Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** AG Raoul opens up to employees: “I’m angry”
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
*** UPDATED x1 *** AG Raoul opens up to employees: “I’m angry”

Friday, Jun 5, 2020 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From a letter sent by Attorney General Kwame Raoul to members of his staff

June 4, 2020

Dear colleagues,

I want to apologize for my delay in addressing you about the recent protests and, more importantly, the underlying reason for them. Part of why I delayed was that I needed time to process my own anger and the thoughts that arose from it.

In my journey to become Attorney General, I was advised along the way to control my anger and not to let it inform my words and actions. Some of this advice was helpful, but at other times it failed to acknowledge the reality with which I live.

As an African American male who has had my own negative experiences with law enforcement, I’m angry.

As an African American male who has felt myself to be the subject of profiling for most of my life, I’m angry.

As the father of two black children whose wellbeing I worry about, I’m angry .

I’m angry because even to this day, at this stage in my career, I get nervous when I walk or drive by a police officer. I’m angry because when I walk into a store, I have to go out of my way to demonstrate that I’m there lawfully, to buy and not to steal. I’m angry because when I walk down a sidewalk or get in an elevator, I have to think about how to show I’m not a threat to someone’s purse.

As I reflected on my anger, I found it important to identify the person I’m angriest at - myself. I’m angry at myself because I’ve accepted the burden of making these adjustments in my daily life as an African American man, rather than confronting the reasons for my fear and discomfort.

So I’ve challenged myself and our senior staff to look at the work we do in the Office of the Attorney General with an eye to how we may have tolerated inequities and, as a result, contributed to the circumstances we have all witnessed.

We are having this discussion, born of our outrage over the death of George Floyd, only because a 17-year-old girl had the presence of mind to record the horrific act of a law enforcement officer purporting to be working in the line of duty. This is far from the first time we have risen up in resonse to police conduct caught on tape. I feel good about having led efforts, prior to assuming the role of Attorney General, to set protocols for the use of body-worn cameras and dash cams, and to have clarified that Illinois law allows members of the public to record officers in the performance of their duties. But I’m angry at myself for having accepted pats on the back for such reforms, knowing that most abusive policing is not recorded. Part of the reason I sought the position of Attorney General was to take on the challenge to do more.

We’ve been engaged in the implementation of a consent decree designed to change the patterns and practices of the Chicago Police Department. We have also recognized that the same communities that suffer disproportionately from law enforcement abuse also experience more heavily the trauma of normalized violence. This is why we’ve enhanced our crime victim services, taking a wider view of who is a victim. At the same time, we are actively reviewing legislation to further reform the way policing is done in this state.

Additionally, I know this time of public health crisis has been stressful for us all. I cannot express to you enough how deeply I appreciate your adjustment to working remotely while handling increased workloads. I also acknowledge that as I have struggled to process my thoughts and emotions concerning recent events and their relation to my lived experiences , so many o f you have felt the direct impact. I encourage you to take advantage of the Employee Assistance Program through which you can access free, confidential counseling services. You can reach them at (866) xxx-xxxx, 24/7, 365 days a year.

I also want you to know that I - and this office - stand in support of you.

The pandemic and both its health and economic effects have disproportionately harmed certain communities. Now, we witness livelihoods being destroyed - in many cases by outsiders - at a time when small businesses were already barely clinging to survival and people were just beginning to go back to work. While we have an eye toward assisting neighborhoods affected by this destruction, we will not allow our focus to be pulled away from our responsibility to look in the mirror and promote ethical, responsible and constitutional law enforcement in all areas that we touch .

*** UPDATE *** Press release…

Attorney General Kwame Raoul today issued a statement regarding implementation of a consent decree between the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois that requires the city to implement wide-ranging reforms of the Chicago Police Department (CPD). In a status hearing today regarding the consent decree and the CPD’s response to protests taking place throughout Chicago, attorneys from Raoul’s office argued that the city has failed to implement the consent decree in a timely manner.

“My commitment to enforcing the consent decree between the city of Chicago and state of Illinois has never wavered. If anything, the horrific murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, two in a long list of black lives lost at the hands of police, have strengthened my resolve to do my part to end pervasive police violence against our black and brown residents.

“We cannot let another day go by where the CPD hides behind a broken accountability system, inexcusably misses dozens of court-ordered deadlines with no plan in place to catch up, and fails to take the necessary steps to remedy the problems outlined in the U.S. Department of Justice’s 2017 report. The city owes the community it serves meaningful reform, not lip service, not Band-Aids, and not politics.

“I am calling on the city to recommit to implementing structural change within the Chicago Police Department, to publicly reject systemic racism, and to truly and transparently commit to gaining the trust of communities of color. I look forward to the independent monitor’s upcoming special report that will give us a more complete picture of how the CPD is responding to the protests that are continuing throughout Chicago. The protests are proof that the residents of Chicago are tired of waiting. I am calling on the city to do the hard work it assured people would be done to end systemic racism and restore accountability.

“I was pleased to hear Mayor Lightfoot’s recent comments acknowledging that implementation of the consent decree has been too slow. After several months of missed deadlines, one would be hard-pressed to disagree.

“The obstacle to implementation has never been the consent decree; rather, it has been the Chicago Police Department’s failure to prioritize the consent decree by committing sufficient resources to implement the court-ordered reforms. The city and the Chicago Police Department must finally take meaningful steps to implement the consent decree with the sense of urgency this moment in time demands. As tens of thousands of Chicagoans raise their voices to mourn and cry out for change, the city’s leadership owes them no less.”

Raoul is urging the city to deliver to the court, the monitor, and the Attorney General’s office a plan detailing when and how it will meet all of the consent decree deadlines missed.

To find more information, visit the Attorney General’s consent decree website.

* Related…

* Raoul, 17 other AGs ask Congress for power to investigate police misconduct


  1. - Hippo - Friday, Jun 5, 20 @ 12:30 pm:

    “Dozens of deadlines missed…”. Glad to see you finally noticed. You can expect to hear about COVID 19 and George Floyd protests as the latest excuse. The CPD never bought into the consent decree and the City has no available funds to implement it. Brown is in deep trouble. He won’t succeed in reducing overtime, he won’t keep murders below 300, he won’t meet decree deadlines. To borrow a quote: “whatever the plan was/is it’s a fail.”

  2. - Payback - Friday, Jun 5, 20 @ 2:05 pm:

    “One thing is certain: If US DOJ continues to abdicate its responsibility to pursue police reform, someone has to take action. We stand ready to do so,” the attorneys wrote.” I feel better already knowing that our crime-fighting AG in Illinois stands ready to collect statistics, when the federal authorities he bashes were the only ones who prosecuted Jon Burge.

    If Kwame Raoul is for real, he can support legislation to add investigation and prosecution of police misconduct to the statewide grand jury act, so officers can be directly indicted by the AG, instead of leaving it in the hands of local county State’s Attorneys. Waiting…

  3. - dbk - Friday, Jun 5, 20 @ 2:06 pm:

    CPD may be the biggest police force in the state by a country mile, but it’s probably (certainly?) not the only one that should be under a consent decree. I can think of one downstate right off the bat.

    OTOH, how can any state afford the manpower to put a slew of its police departments under a consent decree? How could they possibly be genuinely enforced?

  4. - Responsa - Friday, Jun 5, 20 @ 2:32 pm:

    From Kwame’s “I’m processing my anger” letter he seems somehow unclear that he is in an elected position with the responsibility to do (and to have already done) something about many of the things that he says he is angry about, and says need to be enforced.

  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 5, 20 @ 2:59 pm:

    == Raoul, 17 other AGs ask Congress for power to investigate police misconduct ==

    I guess I don’t quite understand this. Don’t the AG’s already have power to investigate any violations of their individual state’s laws? What power specifically are they asking for? The right to investigate and prosecute Federal Civil Rights law? And specifically to Illinois, I thought Illinois Human Rights law was mostly the same or more progressive than Federal law?

  6. - RNUG - Friday, Jun 5, 20 @ 3:05 pm:

    Anon at 2:59pm was I

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Debate open thread
* Gannett confirms it's printing Proft's papers
* Question of the day
* Fun with numbers
* Campaign notebook
* Pritzker talks pensions
* SAFE-T Act coverage roundup
* Greising vs. Proft
* Debate preview
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Because... Madigan!
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today's edition
* Open thread
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...







Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller