The Chicago Police Department is getting wide attention over alleged abuses at one of its West Side facilities. Officers working out of the Homan Square site were singled out by the Guardian newspaper for a variety of alleged tactics, including illegally detaining people for up to 24 hours without giving them access to a lawyer. Since the article was published last week, more people have stepped forward to tell their stories of being detained at Homan Square. CPD denies the charges. And WBEZ, the Guardian, and other news organizations continue to report on what goes on there behind closed doors.
For Chicagoans, the Homan Square saga has revived our city’s sordid past with police interrogation methods. Remember Jon Burge? He’s the police commander from the 1980s known for the brutal tactics some officers used when he was in charge. Burge was never convicted of torture, but he was convicted of perjury in 2010. He was released last year and currently lives in Florida where he still collects a police pension.
John Conroy is the reporter who uncovered the Burge story. He was with the Chicago Reader at the time and is now a professor at DePaul University. And he joins us in studio today to talk about two questions: First, what do we need to know about Burge when we read today’s stories about alleged police abuse and torture? And, second, what do journalists have to take into account when they’re reporting these stories, especially when the police deny there’s any wrongdoing?
Guest: John Conroy is a former Chicago Reader reporter and currently the director of investigations and a senior lecturer at DePaul University. He is the author of ‘Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People: The Dynamics of Torture’ and wrote the play, ‘My Kind of Town.’
Maple syrup enthusiasts head to Indiana for the National Maple Syrup Festival
When you think maple syrup, which part of the world springs to mind? For many it’s places like Vermont or Canada. But some of the best chefs and food experts in Chicago have a different answer: Indiana. In particular: Southern Indiana. In fact, a bunch of Chicago chefs are making the trek down to Brown County tomorrow for the National Maple Syrup Festival which runs through this weekend. Tree tapping, sap boiling, and lots of maple-flavored food and drink. It’s like Octoberfest for syrup lovers. Tim Burton is a maple syrup artisan and the founder of the festival. He joins us by phone from the middle of his Indiana maple forest.
Guest: Tim Burton is a maple syrup artisan and the founder of the National Maple Syrup Festival.
McDonald’s vows to stop serving chicken with antibiotics
Oak Brook based McDonald’s announced it will raise its standards when it comes to antibiotics and chicken production. Starting in two years its suppliers won’t be able to treat healthy chickens with antibiotics that are needed in human health. The fast food chain is the latest and biggest company to make this move. WBEZ’s Monica Eng tells us more about it.
Guest: Monica Eng is a WBEZ reporter.
Tech Shift: ‘Captivology’ explores how to get attention
What is it about some stories or cell phone games that suck people in? Tech journalist Ben Parr has a new book about the science behind this phenomenon and he’s here to help us answer that question. His book is called Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention.
Guest: Ben Parr is a journalist and the author of ‘Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention.’
The White Sox and Cubs head back to the field
Despite a roster full of injuries, the Bulls beat the Wizards last night 97 to 92. The White Sox kicked off their first Spring Training game today in Arizona, and the Cubs start preseason tomorrow. WBEZ sports contributor Cheryl Raye-Stout joins us to talk about these stories and more.
Guest: Cheryl Raye-Stout is WBEZ’s sports contributor.
The Willis Tower is up for sale
Chicago’s iconic Sears Tower, or Willis Tower as it’s officially been renamed, is on sale. Reports say that a potential deal is in the works that could be worth a record breaking $1.5 billion. Downtown properties, both residential and commercial, have been rapidly increasing in value and WBEZ’s Susie An joins us to look at what a Willis Tower sale could mean for the downtown market.
Guest: Susie An is a WBEZ reporter.
Mayor Emanuel speaks out against the Governor’s budget
Earlier at a fire station in University Village, Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke about his opposition to Governor Rauner’s state budget. WBEZ’s city politics reporter Lauren Chooljian was there and she joins us on the Afternoon Shift.
Guest: Lauren Chooljian is a WBEZ reporter.