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AG Madigan wants federal civil rights probe of CPD

Tuesday, Dec 1, 2015

* Press release…

Attorney General Lisa Madigan today requested the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to initiate an investigation to determine whether practices by the Chicago Police Department violate the Constitution and federal law.

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Madigan asked for an investigation into the Chicago Police Department’s use of force, including deadly force; the adequacy of its review and investigation of officers’ use of force and investigation of allegations of misconduct; its provision of training, equipment and supervision of officers to allow them to do their job safely and effectively; and whether there exists a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing.

Madigan said an investigation by the U.S. DOJ Civil Rights Division is necessary and appropriate, given its experience investigating the practices of police departments across the country and based on its experience prosecuting former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge. An investigation by the DOJ Civil Rights Division also ensures there is an outside, independent review of CPD practices.

Madigan issued the following statement regarding her letter:

    “The shocking death of Laquan McDonald is the latest tragedy in our city that highlights serious questions about the use of unlawful and excessive force by Chicago police officers and the lack of accountability for such abuse. Trust in the Chicago Police Department is broken. Chicago cannot move ahead and rebuild trust between the police and the community without an outside, independent investigation into its police department to improve policing practices. I know the vast majority of officers in the Chicago Police Department serve with bravery, honor and integrity. The children in all of Chicago’s communities deserve to grow up in a city in which they are protected and served by the police.”

The full letter is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

24 Comments
  1. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 5:43 pm:

    This is a very welcome development.


  2. - walker - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 5:47 pm:

    Long overdue


  3. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 5:50 pm:

    Welcome to the party, gal!


  4. - nikobey - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 6:21 pm:

    Interesting timing.


  5. - Archiesmom - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 6:28 pm:

    Well done!


  6. - Lost - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 6:42 pm:

    Where has Attorney General Madigan been the last 13 months? She ask the Chicago police to release the video, the day before the judge ordered it released? I can not think of any corrupt elected official that the Current IL attorney general has attempted to prosecute? Its always lets let the Feds do the investigation and prosecution. It looks like everybody connected with Chicago is trying to say, we didn’t know! Blame the Police superintendent, Blame the Cook co states attorney. I am sure the Mayor and Attorney General knew, but hoped it would go away.


  7. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 7:17 pm:

    Not necessary — Emanuel already said he was going to appoint a task force. Problem solved.

    Obviously, the spin doctors and political sharpies in the Emanuel administration have no credibility when it comes to managing the police department. The lack of accountability starts on the 5th Floor.

    An outside probe is the first step on a very long path of rebuilding that institution and perhaps gaining the trust of residents.

    I’d recommend reading the full letter. It’s filled with more recent incidents and facts you might not be aware of.


  8. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 7:44 pm:

    Attorney General Lisa Madigan today requested the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to initiate an investigation to determine whether practices by the Chicago Police Department violate the Constitution and federal law.

    First day in the Windy City, Ms. Madigan? After you’ve recovered from the shock — SHOCK! — of systemic racism in the CPD, you should try a Chicago hot dog, or a slice of our famous deep dish pizza!

    – MrJM


  9. - anon - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 7:56 pm:

    Day late and a dollar short. It took the McDonald tragedy to get the AG involved. What about all the police complaints where no discipline is rendered? It’s shocking when you look at the numbers. I guess there was no pattern for the AG to see and want to get involved. All the same, a Civil Rights Probe is needed, but something about the timing of this seems political. Hopefully the City will start healing and there will continue to be peaceful protests.


  10. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 7:57 pm:

    ==Where has Attorney General Madigan been the last 13 months?==

    Good ?.


  11. - Dome Gnome - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 8:01 pm:

    The full letter contains some deeply disturbing facts.


  12. - DuPage Don - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 8:16 pm:

    Uh-oh, those alarm bells that started on the 5th floor of City Hall now going off even louder at 100 West Randolph!!!


  13. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 8:23 pm:

    Late to the party…again.


  14. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 8:27 pm:

    The letter bulletpoints a number of troubling incidents dating from 2011-2014, then says to the USAG “I write to you with urgency.”

    But not too much urgency, apparently.


  15. - cannon649 - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 8:35 pm:

    Lost - well said!

    Maybe Rahm and Aleverz will do us all a favor and resign.

    13 months in front of contested election - pure cover up - Chicago Style.

    Five million for a ward of the state - Chicago paying Springfield?

    The tax payer must get a full accounting who got what amount for a lawsuit that was never filed or granted.

    Lastly, I question the terms or the resignation? I guessing no unemployment here.


  16. - Anon - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 8:42 pm:

    How convenient! Lisa Madigan has been standing by idle since 2003 and now she has taken notice.

    Must agree as to wondering how McDonald was raised foster parents and his relatives got paid for his wrongful death?


  17. - JackD - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 10:09 pm:

    I suppose that U.S. Attorney Fardon’s grand jury could be convenient tool for such an investigation.


  18. - jake - Tuesday, Dec 1, 15 @ 11:51 pm:

    Rahm Emanual and Anita Alvarez were the people who actively worked to suppress the evidence coming out. Lisa Madigan’s culpability, as far as we know, is of a much lesser degree. It was Alvarez’ job, not Madigan’s, to charge and prosecute the killing, and she was the one who had actually seen the evidence.


  19. - Gone, but not forgotten - Wednesday, Dec 2, 15 @ 6:00 am:

    Isn’t it odd that the DOJ had to be invited to investigate? When other cities had issues, they were on it the very next day! Is this some kind of Obama-Emanuel-Democratic courtesy?


  20. - DuPage Don - Wednesday, Dec 2, 15 @ 6:05 am:

    -Ron Burgandy @ 8:27-

    You nailed it!!!!!!


  21. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 2, 15 @ 6:38 am:

    Gone, the very next day, really? And no locals made a request?

    DOJ has been investigating this case for months, as I’m sure you read.

    But I’m glad you’re on the Obama connection. When do you think those pardons for J3, Rezko and Blago will be coming through.


  22. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Dec 2, 15 @ 8:02 am:

    “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

    - Rahm Emanuel


  23. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 2, 15 @ 8:27 am:

    Political opportusism at it’s finest.


  24. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 2, 15 @ 9:37 am:

    Although I would credit her office with laying the groundwork for release of information under FOIA. Cook county judges would routinely deny access. With the changes in the FOIA law creating a system with AG involvement, her office should be commended for following the law and issuing opinions stating that the public was entitled to information otherwise covered up by CPD, IPRA and the criminal division judges.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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