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Stories by Matt Masterson

Bus Company Faces New Fine After Agreeing to Pay $100K in Discrimination Suit

(Courtesy of Suburban Express)

Days after agreeing to pay a $100,000 fine to help settle claims that it discriminated against customers, the Suburban Express bus line is facing more issues stemming from its consent decree with the state.

Records: Kim Foxx Felt Office May Have Overcharged ‘Washed Up’ Smollett

This Feb. 22, 2019 file photo shows Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx speaking at a news conference in Chicago. (AP Photo / Kiichiro Sato, File)

Weeks after recusing herself from the felony prosecution of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx sent texts to her second-in-command about the case, saying it appeared the office was “overcharging” the actor.

CPS Teacher Charged With Battery After Incident With Student

Myra Timms (Chicago Police Department)

Spencer Technology Academy teacher Myra Timms, 33, is facing a misdemeanor battery charge after she allegedly made physical contact with one of her male students last week.

Illinois Officials Spread Awareness of ‘Move Over’ Law After Trooper Deaths

State law enforcement and education officials want to spread the word about Illinois’ “move over” law after 16 state troopers were struck on roads in the first four months of 2019.

Chicago Sues ‘Empire’ Actor Jussie Smollett

Actor Jussie Smollett talks to the media before leaving Cook County Court after his charges were dropped, Tuesday, March 26, 2019. (AP Photo / Paul Beaty)

City officials have made good on their threat of legal action against Jussie Smollett, filing a civil lawsuit that seeks to recoup the cost of a police investigation into what they believe was a staged attack the actor orchestrated on himself.

Gang Database ‘Strains Police-Community Relations’ City Watchdog Says

More than 90% of individuals in the gang database are people of color, according to Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson, who says that puts a strain on police-community relations. “There’s an extraordinary adverse effect on certain communities.”

4 Police Officers Facing Termination for Role in Laquan McDonald Shooting

Police dashcam footage captured the shooting of Laquan McDonald, center, on a Southwest Side street in 2014.

An evidentiary hearing that began Wednesday will be used to determine whether four officers can keep their jobs following accusations they lied about what happened the night Laquan McDonald was killed.

Illinois Leads Nation in Exonerations After Police Corruption Scandal

Nearly one out of every three criminal exonerations in the U.S. last year occurred in Illinois, according to a new report. Most of those cases stemmed from disgraced former police Sgt. Ronald Watts and his crew.

Bolingbrook Man Gets 19 Years in Prison for Having Sex With Underage Boys

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

Posing as an escort online, a suburban man convinced underage boys to send him pornographic images of themselves, then used those images to blackmail some of his victims into having sex with him. 

Police Release Video of Driver Striking Squad Vehicle

(Chicago Police Department)

Two Chicago police officers are in stable condition after their squad vehicle was struck overnight by an alleged drunk driver who ran a red light in the Lakeview neighborhood.

Chicago Police Union, Suburban Chiefs Call on Kim Foxx to Resign

February 2019 file photos show an appearance by Chicago police union President Kevin Graham on “Chicago Tonight” and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx speaking at a news conference in Chicago (AP Photo / Kiichiro Sato).

“Ms. Foxx needs to resign and she should do it quickly,” Chicago police union President Kevin Graham said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Third Man Charged in Fatal Shooting of Off-Duty Chicago Officer

Jaquan Washington (Chicago Police Department)

Jaquan Washington faces one count of first-degree murder in connection to the fatal shooting last month of Chicago police Officer John Rivera, who was sitting inside his car in River North.

IDOC Transfers Another Transgender Inmate to Women’s Prison

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

Janiah Monroe was transferred this week after repeatedly claiming she’d been the victim of sexual harassment and abuse inside various all-male prisons. 

Police Seeking Community Help After 2 Women Killed in Overnight Shooting

(Chicago Tonight)

Brittani Rice, 18, and Senobia Brantley, 19, were both killed late Monday in what police believe may have been a “targeted” attack on the South Side.

Chicago Man Who Says He Was Beaten Into 1991 Murder Confession Sues City

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

Anthony Jakes was just 15 years old when he says he was held by police for 16 hours and beaten into falsely confessing to participating in a 1991 murder. He served 20 years before he was released from prison.

R. Kelly Attorney Seeks Communications Between Kim Foxx, Michael Avenatti

R. Kelly and his publicist Darryll Johnson, right, leave The Daley Center after an appearance in court for Kelly’s child support case on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Attorney Steve Greenberg believes the celebrity attorney may have “bullied” or “manipulated” the Cook County state’s attorney into filing sexual abuse charges against R. Kelly.

Confused by Jussie Smollett Case? Here’s What You Need to Know.

Actor Jussie Smollett talks to the media before leaving Cook County Court after his charges were dropped, Tuesday, March 26, 2019. (AP Photo / Paul Beaty)

The Jussie Smollett case may be over, but confusion over the surprise ending is rampant. Why was the “Empire” star offered a deal? Was his record expunged? We tackle those questions and more.

Emanuel: City Seeks to Recover Investigation Costs from Smollett

Actor Jussie Smollett leaves the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago on Tuesday March 26, 2019, after prosecutors dropped all charges against him. (Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Jussie Smollett has already forfeited $10,000 to the city of Chicago following the hoax attack he allegedly orchestrated on himself. But if Mayor Rahm Emanuel has his way, that bill will grow to $130,000.

Kim Foxx Backs Dismissal of Charges in Jussie Smollett Case

| Eddie Arruza
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx speaks with WTTW News on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

“I stand behind how this office, and how I in particular, handled this case,” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said a day after felony disorderly conduct charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett were dropped.

Prosecutors Drop All Charges Against Jussie Smollett

| Amanda Vinicky
Actor Jussie Smollett leaves the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago on Tuesday March 26, 2019, after prosecutors dropped all charges against him. (Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett exited the Leighton Criminal Court Building a free man Tuesday morning after prosecutors unexpectedly dropped felony charges against him in a case that’s garnered national headlines for months.

Police: Gunman in Officer’s Murder Sought to Kill ‘First Hispanic Man’ He Found

Jovan Battle, left, and Menelik Jackson (Chicago Police Department)

Chicago police say they’re considering hate crime charges against two men charged in the fatal shooting of off-duty Officer John Rivera.

R. Kelly Seeking Permission to Travel to Dubai for Concert Performances

Singer R. Kelly speaks to the media after being released from Cook County Jail on March 9, 2019, while his attorney Steve Greenberg, right, looks on. (AP Photo / Paul Beaty)

As he awaits trial on nearly a dozen charges of criminal sexual abuse, singer R. Kelly is asking a judge to let him travel overseas for a planned three-day concert in April.

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Jason Van Dyke’s Prison Sentence

Former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke enters the courtroom for his sentencing hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

The Illinois Supreme Court’s decision comes one month after the state filed its request. With its ruling, former police Officer Jason Van Dyke will continue serving his 81-month prison sentence.

North Suburban Man Gets 5-Year Sentence for Running $1M Ponzi Scheme

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

Richard K. Booy, 50, pleaded guilty last year to one count of mail fraud. Prosecutors say he swindled more than $1 million from 15 victims between 2012 and 2016.

CTU President Tells Teachers to ‘Start Saving’ Ahead of Potential Strike

CTU President Jesse Sharkey outlines his union’s contract demands in a press conference inside City Hall on Jan. 15, 2019. (Chicago Tonight)

Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey suggests the union’s rank-and-file members save at least 10 percent of each paycheck “to make sure we can stand strong on the picket line.”

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