On Thursday, The Chicago Police Department was decreed to reformation. A federal judge approved an agreement between the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago. The agreement will require the Chicago Police Department to undertake dozens of reforms.
The sides negotiated the consent decree after the state’s attorney general sued the police department in federal court. Allegations came from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who left office this month. She alleged that the 13,000-officer department had a troubling record of civil rights violations and said it needed an outside monitor to oversee reforms.
The decree demands that the department is to publish use-of-force data monthly. The department will tighten policy on when Tasers may be used. In addition, officers must document each time they draw their weapons. This changes the rules by which officers are investigated. This also requires the city to bolster wellness and counseling programs for officers.
Judge Robert Dow wrote that the decree “is not a panacea, nor is it a magic wand.” He expressed that this is an attempt that could be a useful tool for a city. The Chicago police department has been noted by allegations of mistreatment and brutality against its black and Hispanic communities.
Judge Robert Dowe stated that the goal of this decree is to solve crime. “In a manner that defuses tension, respects differences of opinion, and over time produces a ‘lawful, fair, reasonable, and adequate’ result for everyone involved.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel also stated, “This agreement builds on the strength of the reforms underway at the Chicago Police Department today, ensures there are no U-turns on that road to reform, and will help secure a safer and stronger future for our city.”
The police department has spent more than $700 million since 2010 on settlements and legal fees related to lawsuits alleging police brutality.
States Attorney Kim Foxx stated, “Generations of fear and distrust don’t go away because there is a consent decree.” She noted, “Repairing that fractured relationship goes beyond today’s actions.”
“This is not the end of the road. A but mere checkpoint on the journey to reform.”