Chicago task force: police influenced by institutional racism

Chicago task force: police influenced by institutional racism

[JURIST] A Chicago task force assigned by Mayor Rahm Emanuel [official website] on Wednesday issued a report [text, PDF] finding that racism has caused systematic failures within the city’s police department. The report includes statistics illustrating how African Americans are the group most often targeted and mistreated by police officers within the city of Chicago. According to the task force, 74 percent of the 408 people who were shot by Chicago PD between 2008 and 2015 were African American. The report also discussed police stops and use of excessive force. In response to these findings, the task force has called for both the dissolving of the Independent Police Review Authority and the expansion of officer body camera use.

Claims of police abuse continue to generate controversy throughout the US. In October, three former detainees filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against the City of Chicago [official website] and a number of Chicago police officers for alleged abuse at an “off the books” detention center. In September a Ferguson, Missouri reform panel released a report calling for the consolidation of police departments [JURIST report] and municipal courts. Also that month Baltimore City Circuit Judge Barry Williams rejected motions [JURIST report] to drop charges against six police officers implicated in the case of Freddie Gray, a black man who was injured in police custody and later died. In August the Chicago Police Department decided [JURIST report] to allow independent evaluations of their stop-and-frisk procedures that many have said specifically target African Americans under an agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union. In August of last year New York City formally dropped [JURIST report] the city’s appeal of rulings in lawsuits involving the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) use of stop-and-frisk tactics. Mayor Bill De Blasio’s administration agreed to end the lawsuit against the NYPD after reaching a settlement requiring three years of NYPD oversight by a court-appointed monitor.