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ShotSpotter technology installed at North Lavergne Avenue and West Division Street in the Austin neighborhood in June 2023.

ShotSpotter technology installed at North Lavergne Avenue and West Division Street in the Austin neighborhood in June 2023.

Pat Nabong

The Rundown: The ShotSpotter showdown intensifies

Good afternoon. For some business owners, a faux flower by any other name would smell just as sweet. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. New police data further complicates Mayor Johnson’s push to ditch ShotSpotter

Statistics compiled by the Chicago Police Department show response times over the past six years were more than two minutes quicker with a ShotSpotter alert, my colleagues Fran Spielman and Frank Main report.

“With only a ShotSpotter alert, the average response time was 8 minutes, 6 seconds,” they write. “That compares with 10 minutes, 11 seconds when ShotSpotter was combined with a 911 call. Response time grew to 10 minutes, 48 seconds with a 911 call but no ShotSpotter alert.”

The statistics support a key argument from supporters of the gunshot detection technology in the City Council. But numerous studies have shown ShotSpotter hasn’t lived up to all its promises, such as reducing fatal shootings or other gun crimes.

Still, the news will most likely intensify a debate between Mayor Brandon Johnson and council members over splitting with ShotSpotter toward the end of the summer. [Chicago Sun-Times]

2. A man wanted in the killing of Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca was arrested with the officer’s own handcuffs

Authorities announced Xavier L. Tate Jr., 22, was arrested yesterday evening in west suburban Glendale Heights following a “multi-state investigation.”

Tate has been charged with first-degree murder in last month’s fatal shooting of Huesca, who was driving home from work in his police uniform when he was carjacked and shot not far from his home.

Huesca served on the police force for six years and was two days away from his 31st birthday.

Huesca had attended the police academy alongside Officer Andrés Vásquez Lasso, who was fatally shot in the line of duty just more than a year ago.

“I lost Andres first and now Luis,” said Officer Lucia Chavez, who met both Huesca and Lasso at the academy. “I lost my two classmates, my best friends, my brothers. The violence in this city took them away from me, from us.” [Chicago Sun-Times]

3. Jewish groups want Northwestern’s president to resign

The backlash comes days after the university and organizers of a pro-Palestinian encampment reached an agreement to take steps toward divesting from Israel, my colleague Sophie Sherry reports.

The agreement requires university officials to disclose some financial information and reestablishes an advisory committee on investments that will include students.

The university also agreed to take steps to better support Palestinian students on campus and allow protests to continue until June 1.

Northwestern President Michael Schill has touted the agreement as a way to de-escalate tensions on campus.

But three Jewish groups — ADL Midwest, StandWithUs and the Louis D. Brandeis Center — say the deal shows Schill is not fit to lead the university. The groups say Jewish students have been harassed and intimidated by “blatant antisemitism” since the war in Gaza began. [Chicago Sun-Times]

4. Chicago considers lowering the default speed limit to 25 mph

City officials say hundreds of lives could be saved from traffic crashes each year if the city lowered its default speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph, my colleague Mitchell Armentrout reports.

No formal plan has been unveiled, but City Council members this week showed an openness to the idea.

Vig Krishnamurthy, deputy commissioner of the city Department of Transportation, told council members that a pedestrian’s odds of surviving being hit by a vehicle moving 25 mph are five times better than a person struck at up to 35 mph.

The news comes as roadway fatalities in Chicago climbed during the pandemic, reaching 180 deaths in 2021. Other cities — like New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. — have slashed limits to 25 mph. [Chicago Sun-Times]

5. A Chicago film festival that’s an early predictor of the Oscar shortlist

The documentary film festival Doc10 returns today in Chicago, screening 10 outstanding documentaries through Sunday.

And the festival’s lineup typically includes documentaries that go on to be nominated for the Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars, WBEZ contributor Graham Meyer reports.

“Doc10’s lineup had a three-year streak of including the eventual Best Documentary Feature Oscar winner in 2020 (American Factory), 2021 (Summer of Soul) and 2022 (Navalny),” Meyer writes.

Among this year’s selection at Doc10 is War Game, which follows a simulation of a future insurrection on Jan. 6, 2025, gamed out by political and military experts.

And there’s Super/Man, which paints a portrait of actor Christopher Reeve, from his acting career — prominently in the Superman movies — through his role as a disability-rights advocate after a horseback-riding accident left him paralyzed. [WBEZ]

Here’s what else is happening

  • President Joe Biden today addressed tensions on campuses, saying he supports the right to protest but denounced “chaos” and hate speech. [NPR]

  • Hamas will send a delegation to Egypt for cease-fire talks. [AP]

  • The landmark monopoly trial between the Justice Department and Google comes to an end this week. [NPR]

  • Music from some of the biggest artists will return to TikTok, which reached a new licensing agreement with Universal Music Group. [BBC]

Oh, and one more thing …

GZA and Barbie are coming to Millennium Park.

City officials today announced the lineups for this summer’s music and film series at the park, my colleague Miriam Di Nunzio reports.

“Among the artists scheduled for the hugely popular music series are Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae, Afrobeat musician-singer Seun Kuti, blues legend Charlie Musselwhite and rapper/Wu-Tang Clan co-founder GZA,” Di Nunzio writes.

For movie fans, this summer’s roster includes Coco, Wonka, American Fiction and Barbie. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Tell me something good …

What Chicago-area festivals or events are you looking forward to this summer?

Rebecca Palumbo writes:

“I’m really looking forward to the first annual Cultural Celebration Day at Fox Pointe in Lansing, Illinois. They are planning performances from Irish step dancing to Native American performers, tango lessons and even West African kora players. Food vendors representing traditions from around the globe and also artisans and craftspeople. It’s August 17th!”

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

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