Chicago news roundup: Cops explain why they’re making fewer arrests, a priest was kicked out on assault charges, the family provides an update on Cooper Roberts and more


Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. This is an approximately 5 minute read that will educate you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will see showers and possibly a thunderstorm – with a high near 73 degrees. Similar conditions will continue tonight with lows near 68. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with highs near 83. Sunday will be mostly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms and highs near 81.

Afternoon Edition

The most important Chicago news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus number on Saturday dives into the city’s history.

top story

As violent crime in Chicago soars, arrests fall to historic lows

Since 2020, violent crime in Chicago has continued to rise – and arrests have fallen to historic lows.

Police made arrests in just 12% of reported crimes last year, according to a Chicago Sun-Times analysis. This is the lowest level since at least 2001, the first year the data has been made public.

The overall arrest rate peaked at nearly 31% in 2005 and has fallen steadily.

The drop in arrests reflects a drop in nearly every category of police activity tracked by the Chicago Police Department. The number of traffic stops, tickets and investigative stops – in which pedestrians are searched or frisked by officers on the street – have all dropped. The number of arrests for investigation more than halved between 2019 and last year, from 155,000 citywide to 69,000.

And overall, fewer crimes are being reported — by victims and by police, who used to produce many crime reports themselves while patrolling their beats.

The slowdown equates to a rollback of police officers as the city experienced its most violent years in decades, an increase also seen in other major US cities.

Rank and file police patrolling the streets and even senior officers say officers are doing less.

In 2019, as the overall arrest rate continued to decline, City Hall agreed to a federal consent decree to overhaul the police department following the 2014 police officer killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald on the side South West.

The department has since made reforms aimed at changing the way officers do their jobs, including a stricter vehicle pursuit policy and a new foot pursuit policy.

Additionally, cops have been told to stop enforcing certain low-level offenses, including possession of small amounts of marijuana, which was legalized in Illinois in early 2020.

But the number of arrests for possession of harder drugs, such as heroin, has also fallen significantly. These arrests peaked at 7,753 in 2001, but fell last year to 929.

Current and former police officers – who agreed to speak on the condition that they not be identified – say the cops pulled out for other reasons.

Veteran cops say they used to go out of their way to make arrests when they saw suspicious activity, but are less likely to do so now for fear of getting in trouble and getting hurt. be fired or arrested.

Tom Schuba, Andy Grimm, Jesse Howe and Andy Boyle have more history behind the numbers here.

More news you need

  1. In another deep dive into the data, Grimm takes a look at the West Side Police District of North Lawndale where the number of arrests has dropped nearly to half from pre-pandemic levels. Yet while arrests have fallen there, the figure remains the highest in the city.
  2. Reverend Luis Andrade was expelled from the Episcopal Church as a priest in 2019 after an internal investigation found sexual misconduct accusations made against him by three women were credible. He now oversees a church in Berwyn, our report of Robert Herguth and Elvia Malagón.
  3. His spinal cord severed in the Highland Park parade shooting, 8-year-old Cooper Roberts ‘continues to fight as hard as he can’ but remains in critical condition following his latest surgery. Our Brett Chase has the latest from Cooper’s family on the boy’s recovery here.
  4. As people fled the shooting in the 4th of July parade, a woman stopped to pick up a small, bleeding terrier. Neighbors, a vet and social media brought Lola the Yorkie home with her family, despite her losing sight in one eye, they said.
  5. A death investigation is ongoing after a Chicago police officer was found dead inside his home today. He was discovered early in the morning at his residence in the 1st Police District, which includes the Loop and the South Loop, Chicago police said.
  6. Two men who claimed their innocence in a deadly fire in 1986 were released early this morning after an appeals court cast doubt on the evidence that sent them to life in prison. “I have to learn to be free,” said Arthur Almendarez, who, along with John Galvan, was greeted by a host of family and friends upon his release.
  7. Mayor Lori Lightfoot appoints Elder Ald. Michael Scott Jr. to serve on the Board of Education. The move takes the seat of current board member Dwayne Truss, who was surprised to learn he was being kicked off the board.
  8. The Museum of Ice, a new interactive experience, opens tomorrow downtown at the Shops at Tribune Tower. The museum’s founders say the experience was created for children and adults.

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A bright

Around Chicago, grabbing paddles and boats for ‘river therapy’ amid pandemic

Interest in kayaking has skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic as a socially distanced outdoor activity.

For many, an enjoyable diversion has become an important part of their lives, providing a window into a previously unknown world.

Conservation groups welcome the interest and hope it will help them develop, map, promote, clean up and run trips on Illinois’ 87,000-mile system of waterways and bring kayaking to more people. , including black residents who live near some of the most notable waterways but may never have sailed there.

Day trip paddlers with the Openlands Conservation Group explore the Little Calumet River in Kickapoo Woods, part of the Cook County Forest Preserves.

Day trip paddlers with the Openlands Conservation Group explore the Little Calumet River in Kickapoo Woods, part of the Cook County Forest Preserves.

The environmental group Openlands has partnered with other groups to use aquatic trips to teach the history of the area. Recently, she hosted a trip down the Little Calumet River, followed by a luncheon where guest speakers spoke about the African-American Heritage Water Trail and the people and sites in the Calumet area who made it easy to pass through. the Underground Railroad during slavery.

Gliding over water a few feet underground, through cities and suburbs, under bridges, through commercial streets and residential neighborhoods, paddlers say they feel transported to another, calmer, less manic world. They see four-foot-tall great blue herons nesting in huge piles of tall sticks in leafless trees, red-tailed hawks circling and screeching overhead, and turtles sunning themselves with their necks outstretched on felled trees.

“The experiences I’ve had on this creek are just unreal,” said April Cole, 50, of Crystal Lake. “It’s the most beautiful and treasured thing to me in McHenry County. It’s an amazing cove. The wildlife is just stunning.

WBEZ’s Zachary Nauth talks more about Chicagoans’ growing interest in “river therapy” here.

From the press gallery

Your daily question ☕

What is your favorite museum in Chicago? Tell us why.

Email us at [email protected] and we might feature your response in the next afternoon edition.

Yesterday we asked you: what is your essential Chicago summer tradition?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Participating in Chosen Few Picnic and Festival! House Music all day, right in his south side birthplace. Just love, peace, good music and thousands of nice people jamming all together. We had a great time this year after the pandemic break. —Lehia Franklin Acox

“Obtain one or more Rainbow Cones.” —Valerie LaBerge

“Take our pontoon over the Chicago River to see the beautiful architecture, Riverwalk and stay for the Art on the Mart show. Besides, you always have to go to Lawrence’s for jumbo coconut shrimp while we’re there. Friends, family and our beautiful big city with big shoulders. — Julie Gammichia

“I grab my camera and head all over town taking pictures of people enjoying life in Chicago.” —Chris Vaughn

“Jay’s Italian beef sandwich before a Cubs game, Old Style at Wrigley and D’agostino’s pizza after. Huge! The Holy Trinity on the northwest side of Chicago. —Robert Lisowski

“I love going to Lincoln Park Zoo and the Air and Water Show. Always an amazing day. —Marie Lou Meader

“Walk on the edge of the lake to the north through the ports.” —Harry S. Brinker III

“Getting Mario’s Italian lemonade on a hot day.” —Angel A. Alicea

“I try to throw a street festival every weekend. My absolute favorites are Roscoe Burger Fest and Wicker Park Fest. — Micha Kieren

“Go to Ohio Street Beach, swim a mile on the wall and grab a bite/drink at Caffe Oliva! Nothing better!” – Maureen Gaffney

Thanks for reading the Chicago afternoon edition. Think we missed a story? Email us here.


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