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Larry Snelling speaks about gun violence in the Englewood neighborhood in June 2020.

Larry Snelling speaks about gun violence in the Englewood neighborhood in June 2020. Snelling, then captain of the 7th District, is Mayor Brandon Johnson’s pick to lead the police department.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia

The Rundown: Big problems facing the new police superintendent

Good afternoon! I’m still visiting my nephews, who have learned the phrase “say it, don’t spray it,” which they use liberally and in situations where words were not sprayed. So without spraying it, here’s what you need to know today.

1. Chicago’s new police superintendent inherits a department that has been notoriously slow to enact reforms

Mayor Brandon Johnson formally announced Larry Snelling, the Chicago Police Department’s 54-year-old counterterrorism chief, will become the next police superintendent.

Snelling’s appointment comes as a mandatory overhaul of the department’s culture and standards has moved so slowly over the past four years that it’s teetering on failure, my colleague Patrick Smith reports.

“We continue to have significant concerns regarding the CPD’s commitment to have constitutional policing and reform efforts lead its crime-fighting strategies,” Maggie Hickey, a court-appointed monitor of the department’s reform efforts, wrote in a report released in June. [WBEZ]

Snelling’s appointment to the $260,004-a-year superintendent’s job must now be confirmed by the City Council.

Before that crucial vote, he is expected to be introduced to Chicago residents during at least one public hearing where he will face questions. [Chicago Sun-Times]

2. A growing number of Chicagoans live more than a mile away from a supermarket

The number of Chicagoans living more than a mile away from a supermarket or superstore has jumped by 63% in the past decade, a WBEZ-Chicago Sun-Times analysis found.

Neighborhoods on the West and South sides have seen an exodus of major grocers in recent years, leaving residents upset and scrambling to find stores where they can buy fresh healthy foods at a low cost.

What often remains to fill the void are discount grocers, which can greatly differ in quality from one location to the next.

When a reporter tried to buy a gallon of expired fat-free skim milk at the Englewood Save A Lot, a cashier searched for a nonexpired gallon of the same kind but came up empty. [Chicago Sun-Times]

3. Illinois lawmakers forgot to fund a program covering funeral expenses for murdered children

The family of Serabi Medina, a 9-year-old Chicago girl whom prosecutors say was deliberately killed by a neighbor, is raising money online for her funeral.

That fundraising shouldn’t be necessary because Illinois lawmakers last year approved a law allowing the state to pay up to $10,000 for a murdered child’s funeral and burial, writes Rich Miller for the Chicago Sun-Times.

But the program is still waiting on funding, meaning Serabi’s family might not get a dime, Miller reports.

“It looks like the program slipped through the cracks because, according to the governor’s office, the bill’s House original sponsor apparently made an honest mistake and mistook an appropriation for another burial program to be a funding source for the child burial legislation,” Miller writes. [Chicago Sun-Times]

4. A concert at the United Center ended early after a false report of an active shooter

Chicago Police officers responded to the false report Saturday evening during a concert by rapper Lil Durk, my colleagues at the Chicago Sun-Times report.

Durk was nearing the end of his set when concertgoers began running for exits, according to videos posted to social media.

Other videos showed people fighting in the stands and others stealing merchandise from an unsupervised table as they left the venue.

The Chicago Police Department released few details of the incident or their response. The United Center said in a statement that it is cooperating with authorities.

Christina Holt said she was taking her two nephews, 10 and 11, to their first concert when they were injured during a “stampede” of concertgoers.

“It was horrible, we were all so terrified,” she said. The three spent the night at Rush Medical Center. [Chicago Sun-Times]

5. A Chicago man gives out free clothes to migrants outside his home

Frank Schmeda started noticing groups of people waiting outside an office building across the street from his house about a month ago.

He soon learned the people were migrants seeking assistance from a state resource office.

While holding a garage sale one weekend, he gave away clothes to any of the migrants who stopped by his front yard.

He realized that most had very few belongings, so he set up a table with a sign saying “gratis,” meaning free in Spanish, and began leaving out clothes and shoes every day.

“It turned into more of, not a charity, but more of a necessity,” Schmeda said. “I’m not trying to be a hero; it’s just this is what’s happening right in front of me. How could I not do something?” [Chicago Sun-Times]

Here’s what else is happening

  • The governor of Hawaii warns the death toll from wildfires may grow. [AP]

  • A grand jury in Georgia could soon decide on indicting former President Donald Trump. [New York Times]

  • A police raid of a Kansas newsroom raises alarms about violations of press freedom. [NPR]

  • Here’s a look at how a San Diego drag queen topped the iTunes Christian music charts. [KPBS]

Oh, and one more thing …

The Washington Post today published a jaw-dropping story about how the Smithsonian amassed a “racial brain collection” in the first half of the 20th century, a collection that has long been hidden from public view.

The collection was led by Ales Hrdlicka, a curator who believed white people were superior, the Post reports. And the vast majority of the remains appear to have been gathered without the consent of the individual or their family.

“The remains are the unreconciled legacy of a grisly practice in which bodies and organs were taken from graveyards, battlefields, morgues and hospitals in more than 80 countries,” the Post reports. [Washington Post]

Tell me something good ...

I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off over the weekend with my nephews (they weren’t really watching) and was wondering, with the new school year coming up: What’s your favorite “high school” movie?

There’s a lot of good movies to choose from, especially ones filmed in the Chicago area. I have to go with Ferris Bueller, partly because the shots of Chicago in the ’80s are amazing. Especially this scene.

Feel free to email me, and your response might be shared in the newsletter this week.

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