Chicago —(ENEWSPF)—September 13, 2018
By: Rosemary Piser
Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson announced today that they filed a proposed consent decree in federal court to reform the Chicago Police Department (CPD).
This consent decree was negotiated by the Attorney General’s office, the City of Chicago and CPD and informed by concerns and recommendations from Chicago community members and police officers. The proposed consent decree will resolve the complaint Madigan filed August 29, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the city seeking numerous reforms outlined by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in its investigation of CPD. Madigan took this action after DOJ chose not to pursue Chicago police reform through a consent decree, despite its own recommendation to do so.
The proposed consent decree:
- mandates comprehensive reform of CPD’s policies, practices, training and accountability mechanisms to address the use of force,
- ensures police accountability,
- improves public and officer safety and,
- helps build trust between CPD and Chicago’s residents.
At the announcement, Attorney General Madigan said, “Today is an historic day for the city of Chicago. “The consent decree is a unique opportunity to achieve real and lasting reform of the Chicago Police Department. The consent decree will support Chicago’s people and police with the goal of promoting safe and effective policing that builds respect and trust between residents and the police.”
Mayor Emanuel said, “This agreement, reflecting the voices and values of Chicago, will help create lasting reform at the Chicago Police Department and safer communities across the city. I want to commend everyone who stepped forward, worked diligently and shared their experiences and expertise to help us reach this inflection point for Chicago police reform.”
“Today’s consent decree announcement represents our permanent roadmap to improving the quality of service of the Chicago Police Department and implementing systemic improvements for our officers to effectively safeguard our city,” Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.
The draft consent decree was released in July with members of the public submitting over 1,000 comments on the proposal. Madigan’s office and the city carefully reviewed the comments and made revisions to the proposed consent decree.
Following the release of the draft consent decree, Madigan and the city also reached an agreement on requiring Chicago police to report every time they point a firearm. Under that agreement, beginning in July 2019:
- Chicago police officers must report when they point their firearm at a person,
- an officer’s immediate supervisor must be notified each time the pointing of a firearm is reported,
- once notified, CPD supervisors must then review the incident to ensure that the officer followed CPD policy and any misconduct is addressed,
- CPD headquarters also must review and audit all incidents involving an officer pointing a firearm at a person, including documentation and information collected during the stop, within 30 days of the incident, and
- beginning in January 2020, the independent monitor will assess instances in which an officer points a firearm at a person to determine whether changes to CPD policy, training, practice or supervision are necessary. The independent monitor will also recommend any changes to the process of documenting, reviewing, and analyzing these occurrences.
The federal judge overseeing the case will now review the proposed consent decree and provide additional opportunities for the public to comment to the federal court. Once final, an independent monitor appointed by the federal judge will evaluate and report to the court on CPD’s progress in implementing the reforms required under the consent decree. The assessments by the independent monitor of CPD’s progress and the oversight of CPD by the federal court will continue until the federal judge finds that the city has achieved full and effective compliance with the consent decree’s requirements.
The filed consent decree and review applications from independent monitor candidates can be found here.