Chicago police beset by racial bias, unconstitutional policing, DOJ finds
- Author: Rogelio Becker Jan 14, 2017,
Jan 14, 2017, 0:28
The report found that Chicago police officers "engage in a pattern or practice of using force, including deadly force, that is unreasonable", and that Chicago police "unnecessarily endanger themselves and others and result in unnecessary and avoidable shootings".
The investigation was launched after dashcam footage of the shooting of Laquan McDonald, a black 17-year-old, sparked nationwide outrage.
The conclusions are part of a 164-page report, the result of a 13-month investigation that found a pattern of poorly trained police officers relying too much on the use of force, sometimes deadly, while facing few consequences for their actions.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks during a news conference in Chicago, accompanied by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, on Friday. With this report, our city is presented with a bold and unprecedented opportunity to reinvent the culture and practices of the Chicago Police Department, all toward a goal of repairing community trust and making the department a more effective crime-fighting body.
"CPD does not give its officers the training they need to do their jobs safely, effectively and lawfully", Lynch said.
Garry McCarthy was the superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. Jeff Sessions, Trump's nominee to head the justice department, has similarly questioned intense scrutiny of law enforcement.
Chicago city has signed an agreement in principle to work with the department to carry out these reforms.
Van Dyke is facing trial on murder charges.
Police departments have operated under consent decrees in cities ranging from Ferguson, Mo.
The mayor has said that regardless of the outcome, he will continue his police department reform efforts.
Lynch announced the probe December 7, 2015, following the release of police dashboard footage of McDonald's shooting death. Back on April 20 of past year, she issued a report finding the police department had engaged in "systemic racism" and "blatant disregard for people of color" in Chicago. They also met with more than 90 community organizations and spoke to more than 1,000 Chicagoans.
That's if recruits can make it to patrol duty without getting injured in training facilities the report called "dangerous" and "exceptionally substandard".
The Justice Department found widespread issues with unconstitutional policing in Baltimore after it opened a probe there following the controversial death of Freddie Gray, an unarmed black man whose death while in Baltimore Police Department custody spurred violent protests in the city.