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Stories by Matt Masterson

Oak Park and River Forest Teen Charged With Sending Swastika to Classmates

Oak Park and River Forest High School (OPRF / Facebook)

A 14-year-old suburban student is facing a criminal charge after allegedly sending classmates an image of a Swastika over their phones during a school assembly last week.

Swastika Image Sent to Oak Park and River Forest High School Students

Oak Park and River Forest High School (OPRF / Facebook)

A suburban high school is once again investigating an incident involving an anti-Semitic message sent to students only days after racist messages were found written throughout its campus.

Man Charged With Hate Crime For Allegedly Drawing Swastikas on Buena Park Homes

Heath Levey (Chicago Police Department)

Chicago police say Heath Levey used chalk to draw the Nazi symbol on fences and garages earlier this month. Levey faces multiple felony hate crime charges.

Community Gathers Record $150K Reward to ID Suspect in Rogers Park Murders

The reward is said to be the largest in the city's history as Chicago police continue their attempts to identify the masked gunman.

Chicago Police Union Severs Ties With Van Dyke Defense Attorney

Defense attorney Dan Herbert, center, reacts to Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan’s remarks during the murder trial of Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, right, on Oct. 3, 2018. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

The Fraternal Order of Police in Chicago will no longer refer cases to Dan Herbert, a private defense attorney and former Chicago police officer who previously worked as an FOP staff attorney.

Chicago Teen Charged in Trio of Carjackings

The 17-year-old suspect now faces two felony counts of aggravated vehicular hijacking with a weapon and one felony count of aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

McDonald Conspiracy Case Moves Ahead as Judge Refuses to Toss Charges

Back row, from left: Chicago police Officer Thomas Gaffney, ex-Officer Joseph Walsh and former Detective David March at a pretrial hearing on on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. Seated in front are their attorneys, William Fahy, left, and Thomas Breen. (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Three current and former Chicago police officers accused of trying to cover up details of the Laquan McDonald shooting will stand trial for their alleged crimes.

Ogden Principal Removed Amid ‘Falsified’ Attendance Records

William B. Ogden Elementary School

Chicago Public Schools on Thursday afternoon announced Ogden Principal Michael Beyer has been “reassigned from his principal duties” months after his school completed a merger with Jenner Elementary.

Chicago Police Sergeant Implicated in Beating of 2 Men Outside Bar

Injuries sustained by Tomasz Stacha, left, and John Sherwood after a September 2018 attack outside the Andersonville bar @mosphere. (Courtesy Cavanagh Law Group)

An off-duty sergeant and suburban officer allegedly beat two men in an unprovoked attack outside a gay bar in September. But weeks after they were identified, no criminal charges have been filed.

Suburban Police Chief Charged With Distributing Sexual Recordings

Christian Daigre (Chicago Police Department)

A Chicago police spokesman is calling allegations against the Chicago Heights Park District police chief “egregious” and, if proven, “a disgraceful abuse of power and trust.”

Jason Van Dyke Makes First Court Appearance Since Murder Conviction

Jason Van Dyke (Courtesy Rock Island County Jail)

Defense attorneys for the Chicago cop convicted of second-decree murder in the fatal shooting of black teen Laquan McDonald are asking a judge to toss out the convictions or grant a new trial.

Judge Delays Ruling on Request to Toss Charges in McDonald Conspiracy Case

From left: Former Chicago Detective David March, officer Thomas Gaffney and former officer Joseph Walsh attend a pretrial hearing Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

A Cook County judge will decide next week whether she’ll grant a request to dismiss charges against three Chicago police officers accused of working to cover up the shooting death of black teen Laquan McDonald, less than a month before they are set to face trial.

Wrongfully Convicted Man Claims Chicago Police Framed Him for 2000 Murder

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

The lawsuit claims nine Chicago cops “withheld exculpatory evidence, manipulated witnesses, and misdirected the investigation” in order to frame an innocent man for the murder of a Cook County Sheriff’s deputy.

CPS Enrollment Drops to 360,000 Students

New data shows enrollment at Chicago Public Schools dropped by just over 10,000 students since last year. The district is now in danger of losing its title as the third-largest school district in the country.

Englewood Gang Members Face Federal RICO Charges in Wave of Killings

Members of the Goonie Boss gang faction face federal racketeering and murder charges stemming from nearly a dozen Englewood killings between 2014 and 2016.

The Trial of Jason Van Dyke is Over, But His Appeal Has Not Yet Begun

From left: Special prosecutor Joe McMahon, attorney Daniel Herbert and his client, Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, attend a hearing Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune)

Legal experts weigh in on Jason Van Dyke’s impending appeal as the Chicago police officer returns to court next week for the first time since his second-degree murder conviction.

‘Functional Explosive’ Devices Sent to Homes of Obama, Clinton

Chicago police say there are no known local threats

Officers with the Uniform Division of the United States Secret Service talk at a checkpoint near the home of former President Barack Obama on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon)

Chicago police say there are no known threats to the city and they are in “real-time communication” with the Secret Service after explosive devices were reportedly sent to former President Barack Obama and other high-profile politicians.

Chicago Officers to be Equipped with Narcan Through New Pilot Program

NARCAN® Nasal Spray (Courtesy of Adapt Pharma)

The Chicago Police Department will outfit officers in a half-dozen South and West Side districts with an opioid overdose-reversal medicine as part of a $2 million federal grant.

Chicago Man Charged With Aiding ISIS Through Social Media

A North Side man allegedly used Twitter, Facebook and other social media applications to spread propaganda, recruit operatives, encourage terrorist attacks and provide aid to ISIS.

Madigan, Emanuel Announce 4 Finalists to Oversee Chicago Police Reform

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson discuss steps toward oversight of the Chicago Police Department on Aug. 29, 2017.

A retired judge, a former U.S. prosecutor and a local firm reviewing Chicago Public Schools’ response to sexual misconduct are among the finalists to oversee police reforms in the city.

LGBTQ Publication Suing Illinois Prison Officials Over Censored Materials

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

Local attorneys filed a suit on behalf of the Chicago chapter of Black & Pink – a nonprofit that offers prisoners news updates on LGBTQ issues through a monthly newsletter and other publications.

New Partnership Will Give Stateville Inmates a Chance to Earn NU Credits

Northwestern University faculty meet with students at Stateville Correctional Center. (Courtesy Northwestern University)

A first-of-its-kind program in Illinois allows inmates to earn college credits and liberal arts degrees inside the maximum-security prison some 40 miles from Chicago.

COPA Releases Footage of Off-Duty Officer Shooting Unarmed Teen

A still image from surveillance footage released Tuesday by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability shows the shooting of an 18-year-old by an off-duty Chicago police officer in August 2017.

New video shows an off-duty Chicago police officer shooting and wounding an unarmed, developmentally disabled teen as he stood outside a Far South Side home late last summer.

GoFundMe Campaign Started to Support Van Dyke Family

Tiffany Van Dyke, center, watches as verdicts are read in the murder trial of her husband, Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

A fundraiser started by one of Jason Van Dyke’s trial attorneys has raised more than $43,000 in one week to support the family of the suspended Chicago police officer.

McDonald Cover-Up? How Van Dyke Verdict May Affect Police Conspiracy Trial

The scene of the Laquan McDonald shooting taken on the night of the fatal incident is shown on a screen to jurors during the trial of Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. (Chicago Police Department)

Jason Van Dyke is the first Chicago police officer to be convicted for an on-duty shooting in 50 years. Sentencing and an appeal are sure to follow, but as that case comes to a close, another is yet to begin.