Annie Sweeney
Annie Sweeney
Annie Sweeney is on the Tribune's criminal justice team, covering the impact of violence in Chicago and policies to address it. She has reported for the Sun-Times, the Daily Southtown and City News Bureau. She joined the Tribune in 2009.Source
Chicago, Illinois
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Chicago police showed ‘confusion and lack of coordination’ that endangered protesters, officers last May, city watchdog concludes in scathing report

Chicago police showed ‘confusion and lack of coordination’ that endangered protesters, officers last May, city watchdog concludes in scathing report

Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at the Chicago Tribune. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago police Superintendent David Brown led a response to protests and looting last spring plagued by “confusion and lack of coordination” that risked the safety of both police and citizens, the city’s watchdog found released Thursday. Inspector General Joseph Ferguson’s lengthy findings listed a litany of shortcomings and inconsistencies at the Chicago Police Department’s command level that manifested themselves in...

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February 18, 2021
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Chicago police investigating officers’ role in party after bar is cited for COVID-19 violations

Chicago police investigating officers’ role in party after bar is cited for COVID-19 violations

A Southwest Side bar has been cited for COVID-19 safety violations after more than 40 people, a maskless group that apparently included Chicago police officers, gathered last month in the bar’s back room, according to city records. When asked about the gathering, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department said in an emailed statement that an internal investigation had been opened. Advertisement News of the gathering comes after the department has faced criticism around a lack of precautions taken by some Chicago police officers during the pandemic. That includes a rare rebuke from a...

February 5, 2021
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Feds say Chicago man charged with entering US Capitol during attack posted photo outside Nancy Pelosi’s office

Feds say Chicago man charged with entering US Capitol during attack posted photo outside Nancy Pelosi’s office

A Chicago man was arrested Wednesday on federal charges alleging he participated in last week’s mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, posting a photo of the plaque outside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ransacked office. Kevin Lyons, 40, of the Gladstone Park neighborhood on the Northwest Side, was charged in a criminal complaint in Washington with misdemeanor counts of knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Authorities said he also took phone videos while in the building. Advertisement He was arrested at his...

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January 13, 2021
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Pandemic, civil unrest likely contributed to more than 50% increase in Chicago homicides in 2020, experts say

Pandemic, civil unrest likely contributed to more than 50% increase in Chicago homicides in 2020, experts say

In a year marred by a deadly pandemic and rocked by civil unrest over policing in America, Chicago endured a level of violence in 2020 that reversed recent progress, with homicides increasing by more than 50%, according to official statistics. Through Sunday, Chicago had recorded 762 homicides this year, a 55% jump over the same period in 2019, when 491 people in the city were slain, according to official Chicago police data. It is among the highest year-over-year increases in recent city history. Advertisement The total number of shootings this year also was up sharply. That figure rose by...

December 31, 2020
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Federal judge pointedly reminds Chicago police to wear masks themselves as union accuses city of holding unsafe training sessions during pandemic

Federal judge pointedly reminds Chicago police to wear masks themselves as union accuses city of holding unsafe training sessions during pandemic

A federal judge told Chicago’s main police union on Monday that it needs to ensure its member officers are wearing face masks and maintaining safe social distances while on the job, in keeping with public health guidelines around COVID-19. The pointed reminder from U.S. District Court Judge Robert Dow Jr., who is overseeing sweeping mandated department reforms, came after the Fraternal Order of Police filed a motion alleging the city was violating its own health guidelines. Officers have been put at risk when the Chicago Police Department conducted training sessions that included up to 50...

December 7, 2020
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City revises plans on emergency mental health responses, will fund pilot that does not include police

City revises plans on emergency mental health responses, will fund pilot that does not include police

City officials have revised their plans for a new citywide response on emergency mental health calls to include non-police responder teams, an idea pushed hard for several months by activists and community leaders. The plan for the so-called mobile crisis teams of clinicians and paramedics — without police — will now be part of a $1.7 million alternate response pilot to launch next year under the newly approved city of Chicago budget, city officials told the Tribune. Advertisement Activists, however, expressed immediate skepticism about how well thought out the plan is, and how committed...

November 28, 2020
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At least five officers, including a commander, face suspension after probe of former police boss Eddie Johnson’s conduct

At least five officers, including a commander, face suspension after probe of former police boss Eddie Johnson’s conduct

At least five Chicago police officers — including a commander — face suspension after city Inspector General Joseph Ferguson’s investigation into the October 2019 incident where then-police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was found asleep at the wheel of his city-issued SUV, the Tribune has learned. Deering District Cmdr. Don Jerome, the highest-ranking officer of the five, was to receive up to a 28-day suspension for his role in the incident, according to sources familiar with the matter. Reached by telephone Tuesday afternoon, Jerome declined to comment. Advertisement At least four officers...

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October 14, 2020
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Chicago police earn ‘beyond a failing grade’ in clearing sexual assault cases, according to new report

Chicago police earn ‘beyond a failing grade’ in clearing sexual assault cases, according to new report

The vast majority of sexual assault and abuse reports made to the Chicago Police Department in the past decade — between 80% and 90% — have not resulted in an arrest, according to a study of city data released Thursday. The findings in the report by the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation reflect the Chicago Police Department’s ongoing problem with clearance rates, but also shine a light on the traumatizing effects the lack of arrests can have on victims, advocates said, many of whom rarely report such crimes at all because of fears the system will challenge and doubt them....

October 8, 2020
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Hundreds of demonstrators gather around Chicago to peacefully protest that no Kentucky police will face charges in Breonna Taylor’s death

Hundreds of demonstrators gather around Chicago to peacefully protest that no Kentucky police will face charges in Breonna Taylor’s death

Kellie Black said she was expecting an announcement regarding Breonna Taylor’s grand jury inquiry but didn’t think anything was amiss until businesses in her Gresham neighborhood began boarding up windows. On Wednesday, Black joined about 100 community residents and activists who blocked off a trucking route on the South Side in a peaceful protest after a Kentucky grand jury decided not to for their role in Taylor’s killing. Advertisement As trucks and buses blocked traffic, demonstrators briefly sat in the street and wrote “Breonna” in fake blood. During the roughly hourlong protest at the...

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September 24, 2020
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In another troubled time, Englewood continues efforts to transform

In another troubled time, Englewood continues efforts to transform

On the second story of the brown brick storefront at 63rd Street and Racine Avenue, sunlight spilled onto exposed walls as construction workers in hard hats hauled wood studs and buzz saws whined. Above, through the still-open roof, was the infinite blue sky. Advertisement Englewood residents and organizers have big plans for the building at the intersection that unites the east and west parts of their community. It will be home to a Fresh Market grocery and food co-op, the first step of a redevelopment that aims to transform vacant lots and abandoned buildings into amenities that include...

August 14, 2020
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