Told Stories: the best of crime and politics from around the web, Aug. 31 NYC edition

The US Open at night. Photo by Jeremy Borden.

Denmark’s NOMA is one of the best restaurants in the world. I also think it has a lesson for journalism — one about how to encourage ingenuity.

It’s been a busy week, and I’m in New York helping out with content for, a fantastic event if you’ve never been. And while it’s nice to be here obsessing over tennis minutiae, I don’t want to neglect my newfound collection here. I hope it provides a service and, for me, allows us to step back on the crime and politics landscape in Chicago and around the country. That’s the idea anyway — let me know what we’re missing.


The month of August, with more than 400 shot, is Chicago’s most violent in 20 years, the Tribune reports.

There have been at least 78 homicides, marking August as the most violent month in the city in almost 20 years, according to data provided by the Chicago Police Department.

Double solitary confinement. Seems like a bit of a paradox, right? It also has deadly consequences, The Marshall Project reports.

The Tribune took an incredibly in-depth look at police involved shootings in Chicago after a months-long battle for records with the city. Some key takeaways:

A recent analysis by Los Angeles police officials shows Chicago has recorded more officer-involved shootings over a five-year period ending in 2015 than Los Angeles, New York, Houston or Philadelphia.
In Chicago, the shootings occurred all over the city but were more common on the South and West sides, in crime-ridden blocks profoundly shaken by decades of drugs, gangs and unrelenting poverty. At least one of every five of the shootings involved tactical officers, those plainclothes cops expected to be aggressive in taking on gangs in some of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods, the Tribune found.
The officers who shot someone often said they did so because they were in fear for their lives, a key requirement before police are supposed to use lethal force. In about six of every 10 shootings, officers said the civilian had pointed a gun at them or made some other move leading them to think they were armed, such as reaching toward their waistband.

The toll on children affected by Chicago gun violence and a troubling question from Crain’s Business.

27 other children younger than 17 have died this year from gunfire-inflicted injuries in Chicago. Of those, 22 were black. Five were Latino. None were white.
We must ask ourselves whether our response would be the same if this disparity were reversed.

Background: A July story from the AP shows that children between the ages of 10 and 17 made up 260 of the shooting victims. There were 15 children younger than 10 who were shot.

Abolish the police? The Chicago Reader documents the growing furor. I think, however, this sentiment is far smaller than it’s being presented.

West side woes continue, a heartbreaking vigil per the Tribune.

Rachel Swarns of the New York Times tells the story about a white detective and an African American woman having a black son in Baltimore. There is a human side to this debate.

The killer of Dwyane Wade’s cousin was quickly found, via the Tribune. (Ed note: spelling corrected).


Chicago financials get a (slight) upgrade.

Rauner and state GOP ballot initiative for redrawing district lines is tossed out by the state Supreme Court, via Crain’s. Gerrymandering — whether by Democrats or Republicans — remains the least sexy but most important issue facing America today.

There’s a real disconnect between the majority of Republicans on immigration issues and the party’s standard bearer Donald Trump. These numbers don’t totally make sense, other than voters aren’t entirely rationale or single issue. A new Pew report documents the disconnect, per New York Magazine.

Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone has been on a roll this election season, in a take-no-prisoners, spare no one form of journalism that is refreshing. He writes about Curt Schilling, yeah, the former baseball picture, and explains that he’s the guy that is seeking to follow the Trump mold by taking on Sen. Elizabeth Warren. One highlight: “His story, maybe even more than Trump’s, is a parable on the comically comprehensive inability of some to recognize the advantages us white guys enjoy.”

Does Hillary Clinton want to allow undocumented immigrants to stay? Politifact took on the issue.

Brexit was not as bad as the hyperventilating media thought, an editor for The Guardian writes.

It can be good to be running for president. Donald Trump jacked up the rental rates for his campaign HQ — which is located in Trump Tower, Huffington Post reports.

Because, it seems, we’re already moving past November, Dylan Matthews at VOX writes of how a Clinton victory would usher in a new liberal era for the SCOTUS.

Read more about what we mean by the untold story, an ideal and a destination, here. I’m a freelance journalist in Chicago focused on criminal justice and politics, with an occasional foray into business, sports, music and other topics. Contact me with any advice, tips, arguments at
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