In September, the City committed to reform the CPD by signing an agreement with the State of Illinois.

Do you support the consent decree between the City and the Illinois Attorney General designed to reform the CPD?  What three steps would you take immediately upon taking office to ensure that the decree is effectively implemented? 


DOROTHY BROWN: 

Mayoral Questionnaire
1. Create a rigorous oversight and governance structure
As Mayor, I will work diligently with the federal monitor, Chicago Police Department, community leaders, alderman and others to ensure the consent decree is fully implemented.  I will create an Office of Police Department Accountability that will report directly to the Mayor.  The Office will evaluate CPD’s progress in meeting the goals of the consent decree, provide recommendations on continued professional development practices for police officers, and monitor high-profile misconduct and disciplinary cases.  
 
The work of the Mayor’s Office of Police Department Accountability will compliment, not supersede the work of the new Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA).  COPA will continue to be responsible for conducting investigations of civilian complaints, identify and address patterns of misconduct and make recommendations for addressing problematic officers.  
 
2. Reduce use of deadly force

The Department of Justice found numerous instances where police officers used deadly force in violation of the 4th amendment and Department Policy.  Among the violations identified were: 

  • Shooting at fleeing suspects who present no immediate threat
  • Lack of a foot pursuit policy
  • Firing at vehicles without justification
  • Officers exhibiting poor discipline in discharging weapons
  • Officers making tactical decisions that unnecessarily increase the risk of deadly encounters, including failure to await backup, use of unsound tactics in approaching vehicles, and use of dangerous vehicle maneuvers
In their analysis, the Department of Justice did not stop with the use of deadly force.  They found numerous instances in which less-lethal force was used against people who presented no threat and against children, all in violation of the 4th amendment and Department policy. This type of behavior is unacceptable. 
 
Most disturbing, the Department of Justice found that misconduct took place in direct contradiction to police officers’ version of events.  Using video evidence, the Department found instances of police officers hitting a person over the head with a baton, throwing a woman to the ground and tasering her, choking, hitting and slapping a man who had refused an order to leave a store area, even though the man was shopping with his family, and punching a handcuffed man. This type of behavior is unacceptable.  
 
Police officers are among the first responders to crisis incidents, including situations involving people with mental illness. Officers should know how to deescalate a tense situation without using force, how to restrain an individually properly and what to look for when making first assessments. Regrettably the Department of Justice found that CPD made ineffective use of crisis intervention techniques. This is unacceptable.
 
CPD has made progress in professionalizing training on the use of force. In 2018, CPD promised to start the Force Review Unit. Top leaders in the Department are expected to review all cases where force is used and make recommendations for improving tactics as needed. Also, CPD has implemented a 16 hour Force Mitigation course for all officers. The training includes classroom-based instruction on mental health issues as well as scenario-based exercises that reinforce lectures. Also, the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is being reorganized in 2018 and is expected to become a fully functioning component of the Bureau of Patrol. In addition, the CIT training program is being overhauled to reflect current thinking on how to respond to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.
 
As Mayor, I will monitor the work of the Force Review Unit, the effectiveness of the Force Mitigation course, and the successes of the CIT program closely through the Office of Police Department Accountability. The Office of Police Accountability will also monitor progress and provide continuous guidance to the Mayor’s Office on effective the use of force training and policies and procedures.
 
3. Make timely, accurate and complete investigations of officer misconduct
The Department of Justice found that CPD has failed to conduct meaningful investigations into officer misconduct. The weaknesses include:
  • Failing to conduct an investigation of nearly ½ of police misconduct complaints
  • Relying on pre-emptive mediation to close complaints deemed less serious
  • Ignoring mandatory investigations into uses of force that could identify misconduct or faulty training issues.
  • Failing to interview witnesses and accused officers at all or in timely manner.
  • Coaching or intimidating witnesses
  • Preparing interview questions “biased in favor of officers”
  • Ignoring physical evidence, such as the collection of DNA or GSR (gunshot residue) from alleged shooters
  • Ignoring evidence from civil and criminal proceedings.
  • Closing administrative investigations prematurely
  • Tampering with video and audio evidence
  • Intimidating complainants
These management failures are unacceptable. In response to these findings, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) was created. Its mission is to investigate and address allegations of police misconduct, as well as identifying patterns of misconduct.
 
As Mayor, I will work to ensure that the investigators and staff of COPA are provided the resources they need to conduct high quality investigations into allegations of police misconduct. The work of the Mayor’s Office of Police Department Accountability will compliment, not supersede the work of COPA. COPA will continue to be responsible for conducting investigations of civilian complaints, identify and address patterns of misconduct and make recommendations for addressing problematic officers.

GERY CHICO:

Mayoral Questionnaire

I support codifying the consent decree into city ordinance with appropriate revisions and updates from experts and community leaders.


BILL DALEY:

DID NOT RESPOND.


AMARA ENYIA:

Mayoral Questionnaire

While the consent decree is not as robust as our campaign would like, it is essential for our success as a city. Our institutions must operate with the highest levels of integrity and fairness, and the reports issued by the Department of Justice and the Police Accountability Taskforce expose what many communities have already known: a toxic culture of abuse, corruption, and racism that has persisted for too long in the City of Chicago. An Enyia Administration would begin immediately by working with community activists, civil rights attorneys, and CPD leadership to implement a radically different code of conduct for the CPD. The contract with the police union would be renegotiated to allow for an easier dismissal of officers with too many complaints on their records. And the standards for the use of force would be re-evaluated to decrease the likelihood of deadly encounters between unarmed civilians and police officers.


BOB FIORETTI:

DID NOT RESPOND.


LA SHAWN FORD:

Mayoral Questionnaire
I not only support the consent decree, I fully support the ACLU and other civil liberties/rights groups’ critiques that the consent decree does not go far enough. I am fully interested in working with the ACLU on pushing these issues, including police visually recording their interactions whenever the police pull out their guns.

JERRY JOYCE:

DID NOT RESPOND.


JOHN KOZLAR:

Mayoral Questionnaire

I do not fully support the consent decree, but do support some parts of it. I support the fact that officers should go through more trainings, to ensure they are well equipped for the job at hand, and its development. I will work closely with community members, policing professional, and the police department to make sure we have the proper trainings, technology, and foresight in place for policing in Chicago, so that we can be the best department in the United States.


LORI LIGHTFOOT:

Mayoral Questionnaire
I support the consent decree, but as I have said publicly, and as I outlined in a six page letter to Judge Dow (which I have attached), the consent decree does not go far enough. As mayor, I will immediately take the following steps to ensure that the consent decree is effectively implemented: ensure sufficient budget, personnel and transparent accountability measures over and above the monitoring to ensure that we are making meaningful steps toward transforming the police department.

GARRY McCARTHY:

Mayoral Questionnaire

No one would recommend community control over City construction or civil engineering. Policing is complex work that requires management by law enforcement professionals. Two problems I have with the consent decree: there were no law enforcement experts, that I can find, who were involved in drafting it and most of what it recommends is already state law. Because state standards are used in officer’s training, does that mean that every other department in the State of Illinois is subject to the same decree? The cost of implementing this decree will be very costly in the end. We need real community involvement in policing, not more politicization of the CPD.


SUSANA MENDOZA:

Mayoral Questionnaire
The first three steps I would take would be:
1) Ensure that a team is in place and fully resourced to monitor the department’s progress on the decree.
2) Begin the process of updating training for the police department to reflect the decree.

3) Look at balanced approaches to reforming police governance. 


TONI PRECKWINKLE:

Mayoral Questionnaire
I have long been a supporter of a consent decree. It is essential to the difficult, but necessary, work of rebuilding the relationship between police and the communities they are sworn to protect and serve. I will make sure that the Chicago Police Department fully complies with the mandates of the consent decree. Three steps that can be taken to ensure the mandates are being met are the hiring of a new reform-minded Superintendent committed to constitutional policing, fully staffing the Office of Violence Prevention and Criminal Justice to oversee reforms from the Mayor’s Office and introducing legislation on Civilian Oversight within City Council. 

NEAL SALES-GRIFFIN:

DID NOT RESPOND.


PAUL VALLAS: 

Mayoral Questionnaire

The consent decree is here to stay and I will implement it with my appointed Superintendent through the mayor’s office. My goal is to prioritize the restoration of the police department. That means the filling of vacancies, the rebuilding of the depleted Detectives Division so we can get shooters and murderers off the street, and the building of the police department’s infrastructure (meaning the 1:10 ratio of sergeants to officers) and the rebuilding of the training officer infrastructure so that the police department has the proper supervision, because without the proper supervision we cannot have effective accountability. These are all provisions required in the consent decree. 

I will establish the type of training regiment to ensure that there is redundant training on the critical areas identified in the consent decree as areas of training deficiencies that the consent decree is supposed to address. This would include building a modern public safety training facility. 
 
I will also create a pipeline to ensure that the next generation of not only police officers, but first responders reflect the community. That can be done through the school systems’ military academy and ROTC programs, which serve virtually every community, and which serves almost 10,000 students per year (90% of whom are Black or Latino, 85% of whom are low-income). 

WILLIE WILSON:

DID NOT RESPOND.


 

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