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At a time of troubling violence in some of Chicago’s Black communities in a city known for its racial divide, an ousted supervisor at the city’s “scandal-plagued” water department is under fire for circulating racist emails, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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Paul Hansen, who is White, reportedly mocked the deadly Fourth of July violence in Black neighborhoods by offering fake “Chicago Safari” tours, according to a new watchdog report released Monday, writes the Tribune.

The emails were sent to multiple high-ranking water department workers, the report says, and was “package during a July Fourth weekend where tourists are guaranteed a chance to observe ‘at least one kill and five crime scenes’ and also see ‘lots of animals in their natural habitat.’”

Hansen was not named in the report, but the Tribune identified him and a second man through City Hall sources, the description of their activities and job status listed, the report says. The second man, Thomas J. Durkin, the general foreman of plumbers who resigned recently after being placed on administrative leave while under investigation, was cited  for alleged anti-Muslim and anti-black emails, the Tribune writes.

The news comes amid reports that William “Willie” Cooper, 58, and a 9-year-old boy were killed in a weekend that saw at least 10 people killed and 37 wounded across the city since Friday, according to ABC News. It also comes when a Chicago police officer was accused of owning racist domains.

The news may come as no surprise to some residents of color in Chicago, which is one of the nation’s most segregated cities, according to two studies released last year by the Chicago Urban League and by researchers at American University in Washington, D.C.


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“Safari” Tours: Ousted Chicago Official’s Email Joked About Violence In Black Neighborhoods  was originally published on