Mick Dumke is a reporter and columnist for ProPublica Illinois. Since joining ProPublica, his work has focused on politics and criminal justice, including investigations of the underground gun trade, secret law enforcement databases and corruption in state and Chicago city government. Mick came to ProPublica after two years on the Watchdogs team at the Chicago Sun-Times, where he reported on civil liberties, the war on drugs and the dismantling of public housing. Before that, he spent almost a decade as a politics writer and editor for the Chicago Reader. He has also worked as a reporter and editor at the Chicago Reporter magazine, taught social studies at an alternative high school and studied religion at Northwestern University and McCormick Theological Seminary.
In 1963, a Black politician named Ben Lewis was shot to death in Chicago. Clues suggest the murder was a professional hit. Decades later, it remains no accident authorities never solved the crime.
How a Chicago Political Hangout Went From Bustling to Boarded-Up — Even After the City Promised Help
Wallace’s Catfish Corner, a fish and soul food restaurant on Chicago’s West Side, was a neighborhood staple. Now the building is boarded-up and unused. Its messy history shows the challenges of rebuilding an area devastated by disinvestment.
Disinvested: How Government and Private Industry Let the Main Street of a Black Neighborhood Crumble
A half-century after Chicago’s uprisings in 1968, a once-thriving retail strip in East Garfield Park still suffers from broken promises, bad policy and neglect.
Chicago’s mayor held secretive calls with the City Council and claimed they weren't “public business.” We asked the state attorney general’s office to review whether she and the council violated the Open Meetings Act. Its ruling: Yes.
As Trump Calls for Law and Order, Can Chicago’s Top Prosecutor Beat the Charge That She’s Soft on Crime?
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx was elected on a promise of reform. In a year of unrest and fear, she’ll find out if voters really want it.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has repeatedly ordered Chicago’s river bridges raised to keep people out of downtown. She said the move was to protect businesses and residents. But it is also a symbol of the city’s divisions.
As the Trump administration publicizes its latest show of federal force in Chicago, advocates say there are better ways to prevent violence.
Senior Citizens in Subsidized Housing Have Been Dying Alone at Home, Unnoticed Because of Coronavirus Distancing
The patchwork system of well-being checks in some of Chicago’s public and subsidized housing was not enough to prevent deaths in heartbreaking circumstances.
Leaked Recordings Reveal Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Firmly in Charge and City Alderman Left Largely on the Sidelines
Combative and, at times, dismissive, Chicago’s first-term mayor gathers power as she leads the city’s fight against the coronavirus.
Internal communications show CHA officials waited weeks before hastily drawing up plans that could reduce the risk of coronavirus exposure for staff and residents.
During Tuesday’s Illinois Primary, Chicago Alderman and Former Firefighter Nicholas Sposato Delivered Pizzas at the Polls as His Ward Office Remained Open
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Sposato said he wanted to serve his constituents. “It is what it is,” he said.
Without new oversight and accountability, City Hall cannot “escape corruption, mismanagement and waste,” the city watchdog says.
Calling her previous order “overbroad,” the presiding judge of the child protection division says ProPublica Illinois is free to report on the case but can’t disclose the identities of the children.
The database has been accessed more than 1 million times, including some 32,000 times by immigration officials. Police said they will fix the database but not erase it.
The presiding judge of the child protection division of juvenile court says she will rule soon on ProPublica Illinois’ request to lift ban.
In the campaign to succeed Rahm Emanuel, candidates Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle talk neighborhoods and look for votes.
In moving to shield minors, the judge weighs a challenge to the First Amendment right to publish.
In the 49th Ward, a newcomer from the left unseated the once progressive Joe Moore. And mayoral candidates Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle tried to distance themselves from Rahm Emanuel, although the two top finishers have their own ties to the political establishment.
The mayor dominates the City Council while aldermen reign over the “fiefdoms” of their wards.
Commissioners are set to pass a law banning the database and requiring it to be destroyed.