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The [Thursday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes / Posted on May 28, 2020

"George Floyd's horrifying death Monday - after repeatedly saying 'I can't breathe' while a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck - highlights ongoing issues with the Chicago Police Department's use-of-force policy as the department begins operating under a consent decree," Curtis Black writes for the Chicago Reporter.

Chicago is ahead of Minneapolis in at least one regard: in Chicago, under a new policy implemented in February, "carotid artery restraints" and "other maneuvers for applying direct pressure on a windpipe or airway" are considered deadly force options, while in Minneapolis they aren't. In both cities, chokeholds are ranked as deadly force - only to be used to prevent an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury.

But chokeholds have been increasingly controversial, especially since the death of Eric Garner by New York police in 2014, and some have called on CPD to ban the technique entirely. One who did so was Lori Lightfoot, back when she was running for mayor.

"Chokeholds are dangerous," Lightfoot said at the time. "They should be prohibited pure and simple."

Black also has some thoughts regarding new police chief David Brown's inaugural Memorial Day weekend in Chicago. Curtis is always worth a read, so go do that now; I'll wait.


Welcome back!


COVID County Judges
"The coronavirus pandemic has reached the bench in Cook County for the first time," AP reports.

"In a news release on Thursday morning, the office of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans announced that two judges in the courthouse in suburban Bridgeview tested positive for COVID-19. The release did not provide any details about the judges or their conditions."



"According to the release, an employee of the adult probation department also tested positive, bringing to 39 the number of county court employees who have tested positive. The release also said that another resident of the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center has also tested positive, bringing the number of residents to test positive to 15."


The report also stated: "At the Chicago Police Department, 521 sworn officers and 30 civilian employees have tested positive for the virus, and three officers who tested positive have died, according to the most recent department statistics."

In Wednesday's column (see the item CPD COVID-19), I wondered whether police officers were catching the 'Rona from the public or from inside their own police stations or police cars. (It could be both!) It's also possible they're getting it from home, but an overwhelming number of cases are originating from group living situations (nursing homes, prisons), workplaces (meatpacking plants) or other spaces holding large gatherings (churches).

Perhaps data from the CPD could answer the question (and again, if this has already been reported and I've missed it, please forgive me and send me the link/s) and also tell us which districts, stations and/or units have been particularly hard hit.


Tootsie Roll Factory Deaths
"COVID-19 has claimed the lives of two long-time employees at the Tootsie Roll plant on Chicago's Southwest Side," WGN-TV reports.

"Angel Butron, 75, passed away Saturday. He had worked at the plant for 50 years.

"Cosme Tenorio, 62, died on Tuesday. He had worked at Tootsie Roll for 43 years and planned to retire this year. One of Tenorio's last duties was posting signs and marking spots on the floor to encourage social distancing." (Emphasis mine to make sure you saw it.)

"The two men were among 18 employees at the plant who contracted the virus."


Union Essentials
"Concerned about their safety on the job as the coronavirus pandemic continues, workers at Chicago-area grocery stores, marijuana dispensaries and other essential businesses are increasingly pushing to unionize," the Tribune reports.

"Workers at Sunnyside dispensary in the Lakeview neighborhood have cast ballots, and Instacart employees at a nearby Jewel-Osco are also in the process of voting by mail on whether or not to unionize. Workers at the Dill Pickle Co-Op in Logan Square staged a demonstration asking the co-op to recognize their 13-member union, which has been certified by the National Labor Relations Board.

"The coronavirus outbreak has unleashed a flurry of unionization efforts in the Chicago area by workers who argue the pay increases and safety measures some employers have put in place don't go far enough."


I wonder - again - if Tribune reporters are more sympathetic to unions now that they are in one and at tremendous odds with their private equity overlords. Assignment/Thesis Desk, activate!


Illinois' Shocking Data Hole
"As Illinois' economy inches open, public health officials across the state are anxiously monitoring the continued spread of COVID-19, hoping there isn't a resurgence in cases as people start to venture out for a haircut or a meal on a restaurant patio," WBEZ reports.

"But they're strategizing somewhat in the dark. In Chicago, health and government officials do not know the types of jobs those with COVID-19 have in about 90% of the cases the state has tracked. Across Illinois, it's unknown in almost 80% of cases, according to data WBEZ obtained from the Illinois Department of Public Health."


"Experts say tracking where people who've gotten COVID-19 live and work - and presumably where they may have come into contact with the virus - is vital to preventing and identifying potential future outbreaks.

"Health officials know outbreaks have already happened in places where workers are shoulder-to-shoulder in factories, and in so-called congregate settings such as nursing homes, where aides commonly work in multiple buildings, carrying the virus with them. There have been outbreaks in prisons and homeless shelters and, predictably, in hospitals, where doctors and nurses are treating patients in the throes of a pandemic.

"But the problem is, this data is woefully incomplete."

Click through to find out just how woefully incomplete, and why. For some reason I thought officials had this type of information. Shit.


Universal Unemployment Umbrage
"Republican state lawmakers sharply criticized the Evers administration on Wednesday for hundreds of thousands of unpaid unemployment claims in Wisconsin, while Democrats argued GOP policies and spending choices are to blame for delays. The state has seen an unprecedented number of jobless claims brought on by fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic," Wisconsin Public Radio reports.

It's tough all over - and it's bad faith for politicians and malpractice for journalists not to acknowledge that. And I'm still one frustrated, pissed-off unemployment applicant. I'm also an adult, or at least a reasonable facsimile of one.


New on the Beachwood today . . .

A Plan To Pay Musicians
Blanket licensing.


The Tale Of Dominic Cummings
"He's a human being, presumably."


The Lessons Of Typhoid Mary
'The questions raised through an examination of the media, the legal system and public health officials' reactions to a woman charged with being a Menace to the Community remain to this day.'


Bruins, Lightning Still Stanley Cup Betting Favorites
Blackhawks second-longest longshot.



Illinois Man Arrested After Grabbing And Yelling At Reporter Live On-Air from r/chicago





Vince Martinez KOs Chuck Davey In Chicago On May 26, 1954.



This Artist Is Painting Beautiful Flowers On All Of Her Walls While Stuck In Quarantine.

Isn't this article quarantine-shaming, though? Most of us don't have anything close to these skills.


A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.





The Beachwood McRibTipLine: Establishit.


MUSIC - A Plan To Pay Musicians.
TV - The Tale Of Dominic Cummings.
POLITICS - Hospital Bailout: Rich vs. Poor.
SPORTS - Bettors Still Favor Bruins, Lightning.

BOOKS - The Lessons Of Typhoid Mary.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - A 360° Great Train Story.

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