Police | Politics

A CPD Reading List

Over the years, journalists have covered the Chicago police from every angle, documenting not only police violence against communities of color but also the Department’s internal methods for protecting officers and disguising the truth about performance and misconduct. In light of the release of the Police Accountability Task Force report, the Weekly has collected here some of the most impactful and relevant coverage of the CPD. 

Police | Politics

Paper Trail

What are the consequences of destroying police misconduct files?

Ellie Mejía

“These records are vital to our work, and their destruction would pose a great challenge to our ability to investigate these cases.” Robert Olmstead

Police | Politics

The Numbers Game

What's the truth behind IPRA's statistics?

Ellie Mejia

“The numbers might look good,” Davis said, “but [those programs] sacrifice the quality of investigation.”

Police | Politics

Trouble in the Clerk’s Office

The Clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court is being investigated. What are the stakes for Chicago?

When asked about the withdrawal of her endorsement in the wake of the FBI investigation, Brown suggested that it was motivated largely by political concerns.


Bringing Back the Taser

Faced with a need for reform, the CPD turns to a familiar weapon

Julie Xu

On December 30, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the Chicago Police Department will add an additional seven hundred Tasers to the force by June of this year, bringing the CPD’s number of stun guns to fourteen hundred. Officers will also be trained in de-escalation tactics that emphasize nonviolent confrontation methods. This announcement comes after weeks of intense criticism of the police department, the city government, and Emanuel himself after the video of Laquan McDonald being shot by Officer Jason Van Dyke was released to the public in November.

Police | Politics

A Readers’ Guide to the City’s Laquan McDonald Emails

On December 31, in response to Freedom of Information Act requests from multiple media outlets, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office released approximately three thousand pages of emails relating to the now well-known shooting of Laquan McDonald and subsequent release of the dash-cam video of the event. However, access to this correspondence is not limited to reporters: any member of the public can take a look at what these emails contain. For those inclined to do so, the Weekly has gathered here some of the main characters in the glossary below, along with an annotated excerpt of the emails.

Police | Politics

Jahmal Cole Speaks Out

The nephew of Bettie Jones, accidentally killed by the CPD on Christmas Day, on police violence

Ian Moore

Last January, the South Side Weekly interviewed Jahmal Cole, an energetic community member and activist, who founded My Block, My Hood, My City, an organization that enables adolescent mentorship. Last week, Cole’s aunt, Bettie Jones, a mother of five, was accidentally shot by a Chicago police officer. In this interview, the Weekly talked with Cole about what this tragedy and the calls for an end to unjustified police violence mean for him, his family, the teens he works with, and the city.