This has been a remarkable few days in Chicago. Thousands of residents -- young and old, African American, White, Latino and Middle Eastern, from all parts of the City -- have come together to express outrage and demand action in the wake of the death of Laquan McDonald, the young man killed by a Chicago police officer. The voices raised in protest this week should be heard and heeded by City and County officials. The process of addressing the concerns heard on the streets this week must begin with an independent and thorough investigation of both the shooting of Laquan McDonald and the aftermath. It must commence immediately. We call on U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to authorize such an investigation, and urge City and County officials to be cooperative, open and transparent in such a probe. The circumstances leading to Mr. McDonald's death, reports of false or misleading police reports and evidence being destroyed or tampered with, and the passage of more than a year before charges were brought in this matter deserve a thorough, outside investigation -- away from the hands of those involved in the matter thus far. It also must be acknowledged that a probe of Mr. McDonald's death is not the only matter that demands immediate attention and investigation. This moment is an opportunity for all persons -- from every neighborhood and from every background -- to be part of a dialogue about reforming police practices in Chicago. The hundreds of people who have marched peacefully over the past several days, as well as a wide range of community leaders and elected officials must be part of this dialogue to improve all aspects of policing, especially the system for investigating police-involved shootings and claims of misconduct by police. This is not a time to be timid. It is a time for real change, to make public input, transparency and accountability a regular and respected part of policing in this City.
- Access our mobile website to Know Your Rights: Protesting in Chicago.
- Blog Post: Laquan McDonald’s Final Seconds Tell Us We Have No Time to Waste. Reform the Police Now.
- Read the statement on release of video showing the death of Laquan McDonald.
- Read the Statement on Hearing in FOIA Case seeking release of video showing death of Laquan McDonald.
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