Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, April 19, 2017.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy understands the impact of shootings in Chicago "better than most" after losing his father, Robert F. Kennedy, to gun violence, according to a Kennedy cousin, former U.S. representative Patrick Kennedy. "It's not just a policy decision for him—he's personally invested in this issue," the longtime Rhode Island congressman told the Tribune. [Tribune]
A jury awarded $350,000 in damages to the family of Christian Green, who was shot to death by Chicago police officer Robert Gonzalez in July 2013. The jurors found that Gonzalez did not reasonably believe that the 17-year-old Green's actions "placed himself or others in imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm." The defense team was happy with the ruling even though the monetary award was less than they wanted. "But it still moved the ball forward for everybody that's in the city of Chicago who believes that justice should be color-blind and that the police officers should be fair and play it down the middle," the family's lead attorney, Victor Henderson, said. "We are disappointed in the jury's verdict and are considering our legal options," Chicago Law Department spokesman Bill McCaffrey said in a statement. [Sun-Times]
Pending a decision from a Cook County judge, CPS hopes to be able to decide on the final day of the Chicago Public Schools 2016-2017 school year by May 1. Due to an ongoing financial crisis that owes in part to the state's budget impasse, the district may have to close schools on June 1, 20 days earlier than the scheduled last day of school. Judge Franklin Valderrama will rule April 28 on the CPS civil rights lawsuit against the state of Illinois over funding; the district can then determine how long it can afford to keep schools open, according to WBEZ. [WBEZ]
CPD has 462 officers assigned to the Harrison police district on the west side, the most cops in any district in the city. The Shakespeare district on the north side has the fewest officers, with 243 cops. About 60.2 percent of the 12,051 CPD officers are assigned to districts, and about 39.8 percent of the officers are assigned to special units. [DNAinfo Chicago]
Students, faculty, and other community members rallied for Sarah Chambers, a popular special education teacher at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy in Little Village, who's in danger of being fired. Chambers was suspended by Chicago Public Schools, and officials are moving to fire her, according to DNAinfo Chicago. Chambers is the cochair of the Chicago Teachers Union's special education task force and has been critical of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS leaders. "For anyone who knows anything or a little bit about politics in Chicago, this sure is smelling political with each and every passing day," Cook County commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia said at the rally. CPS officials claim that Chambers violated Illinois State Board of Education and Chicago Board of Education policies, but have not specified which district policies she allegedly violated. [DNAinfo Chicago]
An upside-down reflection of the Chicago skyline has been seen on Lake Michigan from the Michigan side, thanks to the superior mirage phenomenon. It's caused when warm air moves in above the still-cold waters of Lake Michigan, and makes for amazing pictures. [M Live]