Chicago News Roundup: The truth about the SAFE-T law, Lightfoot demands a raise and more

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

This afternoon will be mostly sunny with a high near 54 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with lows near 38. Tomorrow will also be mostly sunny with highs near 56.

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Beyond the impassioned rhetoric about bail, what else is in the SAFE-T Act?

The SAFE-T Act has been a hot topic in Illinois this election season, dominating much of the conversation in the race for governor, as well as in ballot races.

The Safety, Responsibility, Fairness, and Equity Today (SAFE-T) Act was signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker in early 2021.

Most of the attention has focused on a part of the law called the “Pre-trial Fairness Act”, which eliminates cash bail from January 1. Under the new law, judges will no longer require anyone to pay bail to get out of jail while awaiting trial. Instead, judges will decide who is locked up based on their offense and whether they are considered a flight risk or a security threat.

Several Republicans said the changes would lead to an increase in crime, while some Democrats argued the law would make courts fairer and allow them to focus on the most serious crimes. The law was referenced in political debatesand was the target of a disinformation campaign.

But eliminating cash bail is just one piece of the huge SAFE-T law. Here are three other things Bill has done to change criminal justice in Illinois:

Expands services for victims of crime

Victims of crime and their families can face heavy financial burdens, such as loss of income and funeral expenses. Proponents have long argued that a program to ease that burden, by providing cash, is hard to access, too restrictive and leaves the most vulnerable without help. The “Criminal Injuries Compensation Act” makes it easier for people injured by crime to claim this cash compensation.

Increases police oversight and accountability

The SAFE-T Act makes multiple changes to policing in the state, with the goal of reducing police misconduct and violence. It will now be easier for state authorities to remove officers accused of gross misconduct from the streets through a decertification process. People will also be able to file anonymous complaints against police officers, and all law enforcement agencies will now be required to use body cameras by 2025. The law also adds restrictions on when police can use force, for example by prohibiting deadly force against a person who is only a threat to themselves. Officers also now have a “duty to intervene” if another officer uses unauthorized force.

Ends the so-called “gerrymandering in prison”

Incarcerated persons are currently counted as coming from the Illinois electoral precinct where they are incarcerated, even if they cannot vote. This swells the population of prison cities and gives them more political power, while decreasing political power in areas with high incarceration rates, such as Cook County. The “No Representation Without People” part of the law changes that. When creating state electoral districts, incarcerated persons will now be counted as belonging to the last known address at which they lived before their incarceration.

WBEZ’s Shannon Heffernan has more essential facts about the SAFE-T law here.

More news you need

  1. Family members are struggling to understand how Dashawnna Threatt, a loving 26-year-old mother of two daughters, was fatally shot yesterday on DuSable Lake Shore Drive near Kenwood. Our Sophie Sherry has more with Threatt’s family and their search for answers here.
  2. A federal judge today sentenced former Teamsters boss John T. Coli Sr. to 19 months in prison for illegally pocketing $325,000 in secret cash payments from Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Our Jon Seidel has the whole story on Coli’s conviction here.
  3. The city’s top watchdog says the Chicago Police Department ignored incriminating evidence when examining an officer’s ties to the Proud Boys and failed to consider whether he should be fired for lying to the police. investigators. Officer Robert Bakker’s relationship with the far-right group resulted in a 120-day suspension. Our Tom Schuba has more on the watchdog’s findings here.
  4. Kidnapping and attempted sexual assault charges have been filed against a man accused of attacking a postal worker over the weekend in Little Village and stealing his mail truck. The 44-year-old was arrested after the United States Postal Inspection Service offered up to $50,000 for information and police released surveillance video.
  5. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia has repudiated a letter released yesterday that he signed in June, along with 29 other House progressives, urging President Joe Biden to “engage in direct talks with Russia” to end the war in Ukraine. The letter as written sparked a major outcry, prompting Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, to retract it.
  6. Mary Jane Theis began her term as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Illinois today – succeeding Anne Burke and taking the helm at a critical time with two more court seats on the line. Burke’s term as Chief Justice ended yesterday, although she will remain on the bench until November 30.
  7. Chicago’s mayor hasn’t gotten a raise since 2006. Mayors Richard M. Daley, Rahm Emanuel and Lori Lightfoot all received $216,210 a year. The catch-all ‘management ordinance’ introduced at today’s city council meeting and tied to Lightfoot’s $16.4 billion budget proposes tying the mayor’s future salary to the rate of inflation or 5%, whichever is lower.
  8. And the mayor’s politics spilled over onto the Council floor after members resoundingly rejected Lightfoot’s attempts to appoint Ald to retire. James Cappleman as Chairman of the Education Committee, replacing former Ald. Michael Scott Jr.The failed attempt to nominate Cappleman was a rebuke to mayoral candidate Sophia King, vice-chair of the committee, who is acting as acting chair, says our Fran Spielman.
  9. The council also approved a resolution in support of the Jewish community, citing recent anti-Semitic comments by the rapper formerly known as Kanye West. “We will not tolerate this type of hatred”, Ald. said Debra Silverstein.
  10. A $380 million rail project on the South Side is set to eliminate one of the Chicago area’s most congested rail choke points. Construction of the new 75th Street Railroad Bridge is scheduled to begin this month.

A bright

Chicago Karaoke Contest finalists ready to sing it in championship round

Chicagoans who’ve belted out songs by Björk, Queen, Chris Stapleton and other big names are vying to win a citywide karaoke showdown.

The six finalists who will compete for the title of “Chicago’s Karaoke Champion” were announced this morning by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events).

The finalists are Jaleel Amir, 26, Grand Crossing neighborhood; Brandon Dodson, 35, Rogers Park neighborhood; Lauren “Elle Michelle” Gaines, 40, Galewood neighborhood; Rashada Dawan, 40, Rive-Sud district; Erendira Izguerra, 29, West Lawn neighborhood; Jason E. Jackson, 45, Edgewater neighborhood.

(left to right) Elle Michelle, Jaleel Amir, Brandon Dodson, Rashada Dawan, Erendira Izguerra, Jason E. Jackson.

The month-long, citywide contest – produced by People’s Stage Karaoke and titled “Chicago Sings Karaoke” – was announced earlier this month and has attracted hundreds of amateur singers from the area (21 and more) eager to show off their vocal chops.

The first two rounds of the contest have been held at venues across the city over the past three weeks, which ultimately saw all six singers head to the final round on Nov. 6 at Park West, 322 W. Armitage. The judging panel will be made up of local industry professionals and celebrities.

The winner receives $5,000. And well-deserved bragging rights.

Miriam Di Nunzio says more about the competition here.

From the press gallery

Your daily question☕

What’s your favorite karaoke song? 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 the issue you would like your alderman to address in your neighborhood?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Please address the benefits that Ward 17 residents will receive by taking a 10% salary increase.” — Tim Thomas

“Affordable housing.” —Thomas Clark

“Constant street repairs in the Ashland/Belmont/Lincoln area that not only cause traffic jams, but bus stops are also constantly moved without notice.” —howard moore

“We have had two vacant lots on the corner of Irving Park Rd and Cumberland for over 10 years. I would like it to be a priority to encourage development. I hate walking past it’s such an eyesore. — Stephanie Swieca

“Crime.” —John Schmitt

“More pedestrian crossings. It’s dangerous, no one wants to stop. — Yvonne Curbis

“Police response time due to understaffed districts. Check the average number of queue calls for police service requests and tell voters how you’d solve these problems if you’re serious about crime! —jay robert

“We need more mental health resources. More social workers. More places where these people can get non-judgmental help. — Jo Mann

“Find more help for homeless people.” —Lucia Castro

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

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