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

“The Inspector General’s report today offers new insight into the broken gang database system in the City. The Chicago Police Department allows officers to designate people as gang members without any standards or checks. The CPD then takes the inaccurate gang labels and spreads that false information to more than 500 government agencies without any agreements on how that data is used by these other actors. And, we know who gets hurt. People of color make up over 90% of the people impacted by this system. The Department’s lax approach to labeling people as gang members, without caring about the consequences, leads to further criminalization, control, and oppression of people of color in Chicago.

The immediate response to this report must be for the City to stop sharing information about people with ICE based on the faulty label of being a gang member. The Welcoming City ordinance must be amended immediately to effectuate this change.  

The City will have a lot of work to do in cleaning up its act on this database. Before it starts, the City Council should call hearings to examine why the department rejected some of the Inspector General’s recommendations and only partially accepted others. The CPD has outright refused to work with impacted communities in developing a fix to this problem and has also refused to place additional safeguards for juveniles labeled as gang members. Chicagoans deserve to know why.” 

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