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Chicago police officers will have to report whenever they point a gun at someone

Thursday, Sep 6, 2018

* AG Madigan press release…

Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced her office and the City of Chicago agreed to a draft provision in the draft consent decree for reform of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) that requires Chicago police officers to report when they point a firearm at a person.

Under the agreement, beginning in July 2019, (1) Chicago police officers must report when they point their firearm at a person, (2) an officer’s immediate supervisor must be notified each time the pointing of a firearm is reported (3) once notified, CPD supervisors must then review the incident to ensure that the officer followed CPD policy and any misconduct is addressed, and (4) beginning in January 2020, the independent monitor will review any instances in which an officer points a firearm and recommend any changes to the way the incidents are documented.

In addition to review by the officer’s supervisor, the agreement requires CPD headquarters to review and audit all incidents involving an officer pointing a firearm at a person, including documentation and information collected during the stop. Headquarters’ reviews of pointing incidents must be completed within 30 days and must:

    * identify whether the pointing of the firearm at a person allegedly violated CPD policy;
    * identify any patterns in such occurrences and, to the extent necessary, ensure that any concerns are addressed; and
    * identify any tactical, equipment, training, or policy concerns and, to the extent necessary, ensure that the concerns are addressed.

At the conclusion of the review, CPD must make appropriate referrals for misconduct investigations or other corrective actions for alleged violations of CPD policy. CPD headquarters must also issue a written notification to the supervisor of its findings and include whether any further actions were taken or required.

Under the agreement, after each incident when an officer has pointed a firearm, officers must radio the information about pointing their firearms to the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC). The information will be electronically linked with corresponding police department reports and body-worn camera recordings from the same incident, all of which must be retained and accessible to the officer’s supervisor, be reviewed by the Department, and available to the independent monitor.

The agreement also requires that by January 1, 2019, CPD must instruct officers on weapons discipline and when officers should and should not point a firearm at a person. New training on when an officer points a firearm must be incorporated in the annual use of force training required under the draft consent decree in 2019. Also under the agreement, CPD will clarify in its policy that officers will only point a firearm at a person when it is objectively reasonable to do so.

Beginning in 2020, the independent monitor annually will assesses instances in which an officer points a firearm at a person to determine whether changes to CPD policy, training, practice or supervision are necessary and to recommend any changes to the process of documenting, reviewing, and analyzing these occurrences.

“Knowing when police officers point their guns at someone will allow CPD to improve officer and community safety,” Madigan said. “I believe this is critical in achieving true reform of the Chicago Police Department.”

* Press release from Sen. Kwame Raoul…

“As the consent decree moves closer to its final form, I am encouraged by the prospects for meaningful and sustainable change. The latest point of agreement is an important advance, one that acknowledges the seriousness of the CPD’s need to earn the trust of the people it polices,” said state Senator Kwame Raoul.

“This difficult and necessary work and the public participation informing it were made possible by Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s decision to step up and take responsibility for the reform process when the Department of Justice stepped back from its duty to enforce civil rights laws. State attorneys general are often the last line of defense, and I am ready to step up whenever needed.

“I look forward as attorney general to building on these positive steps, implementing and monitoring the consent decree to bring about lasting reform.”

…Adding… Karen Sheley, Director, Police Practices Project, ACLU of Illinois…

Last night’s filing announcing the agreement reached about recording each time a Chicago police officer points a weapon at someone is welcome news. The City heeded recent public demands supporting this common-sense proposal. The City should also adopt the other demands that the ACLU and our clients have raised in our detailed response to their draft decree. The decree they file in court must be revised to ensure the City has an effective crisis intervention program, addresses police interactions with people with disabilities, and makes the reform plans enforceable and transparent.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 11:16 am:


  2. - PublicServant - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 11:23 am:

    Too much wiggleroom with “point a gun at someone”. They’ll just “point the gun” slightly off target, while still threatening, since they weren’t pointing AT someone…no report/no problem.

  3. - Perrid - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 11:28 am:

    @PublicServant, not sure I disagree, but what’s your solution? Any time it’s drawn, even if it is clearly pointed at the ground or sky? Even if there was no one around to point the gun at? Or maybe anytime the cop puts their hand on their weapon, even if it stayed in the holster? Those could potentially make someone feel threatened. Heck, having a cop, who is clearly armed, yelling at you can feel like a threat. You have to draw the line somewhere.

  4. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 11:30 am:

    So tragic. So many officers will be down with writer’s cramp./s

  5. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    YTD there have been 2,108 shootings in Chicago resulting in 400 homicides.

    Police shootings in 2018 have resulted in 4 killed and 9 wounded vs. 11 killed and 12 wounded in all of 2017.

    How many police shootings have been proven as to be not justified in Chicago?

    Lisa Madigan, Kim Foxx. Kwame Raoul. the ACLU and others are missing the forest for the trees and failing to address the much bigger problem.

  6. - BigLou - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 11:35 am:

    Is it surprising Rahm agreed. It’s kind of a big middle, or in this case small and stubby, finger to an organization that’s always criticized him and hurt his reelection. Whose he going to get even with next.

  7. - Question - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 11:35 am:

    I’m shocked this wasn’t already the policy

  8. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    This seems like a good middle ground between just reporting shootings and reporting every time a gun is drawn.

  9. - Matts - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    It’s not like officers are pointing their guns 8 times a day. Right? It seems to be a reasonable requirement in an unreasonable time and place.

  10. - Texas Red - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 11:45 am:

    More red tape for officers and supervisors. This will make CPS officers less likely to be proactive as the reports can be used to substantiate other claims such as bias unrelated to crime fighting.

  11. - manboy - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 12:18 pm:

    Texas Red,

    If the paperwork is enough of a burden to stop you from drawing your weapon, then the situation is not threatening enough to make you draw your weapon.

    If the reports do substantiate claims of bias, that can only be a good thing. Unless you think we should ENCOURAGE bias??? Really doesn’t make sense to me.

  12. - Angry Republican - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 12:24 pm:

    The order doesn’t go into effect until July 2019; a lot of things can happen between now and then. CPD needs to run a pilot project where the police go on patrol unarmed, and report back how it works out.

  13. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 1:10 pm:

    ==CPD needs to run a pilot project where the police go on patrol unarmed, and report back how it works out.==
    How would a pilot with unarmed police give people information about a policy involving paperwork when a gun is pointed at someone?

  14. - TaylorvilleTornado - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 1:32 pm:

    I’m sure the CPD will stop doing their jobs again like they did when the city settled with the ACLU.

    They could save themselves some trouble and report their fellow officers when they engage in bad behavior but they’d rather act like toddlers throwing a tantrum when they’re caught doing something they shouldn’t.

  15. - Angry Republican - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 1:44 pm:

    DBBW, when officers on patrol have to spend 80% of their workday writing reports, it doesn’t leave a lot of time to do, you know, actual police work. If the ACLU thinks “pointing a firearm” is a problem, why not take firearms away from the police - problem solved.

    Of course this ridiculous order doesn’t cover crossbows, compound bows, lances, swords, or spears, so some enterprising young officer can just switch to one of those.

  16. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 1:49 pm:

    Where does the 80% of the workday writing reports come from?

  17. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 1:54 pm:

    I think you misunderstand the intent. The issue is better training and better oversight by civilian leaders more than the idea that guns are bad.

  18. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 2:56 pm:

    –More red tape for officers and supervisors. This will make CPS officers less likely to be proactive as the reports can be used to substantiate other claims such as bias unrelated to crime fighting.–

    Wow, strong statements — based on what?

  19. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 3:43 pm:

    The policy as implemented is quite a bit more than what some of you all were describing when we last discussed this as “checking off a box.” We’ll see how it works.

  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 4:12 pm:

    Isn’t this SOP for just about every other police force in the world? I have a distinct memory of a county sheriff’s deputy/friend of the family doing paperwork after pulling his gun out of its holster around 1978.

  21. - Anon this time - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 4:41 pm:

    Wordslinger, the worry about proving bias with report data is as follows. (All hypothetical. I don’t know how often a Chicago Officer uses force in a high crime neighborhood. I can only guess.)

    Cop is assigned to high crime area. High crime area is an almost all minority population. Cop spends five years assigned in that area. Cop does 10 “use of force” reports, 9 with minorities, one with a non-minority. More than 90 percent of the neighborhood is minority but because his use of force reports are compared against the percentage of minorities nation wide instead of the percentage of minorities in the place where he works, he is labeled as an officer with a possible bias.

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anyone thinking I am “possibly biased”. That is a terrible label to put on someone who joins law enforcement to make a living and have a chance to do good in the world.

  22. - Just saying - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 6:23 pm:

    Police officers only shoot a few people each year compared to how many murders there are in Chicago and they are worried about the officers? The problem is the crime there people, not the officers. Leave the officers alone to do their job.

  23. - Odysseus - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 7:46 pm:

    Thank you, manboy, for being a voice of reason.

  24. - Payback - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 11:42 pm:

    “I look forward as attorney general to building on these positive steps, implementing and monitoring the consent decree to bring about lasting reform.” Give me a break with Raoul’s phony sermonizing here.

    Since Raoul cares so much about police “reform” why didn’t he place criminal penalties in his body cam bill when cops delete the tapes? He bashes the feds, but it was U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald who convicted C.P.D. detective Jon Burge, not state or county prosecutors who had thirty years to get it done.

    Now that Chicago has taken this Great Leap Forward into the twentieth century, who’s watching the good old boys in corrupt counties like Whiteside, where deputy Jeffrey Wunderlich had criminal charges dismissed for killing motorcyclist Bill Damhoff?

  25. - theCardinal - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 7:43 am:

    So let me undersatnd this…what if a police officer pulls their weapon because they sense there may be a need they have to write it up? Whats the value of that? Police having a gun drawn could be a causitive action that results in further action but, also could be done as a protectionary measure. When a gun is drawn its always pointed someplace even if its not pointed at someone, it can be a huge deterent and create compliance. If you have had one pointed at you you will understand ( and yes I have) it gets your attention in a hurry.

  26. - revvedup - Friday, Sep 7, 18 @ 7:44 am:

    Apparently a written report may NOT be required…Second City Cop blog reports a CPD email says only logging by radio will be required:

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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