Stories by Matt Masterson

Chicago Police Opening 2 New Operation Areas to Expand Resources Across City

Police Superintendent David Brown: “Chicagoans deserve policing excellence”

(WTTW News)

The Chicago Police Department says the expansion will help streamline operations and control in order to meet public safety needs and increase collaboration between detectives and patrol officers. 

‘Supply Chain Issues’ Threaten Cook County Sheriff’s Electronic Monitoring Program

(WTTW News)

The number of detainees within the Cook County Jail is reaching historic lows during the COVID-19 pandemic. But as that number drops, the number of those being held on electronic monitoring devices has steadily risen.

COPA Releases Video of Police-Involved Shooting at Grand Red Line Stop

Chicago police officers respond to Ariel Roman, who is seated on the ground moments after he was shot by a different officer inside the Grand Red Line station on Feb. 28, 2020. (Civilian Office of Police Accountability)

Body camera footage and other videos released Tuesday show the moments leading up to and immediately following the nonfatal shooting of Ariel Roman on Feb. 28.

CPS Releases Budgets for New School Year Amid COVID-19 Crisis

(WTTW News)

Though it remains unclear when exactly students will return to their classrooms, the district unveiled its 2020-21 school budgets, which include more than $125 million in additional resources aimed at increasing equity across CPS.

After Months of Turmoil, Lincoln Park High School LSC Selects New Principal

Lincoln Park High School (WTTW News)

Eric Steinmiller, who currently serves as an assistant principal at Roosevelt High School, will take over at LPHS on May 4. He will step in to a school that's been struck by multiple controversies this school year.

Pritzker: Illinois Surpasses Goal of 10,000 Daily COVID-19 Tests

New statewide totals: 39,658 cases, 1,795 deaths

The drive-thru testing facility at 6959 Forest Preserve Drive in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Weeks ago, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he wanted to perform 10,000 coronavirus tests a day. On Friday, Pritzker announced Illinois has reached and surpassed that mark.

Federal Judge to Hear Testimony on Use of Social Distancing in Cook County Jail

(WTTW News)

A federal judge will decide whether social distancing and other preventive measures ordered at the Cook County Jail are being properly instituted following calls from criminal justice advocates for additional precautions.

Federal Judge Throws Out Jussie Smollett’s Malicious Prosecution Suit

Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, center, arrives for an initial court appearance Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago, on a new set of charges alleging that he lied to police about being targeted in a racist and homophobic attack in downtown Chicago early last year.  (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

A federal judge has dismissed a countersuit filed by former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett, who claimed he was maliciously prosecuted for the alleged hoax attack Chicago police say he orchestrated on himself last year.

CPS Seeking More Devices to Bridge Digital Divide During Remote Learning

Chicago Public Schools is planning to hand out more digital devices to students and families who need them as the school district prepares to carry out remote learning plans for the remainder of the academic year.

Cook County Jail Corrections Officer Dies From COVID-19

Sheriff's Office also awaiting autopsy results of second officer who died Sunday

(WTTW News)

Sheila Rivera, 47, had worked with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office since 2012. Rivera and another corrections officer died Sunday. Officials are awaiting autopsy results to see if his death was related to COVID-19.

Pritzker Announces Schools Closed for In-Person Learning for Rest of Academic Year

New statewide totals: 27,575 cases, 1,134 deaths

(WTTW News)

“The science says our students can’t go back to their normal routine,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said during his daily press conference Friday.

Charlie Beck Steps Down as David Brown Becomes Chicago’s New Top Cop

Left: Interim Chicago Police Superintendent Charlie Beck speaks with “Chicago Tonight” on April 8, 2020. Right: Dallas Police Chief David Brown briefs the media on June 15, 2015 about a shooting at Dallas Police headquarters in Dallas. (AP Photo / Tony Gutierrez, File)

Twenty weeks after he took over as the Chicago Police Department’s interim superintendent, Charlie Beck officially stepped down from his post Wednesday, handing over a badge to the city’s new top cop David Brown.

Sheriff Tom Dart Pushes Back on Criticism Amid COVID-19 Pandemic: ‘I’m Outraged’

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart speaks with Carol Marin of “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. (WTTW News)

Defending his office’s COVID-19 testing and isolation procedures, the Cook County sheriff said Wednesday he took action to prevent the spread of the virus earlier than any other sheriff in the country.

Cook County Sheriff Says Supply of Masks for Detainees, Staff Could Run Out in a Week

(WTTW News)

Sheriff Tom Dart’s office said it has begun complying with a court order mandating additional protective measures inside the Cook County Jail, but it estimates its supply of surgical masks for detainees and employees will run out in “six to seven more days.”

Pritzker Expanding COVID-19 Testing to Address ‘Huge’ Racial Disparity in Cases, Deaths

New statewide totals: 17,887 cases, 596 deaths

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces the first novel coronavirus death in Illinois on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

Black residents in Illinois are five times more likely to die of COVID-19 than their white counterparts, according to state officials, who continue to see a “huge disparity” in the number of both COVID-19 cases and deaths based on race.

Second Cook County Jail Detainee Dies of COVID-19

(WTTW News)

Leslie Pieroni, 51, was pronounced dead Thursday evening at St. Anthony’s Hospital. He had been hospitalized since April 3 after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Judge Rejects Motion Seeking Release of ‘Medically Vulnerable’ Cook County Jail Detainees

(WTTW News)

The Cook County sheriff must begin implementing additional sanitation and precaution measures at the jail, but a federal judge rejected calls for the release of large numbers of detainees.

More Than 250 Cook County Jail Detainees Have Now Tested Positive for COVID-19

New York Times calls jail ‘the largest-known source of U.S. infections’

(WTTW News)

Data released by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office shows 251 detainees have so far tested positive for COVID-19, as have 150 Sheriff’s Office employees. On Sunday, the jail recorded its first virus-related death.

Citywide Liquor Curfew Takes Effect Thursday in Chicago, No More Sales After 9 p.m.

(WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot says the city will begin enforcing a curfew on the sale of liquor in order to prevent “congregate activity” that’s been seen across the city near stores that sell alcohol.

Cook County Jail Reports First Coronavirus-Related Death

Advocacy group: “Cook County officials have blood on their hands”

(WTTW News)

Detainee Jeffery Pendleton, 59, was pronounced dead late Sunday, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. He had been hospitalized since March 30 after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Pritzker, Lightfoot Tour McCormick Place COVID-19 Facility as Cases, Deaths Soar

McCormick Place in Chicago (Courtney McGough / Flickr)

Illinois health officials on Friday reported the largest single-day jump in COVID-19 cases and deaths in the state – 1, 209 cases and 53 deaths – as Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot toured the alternate care facility at McCormick Place.

Police Board Announces 3 Finalists for Chicago’s Next Top Cop

(WTTW News)

Two police chiefs from outside Chicago with experience handling mass shootings and a Chicago native who’s risen to the rank of deputy chief are finalists in the city’s search for its next top cop. We profile each of the finalists.

Police: Homicides Increase, But Total Crime Down in Chicago

(WTTW News)

Citywide crime was down in March compared to last year, but Chicago is currently on pace for more shootings and homicides in 2020.

Report: Illinois Again Leads Nation in Exonerations

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

For the second year in a row, Illinois saw the highest number of criminal exonerations last year, and once again, that total was driven largely by false convictions tied to a corrupt former Chicago sergeant, according to a new report.

CPS Unveils Remote Learning Plan for Kids During COVID-19 Pandemic

The new instruction plan includes the distribution of 100,000 technology devices to the highest-need families as well as both online and non-digital learning activities.

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