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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:34pm
Thu Jul 14, 2016

Controversy Over Joe Walsh's Threatening Tweet Spills Over Into 66th House District Race

Controversy over former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh's incendiary tweets posted last Thursday after the deadly sniper attack on Dallas police officers has spilled over into the state's 66th House District race.

The Democrat in the race, Nancy Zettler, is calling on her Republican opponent, Allen Skillicorn, to disavow Walsh's "hate-filled statements."

Walsh has faced backlash for a now-deleted tweet that threatened "war" on President Barack Obama and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
6:22pm
Mon May 9, 2016

Chicago Housing, Police Accountability Advocates Picket Emanuel Fundraiser Over CHA Practices

Police accountability and housing activists are pushing back against city government as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel attempts to replenish his campaign coffers at his first fundraiser since the Laquan McDonald shooting video was released.

The activists are picketing at Emanuel's pricey Monday night fundraiser, which costs individuals $5,400 while corporations are required to cough up $10,000. The event is being held at the home of real estate developer Robert Winslow.

Affordable housing advocates are calling on the mayor to make "substantive reforms" to the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), including a complete overhaul of the agency's policies. While Emanuel tapped Eugene Jones Jr. to take over the housing agency in January, CHA critics say that is not enough.

The Chicago Housing Initiative (CHI) has pushed back against CHA for its practices, blasting the agency for reportedly hoarding about 6,000 housing vouchers and 2,800 vacant units while more than 120,000 needy families sit idle on the agency's waitlist. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:44pm
Thu Apr 28, 2016

Cook County Officials Press For Action On Youth Unemployment To Combat Chicago Violence

At a state hearing Thursday, Cook County commissioners urged for action on youth unemployment policies to help address gun violence in Chicago.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
11:37pm
Thu Apr 21, 2016

Sidestepping Major IPRA Upheaval, Emanuel Implements 'Almost A Third' Of Police Task Force Recommendations

After the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force released a scathing report last Wednesday on the department, saying officers have "no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color," Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced the immediate implementation of about one-third of the group's outlined recommendations.

The new reform measures will focus on three goals: increasing transparency, creating trust between city residents and officers, and improving police accountability and oversight.

"As a city, we cannot rest until we fully address the systemic issues facing the Chicago Police Department, and the steps announced today build on our road to reform," Emanuel said in an announcement detailing the reforms. "Under the leadership of Superintendent Eddie Johnson, the police department will implement these reforms immediately while we continue to work together to find additional ways to restore the fabric of trust in communities across Chicago. As we look toward the future, our city will be better off because we faced up to these challenges and confronted them head on."

Some of the specific reforms include training CPD officers to "better understand cultural differences" and improving the department's Bureau of Internal Affairs as a means to address cover ups and ensure officer accountability for misconduct. Dispatchers with the Office of Emergency Management and Communications and 911 call takers would also be trained "to improve their interactions and deliver the best service possible to the public," according to the mayor's office.  

The immediate changes coming to the Chicago Police Department do not include, however, two of the most sought-after reforms: the disbandment of the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) and a review of the police union contract.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:40pm
Wed Apr 13, 2016

Chicago City Council Roundup: Aldermen Confirm Top Cop, Push For Paid Sick Days

From police oversight to paid sick days, Progress Illinois rounds up highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
11:29pm
Tue Mar 8, 2016

Lawsuits Seek To Go Further Down The Rabbit Hole Of The Laquan McDonald Shooting Investigation

As the March 15 primary election nears, the controversy surrounding the 2014 police shooting death of Laquan McDonald refuses to let up. On Tuesday, just a week before the primary election, lawsuits were filed against the Chicago Police Department, the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), and the office of Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, who is facing a tough re-election bid, for more information on the case.

Specifically, the suit is calling on the police department, IPRA and Alvarez to release their respective records on the McDonald investigation. The lawsuit was filed by independent journalist Brandon Smith, who -- with the help of the Invisible Institute's Jamie Kalven -- pressed for what was the eventual public release of the police dash-cam video of the McDonald shooting.

Smith says the timing of the lawsuit serves a dual purpose in light of the upcoming election.

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