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Newsletter: CPD Solved 22% Of Murders With Black Victims

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Chicago Police Department

Bill Healy

Hey, it’s Wednesday! And Marvel Comics turned 80 years old this month. Here’s what you need to know today. (PS: You can have this delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.)

1. Chicago murders are less likely to be solved if the victim is black

That’s according to a WBEZ analysis that looked at Chicago Police Department records for 849 murders between the beginning of 2018 and this past July. The analysis found that police solve less than 22% of murder cases when the victim is African American. When the victim is white, 47% of the cases were solved.

“I think it’s a testament to how disposable black bodies and black lives are in this country,” said a musician and school-based mentor in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, where crime rates are high but the clearance rate remains low. [WBEZ]

2. What does Trump’s stonewalling mean for the impeachment inquiry?

The White House yesterday released an eight-page letter that said it would not cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry. We may have a better answer to what happens next on Friday, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to hold a conference call with House Democrats.

But some scholars say the White House’s objections may not hold up legally because courts have long punted on the legitimacy of impeachment.

And it remains unclear if House leaders will wage a legal fight with the White House over documents and witness testimonies or move forward with an article of impeachment on obstruction of justice. [AP]

Meanwhile, internal emails from the State Department show diplomats were frustrated when the Trump administration froze military aid to Ukraine. President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s leader raised questions about the motive for withholding the aid. [New York Times]

3. Turkey launches attack on Kurds in Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced military forces began crossing the Syrian border today in an operation targeting Kurdish fighters.

The move comes after President Trump announced that Turkey planned to launch an offensive and he was withdrawing U.S. troops from the area, a major policy shift criticized by lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.

Critics worry Turkey’s move could come with serious consequences. The U.S. has long backed Kurdish militias to help fight against ISIS. Turkey, however, views the Kurdish fighters as terrorists. [NPR]

4. Lightfoot says teacher contract talks have hit a wall over affordable housing

With about a week left before Chicago teachers say they will go on strike, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said contract negotiations have been held up over the union’s demands on affordable housing.

Lightfoot said that while she welcomes the Chicago Teachers Union’s feedback on affordable housing in Chicago, the collective bargaining table “is not the appropriate place for the City to legislate its affordable housing policy.”

The union responded today by tweeting “we have nearly 17,000 homeless students in CPS.” [Chicago Tribune]

The union is expected to discuss class sizes at a press conference this afternoon.

5. City releases report on Laquan McDonald shooting

Newly released records from an investigation into the Laquan McDonald shooting show multiple officers submitted false police reports — and police bosses approved them — in the aftermath of the 2014 shooting.

The records come from an investigation by City Hall’s top watchdog, Inspector General Joe Ferguson, who looked into allegations of a city cover-up after then-Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shot McDonald 16 times.

City officials have long withheld Ferguson’s findings from the public, but Mayor Lightfoot’s administration released them today. You can read them here. [WBEZ]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Police have increased security around synagogues in eastern Germany after at least two people were killed in shootings today. [NPR]

  • Local lawmakers visited an immigrant detention center in Kankakee that has been the subject of a series of complaints. [WBEZ]

  • The FBI is investigating a suburb’s ties to a former Chicago alderman. [WBEZ]

  • Today’s South Side Stories visits the Chicago food institution known as Harold’s Chicken. [Apple]

Oh, and one more thing …

I am outraged that no one in the newsroom told me it was literally “Fat Bear Week,” and before some of you start emailing me, no, I’m not talking about that kind of bear.

I had no idea the annual event in Alaska existed until today. Fat Bear Week started five years ago and celebrates bears getting round for their winter hibernation.

This year’s winner is Holly, who beat 11 other brown bears in a March Madness-style bracket competition that allowed the public to vote for their favorite bears.

“Long live the Queen of Corpulence!” tweeted the Katmai National Park and Preserve, where the bears live. [NPR]

Tell me something good ...

Horror movies are some of the most profitable films. So what’s your favorite scary movie or TV show?

Carol writes:

“The first scariest movie I saw was The Exorcist. It was 1973 and my brother, cousin, my friend and I went downtown to see it. I was only 13 years old; and it scared me so bad that I couldn’t watch another horror film for decades! Later on, I did watch a couple of Anthony Hopkins films that were scary enough to keep my heart beating so fast that I stayed awake — haha. My son told me about Babadook but it sounds tooo scary for me to watch it.”

And Eliza Nevins tweets:

The Silence of the Lambs is my favorite scary movie. It’s good enough to warrant repeat watchings but never fails to give you the creeps no matter how many times you’ve seen it.”

What’s your favorite scary movie or TV show? Feel free to email at therundown@wbez.org or tweet me at @whuntah.

Have a nice night! I’ll see you tomorrow. And if you like what you just read, you can subscribe to the newsletter here and have it delivered to your inbox.

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