Fingered for discipline / WHOops / Chicago TV icon gone

Fingered for discipline. The Chicago cop who extended his middle fingers to protesters a week ago—and was caught on camera by Block Club Chicago photographer Colin Boyle—has lost his police power.

Mayor Lightfoot says there’s a difference between the officer’s behavior and her expression of a similar sentiment toward President Trump.
Lightfoot is embracing the notion that cops be licensed: “If I go get a haircut, the barber is licensed by the state. … Why wouldn’t we have that for police officers?
Chalkbeat Chicago: Five things to know about the push to yank cops from the city’s schools.
Columnist Clarence Page defends the #DefundThePolice movement: “With even President Trump, no softy on crime, promising a conversation about ideas for policing … some overdue revamping of law enforcement just might slip through.”
A legal milestone: A federal appeals court invoked the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis to deny legal immunity to five West Virginia cops sued for shooting a black man 22 times as he lay motionless.

What’s next? The Guardian ponders the consequence of “15 stunning days of anti-racist protests.”
 Merriam-Webster is updating its definition for racism …
 … and Confederate monuments are on the way out. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)

Antifa? What antifa? U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr has repeatedly blamed violence in protests following the Floyd murder on anti-fascist activists, but an NPR review of federal charges filed against 51 people nationwide reveals no links to the antifa movement.
BuzzFeed News: How the antifa fantasy spread in small towns across the country.
CNN’s Brian Stelter: “Watch Fox News for a few hours, and you might think rioters are still prowling America’s biggest cities, smashing windows and stealing handbags. You might think Minneapolis is still burning. You might think the unrest is getting worse.”
Trump’s not helping …
 … as noted by all the late-night hosts.
Georgia’s clusterf__k of an election Tuesday raises red flags for November.

Brother, can you spare $700 million? That’s the size of the hole Lightfoot says the pandemic has blown in Chicago’s budget …
 … and she’s not ruling out a property tax hike or worker layoffs to fill it.
Unsuccessful mayoral candidate Paul Vallas, whose early warning of a budget crunch the mayor ridiculed, is looking prescient (end of this Sun-Times story).
Starbucks’ losses to the pandemic in the latest quarter: $3 billion.

WHOops. The World Health Organization is walking back a suggestion that asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 is “very rare.”
The White House has been vewwy, vewwy quiet lately about the coronavirus.

Summer canceled. Lollapalooza, Taste of Chicago and the Air and Water Show are dead for this year.
The mayor’s justification for killing Lollapalooza during the pandemic: “We might as well light ourselves on fire.”
But Lolla’s organizers encourage fans to keep July 30–Aug. 2 open anyway—for some virtual and live celebrations of music.
Naperville’s Centennial Beach is closed for the summer.
Navy Pier is back today—partly.

Gone With the Wind … gone with the wind. HBO Max is yanking the plantation-era-glorifying movie from its lineup—temporarily.
Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg warns: “The slaveholder mentality is still not only popular but, recent protests notwithstanding, ascendant.”
Netflix has assembled a “Black Lives Matter” collection.
Dead and gone after 32 seasons: The Cops TV series.
TV critic Aaron Barnhart: “I’m not going to miss COVID-19 … but I am going to miss … the American Sign Language interpreters.”

Chicago TV icon gone. Veteran reporter and anchor Dick Johnson is dead at 66.
Colleagues and competitors remember him fondly: “He was never in a bad mood.”
The coronavirus may spell the end of the traditional newspaper newsroom.
The Gannett newspaper in Ithaca, New York—population 30,000 + 30,000 students at Cornell University and Ithaca College—is down to one reporter and no local editor or publisher.

The Free Speech Center and Chicago Public Square
encourage Americans to reflect
on the First Amendment’s value—particularly during crises.

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Thanks to the Rad Letters website about email newsletters for turning the spotlight on Square. And thanks to readers Joe Hass and Angela Mullins—and David Kindler, along with a cast of thousands who spotted a misspelling of Ithaca above—for making this edition better.

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