Chicago releases plan for court-monitored police reform

Law Review

Chicago and state officials released a plan Friday to carry out far-reaching police reforms under federal court supervision more than a year after a U.S. Justice Department investigation found a longstanding history of civil rights violations by the police department.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson released a more than 200-page proposed consent decree that would cover topics ranging from police recruitment and training to the use of force and misconduct investigations.

Among the proposed reforms are requiring that officers issue a verbal warning before any use of force and provide life-saving aid after force is used. The Chicago Police Department would need to issue monthly reports on use of force incidents.

The plan also establishes a 180-day deadline for investigations to be completed by the police department's internal affairs bureau and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, and calls for better training and supervision of officers.

Madigan acknowledged there have been many attempts over decades to reform the department and the relationship between police and the community, most recently after video of a white police officer fatally shooting a black teen 16 times led to protests and the Justice Department investigation. Yet she said too many Chicago residents still don't feel safe in their neighborhoods, or calling the police.

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