Features | Police | Politics

Predictive Policing and the Long Road to Transparency

Why did the CPD release data from its Strategic Subject List after seven years of stonewalling?

Ellen Hao

John Doe is a Black, male teenager from North Lawndale. He is in the Chicago Police Department (CPD)’s controversial gang affiliation database. He has a petty rap sheet, with four drug-related arrests in four years. He was recently beaten up, though has never been arrested for a violent crime or gun violence, and has never been shot. There are 240 other “gang affiliated” people in the city of Chicago with similar profiles, who have been the victims of at least one assault recently and have as many or more narcotics arrests as John. But among these people, John Doe stands out— he has been given a perfect score by the CPD’s Strategic Subject List.

Police | Politics

Questions Without Answers

In a tense public meeting, the young women of Youth for Black Lives question Superintendent Eddie Johnson

J. Michael Eugenio

Mere steps away from this newspaper’s office on Tuesday, January 17, the first of what is supposed to be a series of monthly meetings between leaders of Youth for Black Lives (YBL, formerly Black Lives Matter Youth) and Chicago Police Department superintendent Eddie Johnson took place.

Activism | Features | Immigration | Police | Politics

Know Your Rights

How does Chicago treat its immigrants, and why?

On August 5, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers raided a gas station on Belmont and Milwaukee Avenues that has long been a hiring site for day laborers (jornaleros) in Chicago. A group of workers—most of whom specialize in construction and landscaping—gathered that morning, as they do every day. They waited for employers who regularly come by to make job offers and negotiate a pay rate. The workers who frequent this particular site in Albany Park are black, Polish, Eastern European, Latinx. Some are immigrants, and some are not.

Police | Politics

A Gross Affront to Justice

The DOJ’s report describes, once again, the host of deep-seated structural problems within the CPD

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released the results of its probe into the Chicago Police Department. It found CPD’s excessive use of force in violation of the Fourth Amendment and has taken steps toward establishing a consent decree with the department. This means the CPD will continue operating (though unconstitutionally) while working with the DOJ on a list of recommendations over the coming years. The report found that the lack of strong investigative agencies to discipline CPD officers—as well as poor training overall and a lack of direction, supervision, and support for its officers—has led to a pattern or practice of excessive and unconstitutional use of force within the department. In short, CPD officers can do whatever they want with almost no fear of repercussion. The conclusions reached by the DOJ can be grouped into two recommendations: first, that stronger penalties need to be put in place to deter police misconduct and unconstitutional use of force, and second, that further resources need to be provided for police when it comes to accountability, training, supervision, officer wellness, data collection and transparency, and community policing. For those who are rightfully wary of the CPD to begin with, the idea of granting further resources to the department is a hard pill to swallow.

Police | Politics

In the Report

In December of 2015, after massive public outcry over the killing of Laquan McDonald, the U.S. Department of Justice initiated a probe into the Chicago Police Department. The thirteen-month investigation, for which the Department spent hundreds of days in Chicago, conducted hundreds of interviews, and reviewed tens of thousands of pages of documentation, resulted in the release last Friday of a 160-page report. The report concludes that CPD engages in the unconstitutional use of force and suffers from severely broken training and accountability systems. Below we have highlighted particularly jarring numbers, anecdotes, and conclusions from this report.

Interviews | Police

Learn From Each Other

A beat meeting facilitator on building trust between the community and the police

Leonard McGee, photographed by Maria Cardona / City Bureau.

4nkoVe1iThis report was produced in collaboration with City Bureau, a Chicago-based journalism lab. An introduction to important concepts relating to CAPS and restorative justice can be found here.