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.

Police | Politics

Section 8.4

The unstable future of the city’s police misconduct records

Baci Weiler

These arbitration awards are not the end of the battle over these records, as both Crystal and Roumell’s decisions simply continue the preservation of the documents. Though the awards are legally binding, they are subject to appeal, and both Kalven and Futterman hedged when discussing their merits with the Sun-Times, calling them “sort of a reprieve,” and a “timeout,” respectively.

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.