Local News, Opinion

Page 2: H-F saw losses, trauma in July

The community lost several people who made their mark on H-F, three during their lives and one in her death.

On July 10, Madeline Miller, 64, was shot and killed by Flossmoor police officers who were responding to a report of a domestic disturbance.

The nation has been paying increasing attention to deaths from encounters with police since Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, and especially since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2020.

Now Flossmoor joins the many communities across the nation that have first-hand experience with this kind of tragedy.

In the past eight years, we’ve all had many opportunities to view video recordings of fatal encounters, and Ms. Miller’s death was no exception.

Bearing witness is an important role in society. It helps us understand better and feel more deeply the intensity of the moment, the finality of the result and the lightning fast decisions that create ripples from the scene, affecting everyone present and many beyond.

I know people in our community have seen the video of Ms. Miller’s death, and people come to different conclusions from watching the same scene based on their own personal and community history.

The 74-second recording, however, is a brief slice of time untethered from the lives and experiences that converged at that moment. It is a vivid glimpse, but it does not tell us what we need to know.

I am sorry to say I did not know Miller and do not even know who the officers at the scene were. They all have stories that could help shed light on what happened and why.

The official investigation is in the hands of the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force. We have to hope its members will do a thorough investigation as quickly as practical and will share a report with our community that will help us all understand.

But even the best investigation will not capture the full stories of the people involved. The Chronicle invites anyone who knew Ms. Miller to share with the community their memories. Write [email protected] or text 630-728-2661 if you would be willing to talk with us.

Robert Butler
Robert Butler of Flossmoor died on July 13. He served on the District 233 school board for 27 years, concluding his service in 2007. See page 20 for more about his life.

Dominique Tougne
Many area diners loved the gregarious chef who developed the first menu at La Voute Bar + Bistro in La Banque Hotel when it opened in 2015.

I remember attending the grand opening events and being impressed by his big smile and amiable manner.

Tougne died on July 20.

In a Facebook post, La Voute officials noted that Tougne “was the inspiration behind our French-inspired farm-to-table cuisine. A fearless leader with great energy and a huge heart, he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

Reginald ‘Sonny’ Burke
According to his obituary, Mr. Burke, of Flossmoor, was a composer, arranger and pianist who worked in film, television, live and recorded music. He was Smokey Robinson’s pianist, arranger and conductor for more than 30 years.

His piano work can be heard on the theme songs for “Hill Street Blues,” “E.R.,” “St. Elsewhere,” “China Beach,” “Redd Foxx Show” and the “Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack.”

He also worked with recording artists such as Earth, Wind and Fire, Dusty Springfield, The Temptations, The Pointer Sisters, Quincy Jones, Marvin Gaye, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Ray Parker Jr., Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand, Lionel Richie, Donny Hathaway and many others.

He was 76.

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