The Bleader | Blog + Reader, the Chicago Reader's blog

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Catching the game-winning rose on the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 06.28.17 at 07:00 AM

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ARTIST: Derek Hatfield
SHOWS: Dead & Co. at Wrigley Field on Fri 6/30 and Sat 7/1
MORE INFO: hatfielddesign.com

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Three Chicago police officers indicted in connection with Laquan McDonald shooting, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 06.28.17 at 06:00 AM

In this file image from October 20, 2014, taken from dash-cam video provided by the Chicago Police Department, Laquan McDonald, right, walks down the street moments before being fatally shot by Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke. - CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT VIA AP, FILE
  • Chicago Police Department via AP, File
  • In this file image from October 20, 2014, taken from dash-cam video provided by the Chicago Police Department, Laquan McDonald, right, walks down the street moments before being fatally shot by Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

  • Three Chicago police officers indicted in connection with Laquan McDonald shooting

Three Chicago police officers have been indicted "on felony charges, including conspiracy, obstruction and misconduct" in connection with the 2014 shooting death of Laquan McDonald by former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, according to DNAinfo Chicago. Detective David March, 48 and officers Joseph Walsh, 48, and Thomas Gaffney, 43, were all charged with the alleged cover-up Tuesday. "The indictment makes clear that these defendants did more than merely obey an unofficial 'code of silence,' rather it alleges that they lied about what occurred to prevent independent criminal investigators from learning the truth," the investigation's appointed special prosecutor, Patricia Brown Holmes, said. [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • Elon Musk pitches high-speed train from downtown to O'Hare

Entrepreneur Elon Musk and his Boring Co. are interested in building a 125-mph train between downtown and O'Hare International Airport and have pitched the idea to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The founder of Tesla and SpaceX met in California with deputy mayor Steve Koch, who said he was "intrigued" with the idea. [MarketWatch]

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ravyn Lenae, Saba, Sir the Baptist, and other Chicago acts sizzled at Mamby on the Beach

Posted By on 06.27.17 at 03:52 PM

Ravyn Lenae - PAUL BOUCHER
  • Paul Boucher
  • Ravyn Lenae

Freelance photographer Paul Boucher went to Mamby on the Beach this past weekend to capture the vibrant, youthful energy of several great local acts on the bill. (Ravyn Lenae, pictured above, just finished high school.) Photos of Lenae, Saba, Oddcouple, Green Velvet, and Sir the Baptist continue below.


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Protests at Pride Parade and Dyke March pose questions for Chicago’s LGBTQ community

Posted By on 06.27.17 at 03:22 PM

A scene from Pride Parade this past Sunday, June 25 - ASHLEE REZIN/SUN-TIMES
  • Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
  • A scene from Pride Parade this past Sunday, June 25

On Sunday thousands of people gathered in Uptown for the 48th annual Pride Parade, but the festivities were halted for about 15 minutes at the intersection of Belmont and Halsted by a group of 40 protesters. They'd formed a circle, hand in hand, and prevented other marchers from passing. They wore bandanas that read "Black Trans Lives Matter" and held large papier-mache heads of Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, and a unicorn, each affixed to a stick.

The action was led by the Trans Liberation Collective and other Chicago-based organizations, including the BTGNC (Black Trans Gender Nonconforming) Collective, Black Lives Matter Chicago, Jewish Voice for Peace Chicago, Assata's Daughters, and Pilsen Alliance.

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Madigan’s wish list of demands required for budget deal with Rauner, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 06.27.17 at 06:00 AM

Illinois house speaker Michael Madigan listens as Governor Bruce Rauner delivers his State of the State address. - TED SCHURTER/THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP
  • Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP
  • Illinois house speaker Michael Madigan listens as Governor Bruce Rauner delivers his State of the State address.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Tuesday, June 27, 2017.

  • Madigan sends Rauner a wish list of demands required for budget deal

Illinois house speaker Mike Madigan has created a list of demands for a deal that would end nearly two-year state budget impasse. Madigan introduced his wish list of prerequisites for a budget deal in a closed door meeting with senate president John Cullerton, senate Republican leader Christine Radogno, and Republican house minority leader Jim Durkin. It was the first time that the four legislative leaders had been in a room with each other for several months. The demands include: Governor Bruce "Rauner's approval of a bill to regulate rates set by workers' compensation insurance companies as well as increased oversight over the administration's effort to overhaul the state's Medicaid managed care program that provides health coverage for the poor" and "Rauner's signature on legislation to overhaul how the state doles out money to schools, a bill the governor has vowed to veto, saying it amounts to a bailout for Chicago Public Schools," according to the Tribune. [Tribune]

  • Federal government sends Chicago new crime-fighting resources

President Donald Trump promised to "send in the feds" to fight gun violence in Chicago six months ago, and they have finally arrived, according to DNAinfo Chicago. The U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is sending a ballistics testing van that will travel to crimes scenes to immediately test bullets. The van will allow the Chicago Police Department "to develop suspect leads within hours and increases the likelihood of arrest during the early, critical stages of an investigation," according to a statement from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office. [DNAinfo Chicago]

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Monday, June 26, 2017

‘Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist’ at the Art Institute, Millennium Park Summer Film Series, and more things to do in Chicago this week

Posted By on 06.26.17 at 01:00 PM

Paul Gauguin, Mahana no atua (Day of the God), 1894, on display as part of "Artist as Alchemist" at the Art Institute - COURTESY OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO
  • Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Paul Gauguin, Mahana no atua (Day of the God), 1894, on display as part of "Artist as Alchemist" at the Art Institute

Whether it's taking a trip to Old Mill Creek, Illinois, for an equestrian show, or learning about Hillary Clinton's failed presidential bid from author Susan Bordo, there's plenty to do this week:

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Rahm Emanuel: Trump has transformed the Republican base, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 06.26.17 at 10:29 AM

President Donald Trump speaks on the South Lawn of the White House on June 22. - AP PHOTO/ALEX BRANDON, FILE
  • AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File
  • President Donald Trump speaks on the South Lawn of the White House on June 22.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Monday, June 26, 2017.

  • Emanuel: Trump has transformed the Republican base

Mayor Rahm Emanuel believes that President Donald Trump has changed the Republican Party's base but that members of Congress haven't realized it fully. The new base is more focused on jobs and the U.S., according to Emanuel. "The talk about health care vis-a-vis his base, I think, misread what his base wanted. I think it was actually a total misreading of the Republican base," Emanuel said in an interview with CNN Sunday. "He actually changed the Republican base, and the Republicans in Congress aren't up to speed with what his base is." The mayor says Trump should have pushed infrastructure legislation before health-care legislation because he would have won bipartisan support. "And I think there is still fundamentally a dire need and a desire—both a dire need and a desire—to build a 21st-century transportation system for a 21st-century economy," Emanuel said. [the Hill]

  • Legal experts: It's "no sure thing'"that Jason Van Dyke will be found guilty in Laquan McDonald case

Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke could be found not guilty with first-degree murder for the 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, legal experts told the Sun-Times. Police dash-cam video captured Van Dyke shooting unarmed McDonald to death with 16 shots. "The case law is very clear; it says you have to base those decisions from the officer's perspective, at night on the street . . . not at your office, at your desk," attorney Terry Ekl, who has represented the family of a man fatally shot by Chicago police and cops accused of using excessive force, told the newspaper. The Supreme Court has ruled that juries must think of the incident from "the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene." "As soon as the jurors hear an officer say they shot to 'stop the threat' and that's the only reason why they (fired), and they cry on the stand, that carries a lot of weight," Philip Stinson, a Bowling Green State University criminologist, said. "They just say 'I'm just not going to second-guess the decision of an on-duty police officer in a split-second, life-or-death situation.'" [Sun-Times]

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For federal oversight of police reform to work, pressure from the community must continue

Posted By on 06.26.17 at 09:50 AM

The family of 16-year-old Pierre Loury, who was fatally shot by a CPD officer in April 2016, listen to attorney Sheila Bedi discuss the lawsuit filed last week. - ASHLEE REZIN/SUN-TIMES
  • Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
  • The family of 16-year-old Pierre Loury, who was fatally shot by a CPD officer in April 2016, listen to attorney Sheila Bedi discuss the lawsuit filed last week.

A team of attorneys representing Black Lives Matter Chicago, community organizations, and victims of police violence filed a lawsuit on June 14 against the Chicago Police Department in federal court. The aim is to reach a court-monitored settlement that would mandate police reform. Though it had been in the works for the last year, the suit came days after Mayor Rahm Emanuel backpedaled from his commitment to seek out a federal consent decree for an overhaul of the troubled police department.

This isn't the first time community organizations have sued for police reform, and, if successful, this lawsuit also wouldn't be the first time the city would be ordered by a federal judge to remedy its civil rights violations. However, the road to getting reform with the help of the courts is a long and difficult one, and community involvement is crucial to a successful outcome.

While a dozen or so police departments around the country are currently operating under Obama-era consent decrees brokered by the Department of Justice (the same ones Attorney General Jeff Sessions has promised to phase out), there are several examples of federally monitored police reform agreements coming about because of successful lawsuits by community organizations and individuals. This was the case in both Cincinnati and Oakland, though the tales of police reform at the behest of federal courts are starkly at odds in those cities.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Chicago Zombie March, Logan Square Arts Festival, and more things to do in Chicago this weekend

Posted By on 06.23.17 at 04:11 PM

Join the search for braaaaaaaaains at the Chicago Zombie March on Saturday 6/24. - VIA CHICAGO ZOMBIE MARCH FACEBOOK PAGE
  • Via Chicago Zombie March Facebook page
  • Join the search for braaaaaaaaains at the Chicago Zombie March on Saturday 6/24.

Whether you're in the mood for an original musical comedy about William Henry Harrison or have an affinity for mariachi music, there are great events to try this weekend:

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Steppenwolf releases ‘official statement’ on Hedy Weiss review uproar

Posted By on 06.23.17 at 04:01 PM

Hedy Weiss - RICH HEIN / SUN-TIMES
  • Rich Hein / Sun-Times
  • Hedy Weiss

[UPDATE: Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times issued it own statement in support of longtime critic Hedy Weiss: read it here.]

Last week, after Chicago Sun-Times critic Hedy Weiss's review of Antoinette Nwandu's Pass Over sparked an Internet uproar and drew thousands of signatures on an online petition, Steppenwolf Theatre artistic director Anna D. Shapiro and executive director David Schmitz issued a statement on behalf of the company accusing Weiss of "deep-seated bigotry." They also promised that "an official institutional response" would follow.


Today, that official response arrived, notably more nuanced.  Steppenwolf is now calling for "ongoing community-wide dialogue," and says it will be "eager to participate."

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