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    Laquan McDonald shooting witness says police made her change her story

    CHICAGO — A woman who witnessed the 2014 police shooting of Laquan McDonald has filed a lawsuit, saying police pressured her to change her story and covered up what really happened. Alma Benitez says she watched the shooting from a nearby Burger King and told news reporters that officers overreacted to McDonald’s threat. Benitez says she was detained by police and told to retract or forget what she had seen. The suit accuses several officers and detectives of then writing […]

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    Candidate charged for allegedly impersonating a judge says politics to blame

    CHICAGO — A Cook County law clerk who was fired for allegedly impersonating a judge is defending herself against the allegation. In a news conference Thursday, Rhonda Crawford said it was a mistake for her to put on judge’s robes and sit on the bench, but she never claimed to be a judge while sitting in on three traffic court cases. Crawford is currently running for a seat on the 1st Judicial Subcircuit. And although she defeated two rivals in […]

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    Chicago drives up national murder rate

    CHICAGO — Chicago’s spike in murders has been high enough to make a major impact on the national murder rate, according to a study by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School. The center analyzed data from the 30 largest American cities in 2015, and found that while overall crime remained the same from 2014, murders were up 14 percent. Half of that increase is being tied to Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Chicago had 468 murders in 2015 compared […]

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    Gov. Rauner cuts IDOT patronage jobs

    CHICAGO — Gov. Bruce Rauner has eliminated state transportation department jobs he says were nothing more than patronage positions. On Sept. 1,  Rauner sent layoff notices to 29 staff assistants at the Illinois Department of Transportation. The governor announced Monday he is abolishing those positions. Investigators previously found they were hired based on clout instead of merit. A 1990 U.S. Supreme Court ruling bans most political hiring in state government. Hundreds of people were hired into the IDOT posts under […]

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    Mayor’s police accountability proposals face criticism in City Hall

    CHICAGO – Mayor Emanuel’s plan to replace the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) today faced its first public hearings before two committees Tuesday in City Hall. Calls for change came amid a national conversation about police accountability, and after the release of videos showing the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald sparked protests across Chicago. The Mayor says COPA will have more authority to investigate serious incidents and will make recommendations for discipline, […]

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    Durbin, Madigan advise ITT Tech students to start over

    CHICAGO — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Illinois Attorney General say ITT Tech students may be best off starting college over. Speaking at Maclom X College Friday, the two said students can wipe out their loan obligations by starting over at another school. Earlier this week,  ITT abruptly announced it was shutting down all of its for-profit campuses across the country,  leaving its 40,000 students with nowhere to go. The move comes after the U.S. Dept. of Education cut federal […]

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    Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson: Violence won’t end unless laws change

    CHICAGO — Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said the violence in Chicago won’t let up until gun laws change. Johnson repeated that view at a press conference Tuesday announcing Labor Day weekend crime statistics. Johnson said there are too many repeat gun crime offenders on the streets and too many people with guns who aren’t afraid to use them, regardless of the consequences. Chicago’s murder rate topped 500 over holiday, bringing the total number of homicides in Chicago to its […]

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    Wedding invite mistake offers children for dinner

    Children are not always invited to weddings, but there’s one where they come with dinner. A mistake on a wedding invitation reply card is going viral for its meal choices. Guests get to pick from beef, pork, or a child who is “12 and under.” The picture is being shared online, and so are the comments. “I’ll have the baby back ribs,” one commenter said. “This sauvignon blanc goes perfectly with this 7 year-old,” said another.

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    Police union tells Chicago cops to avoid overtime over Labor Day Weekend

    CHICAGO — As Chicago struggles with a growing violence problem, the head of the police union is telling his members to avoid overtime for the Labor Day weekend. The union says the move is meant to give officers more time with their families, but some critics see it as a way for police to make a point at the expense of the people living in violent neighborhoods. It is turning into a war of words between the powerful police union […]

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    Mexicans in Chicago react to Trump’s visit to Mexico

    CHICAGO — After describing Mexico as the home of rapists and criminals, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is set to travel there Wednesday to meet with the country’s president. President Enrique Nieto invited Trump to visit him at the presidential palace in Mexico City. Nieto himself has compared Trump to Hitler and has mocked Trump’s plan to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. Some residents of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood said they were not pleased with the Trump […]