* Background is here. From the ACLU…
After nearly a year-long process, the City and the Illinois Attorney General today produced a draft consent decree aimed at guiding reform of the Chicago Police Department for years to come. This is an important step in the long process of reform; but it is a draft that will need to be supplemented before presented to the court.
Today, the organizations who have sued to bring about reform, including the ACLU, have started to examine the draft to see whether it is designed to meet the needs of Chicago residents. There is no simple and quick fix, and this document deserves our careful attention.
Incredibly, this draft still does not require officers to record when they point a weapon at someone. The City of Chicago just settled a case for $2.5 million where police held a gun to the chest of a 3-year-old child. Given the absence of this provision, we need to examine this draft very closely.
The movement toward reform of CPD did not culminate today—but it has moved one step forward. We must all review and respond comprehensively to the draft to ensure a revised decree will successfully bring about the reform we have been waiting for.
*** UPDATE *** It appears that AG Madigan isn’t giving up on the drawn gun issue…
* Attorney General Lisa Madigan…
Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson today released a draft consent decree for the Chicago Police Department (CPD) that will require enforceable police reform. The draft consent decree is the result of months of negotiations by Madigan’s office, the City of Chicago and CPD, and engagement with Chicago communities, organizations and police officers.
Under the draft consent decree, Madigan is seeking sustainable reforms of CPD’s policies, practices, training and accountability mechanisms to address use of force, discriminatory policing, improve public safety and build trust between CPD and Chicago’s residents. The draft consent decree will ultimately be a court order enforced by a federal judge. The judge will be assisted by an independent monitor, who will continually evaluate CPD’s progress to implement reforms required by the consent decree until the City and CPD achieve full and effective compliance.
As part of the process of drafting the consent decree, Madigan engaged members of the community and law enforcement for their feedback and input on police reform. Madigan’s office held 14 community roundtables across the city and reviewed feedback from residents through paper and online feedback forms. Madigan’s office also held 13 focus groups with CPD officers of all ranks. In conjunction with the release of the draft consent decree, Madigan also released reports that summarize and include all the comments received from Chicago residents and police officers during this engagement process.
For decades, efforts to reform CD have failed, resulting in a profound lack of trust between the police and the communities they serve,” Madigan said. “The consent decree will mandate reforms to ensure constitutional policing and, ultimately, make Chicago safer for residents and police officers.”
“Reform and public safety go hand-in-hand, and today Chicago is taking an important next step, but not our final step, on the road to reform and the journey to a safer, stronger Chicago,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This agreement will help ensure Chicago police officers have the training, resources and support they need to do their difficult jobs and help rebuild the bonds of trust, respect and understanding between officers and the communities they serve.”
“This consent decree represents our future - with an emphasis on 21st century training, stronger community partnerships, enhanced supervisory leadership, as well as emotional support and resources for police officers so they can effectively safeguard and strengthen our city,” said Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “Once finalized, CPD will work aggressively to implement the reforms embedded in the document, which will fundamentally enhance the Department. We look forward to working in the weeks ahead to select the independent monitor who will oversee this agreement.”
The draft consent decree is the result of the lawsuit Madigan filed in August 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the City of Chicago seeking numerous reforms outlined by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in its investigation of CPD. Madigan filed her lawsuit to obtain a consent decree for CPD after DOJ did not pursue a consent decree in Chicago, despite its own recommendation to do so.
The draft consent decree is based on DOJ’s findings that revealed a pattern of civil rights violations, including the unconstitutional use of deadly and excessive force by officers, caused by systemic deficiencies within CPD, that include 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. The draft also took into account recommendations from the Police Accountability Task Force report.
* Sen. Kwame Raoul…
It is great to see Attorney General Lisa Madigan stepping up where Jeff Sessions stepped back. It reminds us how important it is to have a proactive attorney general who is ready and willing to defend civil rights when the federal government neglects or attacks them.
As a state senator, I’ve had the opportunity to pass meaningful law enforcement reform, including standards for body cameras, a ban on chokeholds, and training in the appropriate use of force. Through the creation of the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission, I’ve also helped bring about justice for those whose lives were devastated by past police abuse.
Chicago has a painful legacy to confront and an urgent need to reform, and this must be done openly and with the full involvement of the communities being policed for the consent decree to be successful.
I look forward to reviewing this draft and listening to the public’s contributions over the next few weeks.
…Adding… Lori Lightfoot…
“I would like to thank Attorney General Lisa Madigan for stepping in where the federal government would not and negotiating a draft consent decree with Chicago. This document will serve as a roadmap to creating a culture of accountability within the Chicago Police Department and building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
“At first glance, there are some clear issues in the draft consent decree. I will be releasing a detailed response once I have had an opportunity to examine more thoroughly how the document reflects recommendations made by the Police Accountability Task Force and the Department of Justice. As the final consent decree will redefine local policing for the foreseeable future, I encourage every Chicagoan to join me in providing feedback and being involved in this critical process.”
…Adding… Erika Harold
I applaud the Parties’ efforts to bring much needed reform to the Chicago Police Department and, as Illinois Attorney General, will vigorously pursue compliance with the final consent decree entered by the Judge. I look forward to reviewing the draft decree and hearing public comment over the coming weeks. While the entry of a consent decree will not be a panacea, it will offer a constructive way forward in reforming CPD, protecting Chicagoans’ safety, enhancing community policing efforts, equipping police officers with the tools necessary to meet their responsibilities, and upholding Constitutional rights and civil liberties.
…Adding… Positive press release from the MacArthur Justice Center…
MacArthur Justice Center’s Sheila Bedi, lead counsel for Campbell v. City of Chicago, the community-driven class action seeking federal court oversight of the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) operations, issued the following statement following the public release of the City of Chicago and Illinois Attorney General’s consent decree.
CPD Consent Decree Includes Unprecedented Community Accountability and Enforcement Rights
A meaningful consent decree must be developed by those most impacted by police brutality and violence and must ensure real community-based oversight and enforcement. The robust enforcement rights secured for the community coalition behind the Campbell v. City of Chicago lawsuit have been fully and formally adopted into the proposal released by the City of Chicago and Illinois Attorney General. This community coalition has an unprecedented right to monitor and enforce this decree – including the power to seek contempt sanctions against the City and CPD if they fail to comply. But the consent decree cannot be judged merely on the enforcement rights won by the community. The Campbell Plaintiffs released series of demands in May—and those demands must be the measure of whether this proposed consent will truly reduce the harm caused by the racism and violence that permeates the CPD.