Report: Chicago police have 'number regard' for minority lives

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 9:57 PM

The panel, established by Mayor Rahm Emanuel late latest year in response to an outcry over police shootings, found that small is done to weed out problem officers and routine encounters unnecessarily turn deadly.

Report: Chicago police have 'number regard' for minority lives

Police in Chicago have "no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color" and have alienated blacks and Hispanics for decades by using excessive force and honoring a code of silence, a task force declared Wednesday in a report that seeks sweeping changes to the nation'south third-largest police force.

The panel, established by Mayor Rahm Emanuel late latest year in response to an outcry over police shootings, found that tiny is done to weed out problem officers and routine encounters unnecessarily turn deadly.

The grouping concluded that minorities' lack of believe and fear are justified, citing data that show seventy-four % of the hundreds of people shot by officers in recent years were African-Americans, even though blacks account for thirty-three % of the city'south population.

The task force pointed to a painful history spanning generations, including the one thousand nine hundred sixty-nine killing of Black Panther Fred Hampton, allegations of torture from the one thousand nine hundred seventy to the one thousand nine hundred ninety below former commander Jon Burge and stop-and-frisk in the 2000s.

"It raises consciousness. It shines a light into the darkness," activist Greg Livingston said of the report.

The city'south new police chief said the dept was "absolutely committed" to acting on the task force recommendations and the results of a wide-ranging civil rights investigation by the U. S. Justice Department. Eddie Johnson, an African-American with twenty-seven years on the force, was Emanuel'south hand-picked choice to get the top police job. The City Council confirmed the appointment Wednesday in a 50-0 vote.

The task force report was released just as public annoyance boiled over again at the lethal shooting on Monday of a black 16-year-old. Police declare he was armed, though his mother says he didn't have a gun. Around one hundred people gathered for a vigil Tuesday and some marched through streets, blocking traffic.

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

The task force also called out the city and the police unions, saying that the collective bargaining agreements between the city and the unions have "essentially turned the code of silence into official policy."

The "code" refers to the reflex of some officers not to report colleagues for misconduct.

Officers, for example, can wait twenty-four hours before providing a statement after a shooting, given them sufficient time to obtain their stories straight with fellow officers. And not only are anonymous complaints prohibited, the task force found that accused officers should be given the names of people who filed complaints.

Among other problems: Some of those in charge of training are teaching while they themselves are below investigation for a range of alleged offenses, and there is a disturbing lack of valid counsel for those in custody. Latest year, for example, only six out of every 1.000 people arrested had an attorney at any point while in police custody.

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. That change, it said, should start with an acknowledgement of Chicago policing's "sad history."

On Wednesday, the City Council approved a modify in municipal code allowing Emanuel to title Johnson the following superintendent instead of picking from a list of finalists given to him by the city'south police board.

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."

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