Two women rent Divvy Bikes downtown in 2015. Credit: Ashlee Rezin/for Sun-Times Media

Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Tuesday, September 20, 2016.

  • Weather: Another beautiful day

Tuesday will be beautiful and sunny, with a high of 78 and a low of 70. Enjoy the nice weather while it lasts! [AccuWeather]

  • Chicago named the top biking city in the U.S., beating out NYC and San Francisco

Chicago is the best city in the country for biking because of its many bike lanes and its plan to build more protected lanes, according to Bicycling magazine. San Francisco was named the second-best city for bicyclists, while the 2015 winner, New York City, was in fourth place. Mayor Rahm Emanuel celebrated the honor by appearing with Bicycling editor Bill Strickland at the 606 Trail Monday morning. [Sun-Times] [Bicycling]

  • Ex-CPD chief McCarthy says he wouldn’t have released Laquan McDonald video

Former Chicago Police Department superintendent Garry McCarthy wouldn’t have released the police dash-cam video of Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times if the decision had been left up to him. “If I was asked—and I was not—I would have recommended to not release the Laquan McDonald” video, “because the case was still pending,” he said during a City Club of Chicago luncheon Monday, according to the Sun-Times. According to McCarthy, releasing the video wasn’t a good idea because it didn’t help the CPD build trust with the community and has put extra pressure on cops. [Sun-Times]

  • A University of Chicago sociologist spent 18 months embedded with drill rappers 

Forrest Stuart, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, spent 18 months embedded with a Chicago gang/drill-rap outfit, where music and violence are inextricably linked. With the gang’s blessing to write a book about the experience, Stuart was given a rare opportunity to observe members’ lives and learn how the gang operates. “For the gang—and other gangs like it—the rappers are designated as the ticket out of poverty,” he writes in a fascinating article for Chicago magazine. “It becomes the responsibility of the rest of the members to support and protect them. Each rapper has one or two ‘shooters.’ These are the members who make good on the threats the rappers dish out in their lyrics and on social media.” [Chicago]

  • Witness: It took police 30 minutes to arrive after 911 call reporting an apparent rape at Montrose Harbor

Last Tuesday Stephanie Lipka called 911 to report what she believes was a rape in progress at Montrose Harbor, but she said it took Chicago police officers 30 minutes to respond to the call. When the cops finally arrived, the alleged victim and attacker were already gone. The woman had repeatedly called out for help, and Lipka says she wants her to know that someone has tried to assist her. [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • Authorities: Philippine extortion ring duped then-state representative

Ron Sandack resigned from the Illinois General Assembly after he fell victim to an extortion ring based in the Philippines, according to Downers Grove police. He “twice wired an undisclosed amount of money to a source in the Philippines after engaging in a mid-July conversation via Skype with a woman,” according to Reuters. “This past July, I was the target of an international crime ring focusing on high-profile individuals luring them to engage in inappropriate online conversations with the intent of extortion,” he said in a statement. “I took their bait and fell for it hook, line and sinker.” [Reuters]