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*** UPDATED x1 *** AG Madigan to file suit seeking court oversight of CPD

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* Fran Spielman at the Sun-Times

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will file a lawsuit seeking federal court oversight over the Chicago Police Department, pushing Mayor Rahm Emanuel to honor a commitment he made in January, only to retreat from it.

With no other choice, Emanuel is expected to join Madigan at a news conference at the State of Illinois Center.

They will reportedly announce together that they are seeking public input into what a court-enforced consent decree should look like.

But despite months of resistance to the idea of court oversight, a top mayoral aide denied that Emanuel was dragged into a consent decree or that Madigan had somehow forced the mayor’s hand. […]

Police Board President Lori Lightfoot called Madigan’s lawsuit a “significant development.”

“I have a great deal of respect for the attorney general and her team and I will watch with great interest how the process unfolds from here but I am hopeful for a transparent and inclusive process that, in the end, supports our Police Department and is transformative of the way we do policing in Chicago. This is what’s been needed for some time,” Lightfoot said.

*** UPDATE ***  The Emanuel administration is pushing back hard on the Sun-Times story, saying the reporter jumped the gun and they’re working with AG Madigan on this.

Anyway, from Karen Sheley - Director, Police Practices Project, ACLU of Illinois…

“Today’s announcement creates an opportunity to address the crisis in the Chicago Police Department. The potential consent decree between the Illinois Attorney General and City of Chicago can be a roadmap for addressing findings by the Obama Administration Department of Justice, including that the Chicago Police Department engaged in a pattern of excessive force, disproportionally targeted at African Americans. The Trump Administration repeatedly made clear its hostility to police reform, and turned the Department of Justice into an obstacle to, rather than proponent of, the fundamental changes the CPD needs.

There is hard work ahead. For reform efforts to succeed, advocates, civil rights organizations, and community groups need a seat at the table, both in crafting the decree and implementing it. The ACLU will monitor the State and City’s deal-making closely to ensure the process does not result in half measures.”

* And from the AG herself…

Attorney General Lisa Madigan today joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to announce a lawsuit to seek an enforceable consent decree to implement the numerous reforms outlined by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in its investigation of the Chicago Police Department (CPD). In light of the new DOJ administration’s preference not to seek a consent decree in Chicago, Madigan will seek reforms that provide the support police officers need to implement safe and constitutional policing practices and rebuild trust between community residents and police.

Madigan filed the lawsuit earlier today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois based on the findings of the Justice Department’s investigation that revealed a pattern of civil rights violations caused by systemic deficiencies within CPD. The DOJ report cited a number of problems, including the unconstitutional use of deadly and excessive force by officers; inadequate training on appropriate tactics, lack of supervision; a failure to adequately investigate officer misconduct and discipline officers and inadequate wellness and counseling programs to support officers. In its report, DOJ recommended reforms needed to address these problems, specifically calling for a court-enforceable consent decree with an independent monitor to assess the progress of reform and the oversight of a federal judge.

Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent Johnson joined Madigan today and expressed the city’s commitment to work with Madigan’s office to negotiate an enforceable consent decree.

“The only way to achieve real, lasting reform in Chicago and repair the broken trust between the communities and police is through an enforceable consent decree that addresses the problems identified in the Justice Department report,” Madigan said. “The city is facing serious problems that have endangered the lives of city residents as well as the police officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities. Together, we will work to provide the people of Chicago with a city and a police department that respects their rights, protects their safety, and provides support and resources to the brave officers who take on these responsibilities.”

“The reforms we have made in recent years, and those that lie ahead, will help us ensure Chicago has the most professional, proactive police department possible,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I am proud that Illinois’ Attorney General is standing up – for our city and our officers – where the Trump Justice Department fell flat.”

Madigan’s lawsuit is the first step to obtain a consent decree. Madigan will seek input from the community and police officers in negotiating the terms of the consent decree. Madigan’s office will be assisted by lead expert Ron Davis and by Robins Kaplan, a national law firm retained on a pro bono basis that has a long history of community work on behalf of a wide range of clients.

Davis has a distinguished career in law enforcement. He most recently served as the director of DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) from 2013 to 2017. The COPS Office is responsible for advancing community policing nationwide.

In 2014, Davis was appointed to serve as the Executive Director of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (Task Force). President Obama charged him and the Task Force with developing recommendations to improve community trust in the police while enhancing public safety. The final report of the Task Force now serves as a foundational document in American policing.

Davis has served on two federal monitoring teams with oversight of police reform agreements or consent decrees between the DOJ and the Washington, D.C. and Detroit police departments and as a policing expert on several DOJ pattern and practice investigations. He served over eight years as Chief of Police of East Palo Alto (CA) and 20 years with the Oakland (CA) Police Department. He was recognized for his innovative community policing efforts and for working collaboratively with the community to dramatically reduce crime and violence in a city once named as the murder capital of the United States.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - Will Caskey - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    Rahm AND Lisa doing the inarguably right thing?

    TOGETHER??

    Hoard canned goods and hold your loved ones.


  2. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    Yeah, I’m sure Emanuel will be just thrilled to be at that press conference. He might not grind all his teeth to nubs.


  3. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:10 am:

    Not to give this rumor too much credibility but it was interesting that AG Madigan was listed as a potential challenger to Rahm yesterday in the C-ST… and then this hits today….


  4. - Will Caskey - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:11 am:

    Man that CST piece on mayoral challengers was Fran Spielman gossiping with Matt Hynes (I’m sorry, a “source close to the mayor?) and calling it a story. None of those names meant anything.


  5. - Steve - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:15 am:

    This is absurd. Chicago is a creation of the state of Illinois. If Lisa Madigan has a problem with the CPD it should be taken up with the state legislature. If they want state of Illinois oversight , it’s up to them. If they want to redraw Chicago’s boundaries it’s up to them. Why have an un-elected federal judge with lifetime tenure act as the boss of the CPD ?? What if the federal judge decides that he doesn’t like CPD’s residency requirement because it hurts “diversity” in hiring? Should Chicago be ruled by someone who can disregard Illinois laws and the Illinois state constitution?


  6. - Will Caskey - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:15 am:

    Uh…Steve do you want the reasons in alphabetical or chronological order


  7. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:17 am:

    It is very uncertain that anyone other than the Justice Department has standing to sue the City to get a police practices consent decree. Most experts assume that no private party can, after the Los Angeles chokehold case in the Supreme Court, Lyons.

    Lisa Madigan, as the state AG, has different arguments (both for and against) standing than private parties. While this is a very important development, don’t assume any proposed consent decree will be accepted by the Diatrict Court or the Seventh Circuit.


  8. - Steve - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:19 am:

    - Will Caskey -

    Either will do.


  9. - Steve - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    - Keyrock -

    There’s no reason the state legislature of Illinois can’t “regulate” Chicago. Maybe Chicago is just too big. Maybe , it should be cut down to size… Maybe 227 square miles it too big to run a police force with the sort of people who have lived in Chicago. Why have a local police force run by a federal judge???


  10. - Steve - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    It would be too bad if a federal judge running the CPD by consent decree decided that the CPD must work very closely with ICE. How many people in Illinois want that?


  11. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:32 am:

    The President has been proposing Federal government assistance regarding law enforcement in Chicago.

    Send in the Feds?


  12. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:32 am:

    Steve, you are stating good arguments against standing (and justiciability). The AG has a shot, however, at getting around the specific arguments the Supreme Court made in Lyons, which focused on an individual’s likelihood to be the repeated victim of unlawful practices.

    After Lyons, the Justice Department had a specific statute passed by Congress to give it standing. The AG doesn’t have that. But she has a better chance than private parties or organizations.


  13. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:34 am:

    Steve, you are stating good arguments against standing (and justiciability). The AG has a chance, however, at getting around the specific arguments the Supreme Court made in Lyons, which focused on an individual’s likelihood to be the repeated victim of unlawful practices.

    After Lyons, the Justice Department had a specific statute passed by Congress to give it standing. The AG doesn’t have that. But she has a better chance than private parties or organizations.


  14. - Amalia - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:45 am:

    with this President, I’m deeply concerned when someone asks to send in the Feds. Chicago appears to be at the top of the list in his thoughts when martial law type statements come out of his mouth. be careful what you wish for.


  15. - walker - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    This is a move to do what the previous Feds wanted to do with Chicago CPD, before Sessions did a 180. It was based on serious study and recommendations by them. Just don’t think a Federal judge will see the State AG being party to a similar consent decree.


  16. - Steve - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 11:56 am:

    - Keyrock -

    I’m not saying you are legally wrong. I would assume the AG of Illinois would have standing to go into state court, because Chicago is a municipality in Illinois. Given CPD’s problems: the state legal system should be able to handle the issue.


  17. - Sue - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 12:05 pm:

    What legal standing does the AG have. I don’t see it?


  18. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 12:25 pm:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/dec/14/local/la-me-oakland-police-20121214

    In Oakland, a group of plaintiffs got a monitor installed.


  19. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 12:40 pm:

    Oakland got away with it, without confronting Lyons. There will be parties objecting to any decree and raising Lyons here. It will go to the 7th Circuit, and maybe beyond that to the Supreme Court.

    That being said, I hope the AG can pull it off. But it’s nowhere close to a sure thing — even if Rahm fully cooperates.


  20. - Amalia - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 5:34 pm:

    Illinois was just mentioned on MSNBC re investigations into Russian interference in the elections. As in our authorities could prosecute on State charges even if Trump pardoned people for Federal issues. Concentrate on that stuff, Lisa, Kim, Bob Berlin……


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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