getting to the bottom of it, before we then make [disciplinary] next steps, from my perspective.”
The woman in the video, Nikkita Brown, was near the lakefront with her dog Saturday around 12:10 a.m. when a Chicago police officer approached her for being in the area after the park was closed, according to a statement from Saulter Law, the firm representing the woman.
More news you need
Chicago police arrested someone this morning after they allegedly shot at officers about a block away from CPD headquarters on the South Side. Authorities say no one was injured in the encounter.
A month after she was fatally shot by Dolton police, major questions remain about the death of 19-year-old Alexis Wilson. Village officials and the Illinois State Police, which is investigating the shooting, have refused to comment.
Children across the city began returning to public schools today with parents feeling both jittery and cautiously optimistic. Nader Issa and Stefano Esposito have the latest on the first day of the new CPS school year.
A Cook County judge today revoked a recent order that barred a divorced Pilsen mother from seeing her 11-year-old son because she’s not vaccinated against the coronavirus. The judge provided no reason for reversing his original Aug. 11 order.
With COVID-19 vaccines recently approved for children 12 and older, more divorce attorneys around the country are starting to see divorced parents disagree on vaccinating their children. Bob Chiarito spoke to local attorneys and parents about a new conflict facing some couples going through divorce proceedings.
More than 500 refugees from Afghanistan are expected to resettle in Chicago in the coming months, according to the Refugee Action Network. As we previously reported, organizations have already been preparing for the influx of Afghan refugees.
A bright one
A 58-year-old U.S. Navy veteran teared up as he entered his refurbished, one-bedroom apartment, overwhelmed that he finally had furniture. The most exciting thing about his new space: a loveseat and dinner table with chairs, so he no longer has to sit on the floor and eat.
“I have a couch to sit on, and I don’t have to lay on the floor to watch TV,” said Mark McKenna, who was discharged in 1986. “It’s nice to have something to sit on.”
The remodel of McKenna’s apartment was made possible by donations from Chicagoans to the nonprofit organization Humble Design. The project was completed in a week and unveiled Friday, as the organization fulfilled its mission to help families — a majority of them led by single mothers — and veterans emerging from homelessness.
McKenna is the 2,000th client Humble Design has helped nationwide.
Mark McKenna tours his refurbished apartment for the first time. Brian Rich/Sun-Times
Before Humble Design got involved, McKenna’s apartment was sparse, boxes of his life forgotten in the corners of his Lakeview apartment.
Now, McKenna says it feels like home, with the hand-crocheted sign his mother made for him displayed on his fridge and his cabinets filled with food from the Lakeview Food Pantry. In his bedroom, iconic Beatles posters hang on the wall above his headboard, a nod to his infatuation with the English rock band.
Perhaps most precious, though, is the carefully folded U.S. flag, which sits atop his new china cabinet to memorialize his old roommate, who was also a Navy veteran.
“It’s for my friend Arnold,” McKenna said. “He passed away in 2011 from cancer — melanoma. We were together for 17 years … I miss him.”
From the press box
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On Friday, we asked you: How do you feel about Chicago Public Schools’ return to full in-person learning? Here’s what some of you said…
“Good they are in person. Bad that CPS administration and Lightfoot have not done enough to ensure the safety of our children and school staff. High probability this will not end well.” — Scott Phillips
“Really worried until there’s a vaccine for my child and others.” — Michael R. Butz
“It’s dangerous for these kids to be back in school right now, due to COVID. Can’t risk our kids health, nor the teachers.” — Derrick Lee
“Parents should have been given at least the choice of remote.” — Cynthia Foster McCauley
“It’s a good decision to return the children to school!! Many of these children have suffered greatly emotionally, socially and psychologically due to their absence from the structure and safety of their school environment! No, it’s not a perfect situation, however, their return to school is far better for them.” — Pamela Barnes
“Excellent! But is CPS ready? I don’t think CPS has done enough to provide a safe environment for the unvaccinated children.” — Diane Blaszczyk
“Can’t wait! I have four and we are all ready to be back in class. They went last spring and had no issues!” — Gina Hassett
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