The following is a statement from Karen Sheley, Police Practices Project Director at the ACLU of Illinois in response to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's op-ed in the Chicago Tribune calling for the dismantling of the Independent Police Review Authority:
We welcome the Mayor’s call for dismantling the Independent Police Review Authority and replacing it with a more powerful, more independent body. IPRA has not served the people of the City well for many years – creating an absence of accountability for police misconduct.
But closing down IPRA is not enough. The new agency must have the tools and resources necessary to investigate and punish officers who violate the public trust. The ACLU of Illinois will wait for the details of the new proposal before endorsing any way forward.
The ACLU of Illinois also welcomes the creation of a Public Safety Inspector General, who will audit the police department. Again, we need details on the independence and authority of this new agency.
These new organizations must be transparent, independent, and have sufficient resources to succeed.