The ACLU wants the mayor and the City Council to amend the ‘Welcoming City’ ordinance for immigrants, and other Chicago news

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Mexico City mayor Miguel Mancera pose for pictures with newly naturalized citizens following a ceremony in Chicago earlier this year. - PHOTO BY SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES
  • Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Mexico City mayor Miguel Mancera pose for pictures with newly naturalized citizens following a ceremony in Chicago earlier this year.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Tuesday, July 11, 2017.

  • The ACLU wants the City Council, Emanuel to amend the "Welcoming City" ordinance

The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the City Council and Mayor Rahm Emanuel to change Chicago's "Welcoming City" ordinance so "all immigrants are protected, without exception." The ordinance currently allows the Chicago Police Department to cooperate with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers if immigrants are "in the city's gang database, have pending felony prosecutions or prior felony convictions, or if they are the subject of an outstanding criminal warrant," according to the Sun-Times. The exceptions "have little relationship to the goal of public safety," according to the ACLU, which noted that more than 41 percent outstanding arrest warrants in Cook County are more than ten years old and that CPD's gang list is "notoriously inaccurate." Immigrant activists, Hispanic alderman, and the Black Youth Project have been urging the city to make the change. [Sun-Times]

  • Three Chicago police officers connected to Laquan McDonald case plead not guilty

Three Chicago police officers pleaded not guilty "to conspiring to cover up what happened the night Laquan McDonald was shot to death" Monday, according to the Sun-Times. Officers Joseph Walsh and David March (both of whom have already retired) as well as officer Thomas Gaffney were indicted in June on charges of conspiracy, official misconduct, and obstruction of justice in connection with the 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by CPD officer Jason Van Dyke, now charged with first-degree murder along with 16 counts of aggravated assault. But according to the Tribune, Diane Cannon, the Cook County judge appointed on Monday to preside over the case after the first judge, Mary Margaret Brosnehan, recused herself from the case for unannounced reasons—has been judged by an appeals court as being "known for a somewhat harsh demeanor in court" and is "generally viewed as being pro-prosecution and pro-police." [Sun-Times] [Tribune]


  • Rauner's chief of staff departs following tense budget battle

Richard Goldberg, Governor Bruce Rauner's chief of staff, is leaving state government and will be replaced by Kristina Rasmussen, formerly president of the Illinois Policy Institute, a nonprofit the Tribune calls the state's highest-profile conservative think tank. Goldberg will be "transitioning back to foreign policy, national security and consulting following a three-year plus term as senior adviser," the governor's office said in a statement. [Tribune]

  • Police: Woman in custody may be linked to eight heroin overdoses

The Chicago Police Department is questioning a woman who might be linked to multiple heroin overdoses on the south side on Saturday afternoon, DNAinfo Chicago reports. Chicago Police Department superintendent Eddie Johnson didn't name the suspect, who hasn't been charged with a crime but is in police custody. The eight nonfatal overdoses in South Shore might be connected to a person who was handing out free samples of the tainted heroin, according to Johnson. "It's not common to see that many overdoses so quickly, so that's what brought that to our attention," he said during a news conference yesterday. [DNAinfo Chicago] [Tribune]

  • Amazon doubles the size of its Chicago office

Online retail giant Amazon has doubled the size of its Loop corporate office and plans to open four more distribution sites in the state. The company says it expects to employ more than 8,000 people in Illinois by the end of 2018. [Tribune]

  • Taste of Chicago attracts approximately 1.6 million people

Approximately 1.6 million people attended the Taste of Chicago from July 5 through July 9, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office. It's the highest number since the food festival became a five-day event in 2012. "The Taste of Chicago has been a summertime staple, and 2017's edition certainly didn't disappoint, putting Chicago's global reputation as a culinary and cultural capital on full display all weekend," Emanuel said in a statement. [NBC Chicago]


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