The below statement can be attributed to Karen Sheley, Director, Police Practices Project, ACLU of Illinois. 

“The Trump Administration, by filing an opposition to long-needed reform of the Chicago Police Department, is making a last-minute political play at the expense of real people in our city.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice, after a lengthy factual investigation, found that the Chicago Police Department had a pattern of using excessive force with a harsh impact on communities of color. The report, and another commissioned by the Mayor, found systemic deficiencies in the department’s training, supervision and discipline systems, at the expense of both officers and the communities they serve. These reports echoed decades of other critical reports and the lived experience of too many Chicagoans. This is why we and our community partners and clients — Communities United, Community Renewal Society, Next Steps and ONE Northside — sued the City of Chicago in the first place.

The Trump Administration and Sessions’ Department of Justice have never attempted to learn about the problems in Chicago or what reform is necessary. Instead of addressing these pressing concerns when he came into office, Trump’s DOJ decided to leave the reform of local law enforcement to state and local authorities. They walked away from police reform in Chicago – so the Illinois Attorney General began her own in-depth investigation, held extensive community hearings, and conducted careful negotiations with the City and the police department to craft reforms.

Chicagoans support reform. They’ve mobilized through community groups, spoken at forums, and sent comments to the Attorney General to propose real solutions to the problems this city faces. They will have the opportunity to again support reform at the upcoming public fairness hearings for the proposed consent decree on October 24 and 25 at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.”