Panel urges Chicago police to acknowledge racism

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 5:13 AM

In a draft executive summary first obtained by the Chicago Tribune and published Tuesday, the Task Force on Police Accountability recommended replacing the independent review authority that currently investigates misconduct with a "new and fully transparent and accountable Civilian Police Investigative Agency." It also suggests creating the post of deputy chief of variety and inclusion.

Panel urges Chicago police to acknowledge racism

A task force Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel established to see into police practices said the dept should acknowledge its racist past and overhaul the way it handles excessive force allegations, as City Council members neared a final vote on Emanuel'south hand-picked choice for chief — an African-American with twenty-seven years on the force.

In a draft executive summary first obtained by the Chicago Tribune and published Tuesday, the Task Force on Police Accountability recommended replacing the independent review authority that currently investigates misconduct with a "new and fully transparent and accountable Civilian Police Investigative Agency." It also suggests creating the post of deputy chief of variety and inclusion.

Task force chairwoman Lori E. Lightfoot said in a statement the panel hasn't presented its report to Emanuel or the City Council and is disappointed "incomplete accounts of the a draft summary" were released. She added the task force "will allow full and accurate information on their finding and recommendations" on Wednesday.

Emanuel spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said the grouping is scheduled to brief the mayor on its recommendations Wednesday.

"The task force spent more than four months developing recommendations on an issue that's critical to the people of Chicago, and those recommendations deserve more than a cursory review of an early incomplete draft summary," Quinn said.

The draft became public as the Chicago City Council'south Committee on Public Safety recommended a modify in the municipal code so that Emanuel can title Interim Superintendent Eddie Johnson the following superintendent instead of picking from a list of finalists given to him by the city'south police board. The committee also was considering whether to recommend Johnson for the job, and a final vote from the full council was expected Wednesday.

During his testimony before the City Council committee Tuesday, Johnson said he hasn't had a chance to review the report.

"We welcome recommendations and will get a see at all of them," he said.

Emanuel announced the creation of the task force at the same time he fired police Superintendent Garry McCarthy in the wake of public protests over the two thousand fourteen shooting by a white police officer of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. A video of the shooting, released latest year, contradicted police accounts that McDonald was threatening officers before he was shot.

"Reform is possible if there is a will and a commitment," according to the draft summary, which added that past and present conditions have left residents totally alienated from the police.

"And while many individuals and entities have a role to play, the modify should start with (the Chicago Police Department). CPD cannot start to construct trust, repair what's broken and tattered unless — from the top leadership on down — it faces these tough truths, acknowledges what it's done at the individual and institutional levels and earnestly reaches out with respect," the summary says.

Some council members urged for Johnson to be appointed as quickly as possible because of the city'south violent crime problem. They dismissed the suggestion by one alderman that changing, even temporarily, a process that's been in space for more than a half cent would be a troubling and maybe dangerous precedent.

"We don't have time to play," Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. said during Tuesday'south debate. "People are dying in our wards."

Johnson is seen as a favorite choice as an African-American and a 27-year dept veteran. His rise within the force stands in stark contrast with the previous two superintendents, McCarthy and Jody Weis, both of whom are white and came from other law enforcement agencies.

While community leaders, aldermen and members of the dept have praised Johnson, Emanuel came below fire for pushing to modify the code rather than chase the normal procedures.

"The mayor didn't love the outcome and disregarded the process," Alderman Scott Waguespack said Tuesday before the meeting. "We realize the mayor wants this person to carry through on his policies, but there is also time to do it the right way."

Alderman Proco Joe Moreno called Johnson a "fantastic choose" while agreeing that the way the mayor and council are pushing him for the work might cause some to think the choice process is "another interior Chicago deal."

"In this case, you wish someone in there who can tackle the problems from day one, and the process we'd failed us," he said.

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This legend has been corrected to reflect the alderman'south latest title is spelled Waguespack, not Waguespak

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