Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke takes the witness stand during a hearing in front of Judge Vincent Gaughan at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building. Credit: Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool, File

Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Thursday, September 28, 2017.

  • Judge in Laquan McDonald murder case faces a challenge trying to control the flow of information

The high-profile nature of the first-degree murder trial of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke in the death of Laquan McDonald would be a challenge for any courtroom, but Cook County judge Vincent Gaughan is facing an additional set of challenges. Gaughan has to “find ways to control or even stop the flow of information about such cases” because statements made by public employees made under a threat of being fired cannot be used in court, and the prosecution team must “demonstrate that none of the evidence they’re using is the result of testimony given under a grant of immunity,” according the Associated Press. The judge recently asked the prosecution and defense teams to come in for hearings on separate days in order to avoid their crossing paths. “If it’s found that the prosecution used (protected) information, it can disqualify the whole prosecution team or get a conviction thrown out,” Jennifer Joyce of the Prosecutors’ Center for Excellence told the AP. [Associated Press via the Washington Post]

  • Four high-profile business leaders join Amazon bid committee

Chicago has named four high-profile business leaders to chair its Amazon second-headquarters bid committee: United Airlines chief executive officer Oscar Munoz, former U.S. commerce secretary Penny Pritzker, Abbott chief executive officer and chairman Miles White, and Loop Capital chief executive officer and chairman Jim Reynolds. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Bruce Rauner are serving as honorary cochairs of the 600-person committee. “This unprecedented coalition brings together the public and private sectors with education, community and faith leaders to speak with a powerful, unified voice that says that Chicago is the ideal location for Amazon to build its new home and continue to grow for generations,” Emanuel said in a statement. [Tribune]

  • Emanuel: Trump is distracting Americans from North Korea crisis, other problems by slamming the NFL

President Donald Trump is distracting the American public from the North Korea crisis, storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, and the Graham-Cassidy health-care bill by focusing on the National Football League, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Trump enraged many Americans last week by referring to NFL players who protest the national anthem as “sons of bitches” and saying they should be fired. “It was divisive,” Emanuel said. “There’s a part of me that also thinks it was a cynical ploy to distract people from what was happening on health care, what was not happening in Puerto Rico, and what they were attempting to do on health care, but also North Korea.” [Tribune]

  • Former Rauner staffer: The Rauners are “strident” abortion supporters

Brittany Clingen Carl, a former communications specialist for Governor Bruce Rauner, is urging her former boss to veto House Bill 40, which would expand abortion coverage for state employees and Medicaid recipients. In an op-ed for the Tribune, Carl argues that Rauner must veto the bill to please conservative voters even though she says he supports abortion rights. “I learned firsthand during that time how strident the Rauners are in their support of abortion, so I’m not going to attempt here to prove to them how morally wrong it is,” she wrote. [Sun-Times] [Tribune]

  • Foundation expands to cover parking fees for families of sick babies at Prentice

The Jackson Chance Foundation has been paying the parking fees of families with babies in the neonatal intensive care unit at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital for several years. Now it’s extending its services to families of sick babies at the nearby Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital. The foundation is named after Jackson Chance, who passed away in 2012. His mother, Carrie Meghie, has since raised more than $2.5 million for the foundation and paid for parking for more than 73,000 hospital visits. [DNAinfo Chicago]