A report issued today by the Monitor overseeing the consent decree aimed at reforming the operations of the Chicago Police Department revealed that CPD has rejected recommendations on the department’s use of stop and frisk from community members. The recommendations developed from a thoughtful community engagement process conducted by the Center on Halsted, Equiticity, and Lawndale Christian Legal Center. The groups gathered input from approximately 400 community members across the City and synthesized the results into eight practical steps the Chicago Police Department should take to improve its policies and practices, including: additional training for officers on following the law and treating diverse community members with respect; requiring officers to explain the reason they stop someone; limiting the number of reasons for stopping people; educating community members about their rights; and changing policing assignments so officers know their communities better and receive better supervision.
CPD disappointingly claimed that they are already meeting these goals through the Consent Decree, rejecting the community’s feedback that, despite the Consent Decree, CPD officers continue to discriminate against communities of color and routinely violate their right against unreasonable stops and frisks. CPD clearly ignored the community’s view that current policies and training programs are not working.
The following can be attributed to Alexandra Block, Director of Criminal Legal Systems and Policing Project at the ACLU of Illinois:
Data over many years shows persistent racial and ethnic disparities in whom CPD officers stop, frisk and search. In 2018-2019, Black Chicagoans were nine times more likely, and Latinx people were three times more likely, than white people to be subjected to street stops by police. That clear bias will not be eliminated if CPD fails to heed the voices of the community.
CPD’s response once again sadly demonstrates that the department has failed to embrace the importance and value of community input. The “we know best” attitude evinced by CPD is slowing the process of bringing true reform to the department.