Chicago News Roundup: Racist, Homophobic Posts From User Claiming To Be A Chicago Cop, R. Kelly Trial Begins, And More

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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 be mostly sunny with a high near 81 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with lows near 61. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with highs near 83.

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.

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Chicago police are investigating racist and homophobic messages from a person claiming to be a cop. “I hope the department knows I’m posting here”

Chicago police have launched an internal investigation into a series of inflammatory posts by a person claiming to be an officer in an online forum considered one of the darkest corners of the web.

Many posts on the 4chan /pol/ forum are racist and homophobic. They include photos of Chicago police uniforms, a city-issued ID badge, and a gun — all covered in post-it notes with the forum’s name and a date written on them.

The person who posted the messages claimed to be a military veteran and a cop who worked in the Rogers Park and Chicago Lawn police districts. Among other things, the user bragged about racial profiling and being involved in two on-duty shootings.

Like other people on the site, the user is only identified by a serial number.

The forum is widely seen as a hotbed of racism, anti-Semitism and other extremism. It was used to launch the unsubstantiated QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims former President Donald Trump is fighting a cabal of Democratic pedophiles.

Jennifer Rottner, spokeswoman for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, said the agency received a complaint about the messages on Monday and forwarded it to the police department’s Office of Internal Affairs.

Maggie Huynh, a police spokeswoman, would only confirm that an investigation has been opened.

The 4chan posts began on August 3 when the alleged officer started a thread asking for questions and including a picture of a shirt with a police patch. In the thread, the user hurled slurs at Mexicans and gay people and blamed the city’s violent crimes solely on black people.

The person also claimed to have voted three times for Trump in the 2020 election because “Chicago has a relaxed voting system.” The user appeared to argue for an armed insurrection, noting that American cities “are not worth fighting for.”

Tom Schubahas more on posts here.

More news you need

  1. Evanston Police today announced an arrest in a July shooting at a backyard party that seriously injured a 13-year-old girl. The girl was with other teenagers on July 25 when someone fired at least 10 shots over a fence, police said.
  2. A 40-year-old man died two days after he was shot outside the 69th Street Red Line CTA station. Anthony Dinion, 40, was arguing with someone Sunday evening outside the stop when the other person pulled out a gun and opened fire, authorities said.
  3. R. Kelly’s Chicago child pornography and obstruction of justice trial began in earnest this morning. Our Andy Grimm and Jon Seidel are at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse and have the latest developments here.
  4. Two sisters from Illinois – including one from Chicago – pleaded guilty today to participating in the January 6 riot at the US Capitol, and now each face up to six months in prison. Sentencing of Trudy Castle and Kimberly DiFrancesco is scheduled for November 22 in US District Court in Washington, D.C.
  5. In an effort to help Illinois seniors stay at home longer, officials announced Monday that the state will participate in a new federal program that could provide them with an alternative to nursing home care. Michael Loria has more on who qualifies for the program here.

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A bright

The South Side Center offers community support to homeless young adults

Tanka Bradford met her future boss, Megan Wickman, when Bradford was 17 and first living in a homeless shelter. Wickman worked at the shelter and helped Bradford adjust to community life.

Years later, Wickman asked Bradford to join his organization, Lyte Collective, dedicated to supporting young people struggling with homelessness in Chicago. Now, Bradford and other Lyte Collective board members are applying the lessons they’ve learned from their experiences with homelessness by opening the Lyte Lounge, a community center for Chicago’s homeless youth.

The salon is located at 549 E. 76th St. in Greater Grand Crossing. Its goal is to provide a sense of community and a support system for young adults experiencing homelessness not typically experienced in shelters and homeless centers.

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The music studio at Lyte Lounge, a new center for homeless young adults located at 549 E. 76th Street. The show was led by a group familiar with the homeless system, inspired to create a better center for young adults.

Lyte Collective – which also has a mobile youth support initiative and a transitional housing program – bought the building that would become Lyte Lounge in 2017. But the coronavirus slowed the project. The nearly 100-year-old building required $1.6 million in renovations. After fundraising, donors and a $500,000 loan, the Lyte Lounge was finally ready.

The two-story building, nestled in a residential neighborhood, has an array of features designed to nurture the lives of visitors. The design was driven by people with extensive experience in homeless shelters – people who knew exactly what they would change if given the opportunity to create their own program.

The Lyte Lounge aims to support young adults and enrich their lives. The Lounge is not a shelter; it is a place where people experiencing homelessness can meet their other needs.

“We don’t just want to say, you know, ‘Here’s a meal, move on.’ We want to say, ‘Here’s a meal, come play some basketball. Are you tired? Did you sleep well last night? Wasn’t that shelter too good? Let’s find a new one,” Bradford said.

Mariah Rush has more on the Lyte Lounge here.

From the press gallery

Your daily question ☕

Parents and Guardians: How do you feel about sending your kids back to school next week?

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

Yesterday we asked you: Are big music festivals good for Chicago?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Good for the cash injection, but shows a priority for tourists over locals which is troubling.” —Jose Orozco

“I’m sure these festivals have played a role in consolidating Chicago’s selection as Conde Nast’s ‘Best Big City in the United States’. Increasing the number of visitors to the city is great for our economy. , but for the past few weeks I’ve struggled with the notion of how the safety of Chicago residents, mostly women, is affected during these high-profile events It’s time for the city to welcome a new era of transparency to ensure increased safety, especially for the thousands of women and girls who attend these events.Felicia Davis Blakley

“Music heals many ailments and brings people together.” —Darren Rowland

“Good for the city, bad for park access for residents who don’t pay admission fees.” —Jacob Peters

“They are good for us because they bring money to our stores, hotels, restaurants, CTA, Uber/Lyft, museums/attractions, etc. Our city in general.” —Jackie Waldhier

“I love them and have a great time hanging out with them. I think it’s good for the city to provide opportunities for fun events. I wish the city would distribute them more evenly throughout the park system instead of lumping them into just a few parks. —Chris Carlson

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

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