WBEZ’s Rundown Of Today’s Top News: Capitol Police Officer Killed In New Attack

The car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill is seen near the U.S. Capitol
The car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill is seen near the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, April 2, 2021. Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press
The car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill is seen near the U.S. Capitol
The car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill is seen near the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, April 2, 2021. Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

WBEZ’s Rundown Of Today’s Top News: Capitol Police Officer Killed In New Attack

Hi there! It’s Friday, and Happy Easter and Passover to those celebrating. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Capitol police officer killed when car rams checkpoint

One U.S. Capitol police officer was killed and another was injured when a man rammed a car into a security checkpoint today in Washington, D.C. Police said they fatally shot the suspect when he exited the car and lunged at officers with a knife.

Capitol Police identified the slain officer as Officer William “Billy” Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force.

The House and Senate are in recess, but both buildings had staff members inside. President Joe Biden was in Camp David, Md. The incident prompted a lockdown and access to the area remains restricted.

“This has been an extremely difficult time for U.S. Capitol Police after the events of Jan. 6, and now after the events that have occurred here today,” said Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman. “So I ask that you keep our U.S. Capitol Police family in your thoughts and prayers.”

The name of the suspect has not been released, and authorities have yet to say a motive. Pittman said Capitol Police don’t have the suspect on file nor have they found a connection to any member of Congress. [NPR]

2. CDC says travel is safe if fully vaccinated, but still recommends masks and social distancing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its domestic travel policy today for those who are fully vaccinated. The new guidelines remove certain testing and quarantine requirements, but masks and social distancing are still recommended — even for travelers who have been fully vaccinated.

The updated guidance, which does not supersede local travel restrictions, says people should wait two weeks after their last dose of an FDA-approved vaccine before traveling.

The CDC did not lift travel restrictions that bar entry of most non-U.S. citizens from China, Brazil, South Africa and parts of Europe. [NPR]

The news comes as cases are rising around the country. Over the past seven days, the U.S. reported an average of more than 65,000 new COVID-19 cases per day — a 20% increase from the average two weeks earlier. [NPR]

And cases continue to rise in Illinois. The state health department today reported 3,235 new coronavirus cases. On average, the state is reporting a 59% increase in new cases compared to the average two weeks ago, according to The New York Times. Deaths, however, remain low and are declining. [NYT]

In Chicago, officials are reporting an average of 524 cases per day, up 45% compared to last week. The positivity rate has also climbed from last week’s 3.4% to 4.7%. [COVID Dashboard]

Dr. Emily Landon, an infectious disease expert who gave an emotional speech with Mayor Lori Lightfoot early in the pandemic, said this week that the city needs “to close bars right now.” [WTTW]

3. When will the video of a Chicago police officer fatally shooting a 13-year-old be released?

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is among the Chicagoans calling for the release of police body camera footage that shows a CPD officer shooting 13-year-old Adam Toledo early Monday on the Southwest Side.

But a spokesman for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which investigates all police shootings, initially said the agency can’t release the video without a court order. COPA is required to release body camera video of police shootings within 60 days, except when the shooting involves someone under the age of 18. The agency later said it’s “researching all legal avenues that will allow for the public release of all video materials,” but if and when that will happen remains unknown.

Police said an officer shot the boy in the chest about 2:35 a.m. Monday during what they called an “armed encounter.” Police said a gun was recovered at the scene. Another man, 21-year-old Ruben Roman Jr., was charged with resisting arrest.

The boy’s mother, Elizabeth Toledo, said she “just wants answers about what really happened.” [Chicago Sun-Times]

Legal experts say Lightfoot and Police Superintendent David Brown have all the authority to release the recording on their own. [WBEZ]

4. Is the economy emerging from a winter slump?

In the largest job gain since August, employers nationwide added 916,000 jobs last month, according to the job report released today. The overall unemployment rate dropped to 6%, down from 6.2% in February. However, the rate for Black and Latino workers still remained higher than for white workers.

And restaurants and bars — a sector particularly unstable over the past year — added 176,000 workers in March.

The report is good news, according to Nela Richardson, chief economist at the payroll processor ADP, who said the labor market “has awakened from its winter slump.” [NPR]

Still, the findings showed that certain sectors can’t hire fast enough. Factories across the U.S. in particular are desperate for workers. [Reuters]

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan — which has the goal of improving infrastructure while creating jobs for low-income households — prompted Chicago and Illinois officials making a dream list of potential projects, including a Red Line extension and repairs to North Lake Shore Drive. [Chicago Tribune]

5. Dozens of big, profitable companies paid no federal taxes

At least 55 of America’s biggest corporations paid no taxes last year on billions of dollars in profits, according to a new report released today by the left-leaning research group Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Twenty-six of the companies listed did not pay any federal income taxes for the past three years — despite a combined income of $77 billion, according to the analysis. Many also received millions in tax rebates.

The giant corporations listed in the report — which include Nike, FedEx, Salesforce and Archer-Daniels-Midland — used legal tax loopholes to erase the rest, including provisions in the CARES Act allowing the losses in 2020 to offset profits earned in previous years.

The findings come as President Joe Biden is pushing to raise taxes on corporations. [New York Times]

Here’s what else is happening

  • A senior police officer said today in court that using a neck restraint on George Floyd was “uncalled for.” [NPR]

  • More than 50 are dead after a train derailed in Taiwan. [NPR]

  • Childhood tantrums, nightmares and headaches are up in Chicago during the pandemic. [Chicago Tribune]

  • A dozen retired and current city, county and state officials are reaping lucrative pensions — all while under federal scrutiny. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Oh, and one more thing …

Fans of The 1619 Project rejoice: The Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper series and podcast by Nikole Hannah-Jones for The New York Times is coming to Hulu as a docuseries.

First published in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first slave ship in Virginia, the series chronicled the legacy of American slavery. It has since been the subject of culture war debates and adapted for school curriculums.

The Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams and Oprah Winfrey are among the big names taking part in the project. Hulu has not announced a release date. [AP]

Tell me something good …

The weather is getting nicer, and I’d like to know what outdoor activities you’re doing that are safe and fun.

Brian writes:

“My favorite place to camp near Chicago (besides my backyard) is The Hollows, part of the McHenry County Conservation District. Officially it’s a group campsite, but individuals can rent it out for little money. It’s close to Jewel + Starbucks if you forget anything, but with only three campsites in the middle of a sandy valley, it has lots of places to hike and let the kids run around. It’s a bit of an undiscovered gem for camping — way better than the hordes at Devil’s Lake or Starved Rock on a popular weekend!”

Thanks for reading and have a nice night! We’ll see you on Monday.