Image Credit: Kelly Hayes (Twitter)
CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–February 26, 2016 – On Thursday, February 25th, the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) Chicago Chapter disrupted the Police Task Force meeting calling it a public relations stunt by the Mayor. BYP100 members and allies, Assata’s Daughters and Fearless Leading the Youth (F.L.Y.), made it clear that the Police Task force was already compromised because of the presence of Lori Lightfoot, chair of the Chicago Police Board.
Many BYP100 members wore Yellow shirts, Rekia Boyd’s favorite color, to the Police Task Force meeting–the same shirts they have been wearing every month at the Chicago Police Board meetings. “Lori Lightfoot doesn’t care about police misconduct. We know this because we have attended countless meetings demanding an answer for Dante Servin, but instead of addressing that she reports about an off-duty cop getting fired for shoplifting”, says BYP100 Communications Co-Chair, Paris Hipps.
The Chicago Police Board’s job is to engage community members around police misconduct and the Police Task force was created to improve this independent police oversight. BYP100 believes that the people who are currently allowing police misconduct can not be in charge of creating the solution for police accountability. “You can’t be trusted with oversight of inevitable future police violence when you are the same people currently allowing killer cops such as Dante Servin to collect a paycheck.”, says BYP100 member, Ashley Boyd.
Lori Lightfoot has already heard the stories of police misconduct while on the Chicago Police Board and has done nothing about it. “Chicago police officers Paul Clavijo and Juan Vasquez sexually assaulted a woman twice in this neighborhood [Rogers Park] and though they had multiple misconduct charges in 2014, they still were not held accountable for any sexual wrongdoing”, says BYP100 Chicago Co-Chair Johnáe Strong. BYP100 asserts that if Lori Lightfoot hasn’t done anything about the police misconduct in Chicago as the President of the Chicago Police Board, then she will not be able to fulfill her role on the Police Task Force.
Chicago does not need a Police Task Force and already has too many ineffective independent boards to improve police accountability and not enough social services that have been shown to reduce gun violence and keep Black communities safe, such as: 311 rapid response social workers, gun violence interrupters, mental health care facilities, trauma centers, expanded park district programing, and democratically controlled and funded quality public schools. These services are denied critical funding in poor Black communities throughout the City while Chicago Police Department continues to see an ever increase in funding despite its continued failure.
BYP100 Chicago is committed to holding public officials accountable and continuing the fight for economic, racial, and political justice through demanding divestment from oppressive systems and investment in the lives of Black people.
Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) is an activist member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do this through building a network focused on transformative leadership development, direct action organizing, advocacy and education using a Black queer feminist lens. We are an organization affiliated with the Black Youth Project.
www.byp100.org – @BYP_100 – facebook.com/BYP100