On Friday, lawyers for the Illinois Attorney General and the City of Chicago appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Robert Dow to report on progress toward a draft consent decree that will guide reform of the Chicago Police Department. The hearing produced some good news – there is broad agreement on a number of critical issues. However, the court heard that the single remaining issue of disagreement is whether Chicago police should be required to record and report whenever they point a weapon at a civilian.
In response to these developments, Karen Sheley, Director of the Police Practices Project at the ACLU of Illinois released the following statement:
“We very much look forward to seeing the draft consent decree made public. The release of the agreement will begin an intense process where residents from every neighborhood across Chicago can comment on the agreement and weigh in on the type of policing they want for themselves and their neighbors.
It is, however, disappointing that the City is resisting a common-sense measure to require that Chicago police officers record and report each time they draw a weapon and point it at someone. Some police have suggested that such paperwork will take too much time. This argument is absurd.
Just this summer, the City settled a case for $2.5 million where police held a gun to the chest of a 3-year-old child. That never should have happened to that girl and documenting that kind of force is the first step in understanding how to reduce it. This reporting is required in other cities. Why can’t Chicago make this work?
The Chicago policing system is broken. A robust, comprehensive consent decree is necessary to guide reform. It is troubling that the City is balking on this common-sense measure and holding up the next step in this process.
Let’s move forward with police reform. As we have seen in the last week, there must be concrete steps to restore trust and confidence between the police and the public they serve.”