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Black Lives Matter files lawsuit to force Chicago police reforms

By Amanda Vinicky, Chicago Tonight/WTTW

A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday morning seeks federal intervention “to end the historical and on-going pattern and practice of excessive force by police officers in Chicago.”

The plaintiffs—six minority men and women, as well as seven organizations such as Black Lives Matter Chicago, Blocks Together and the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council—say the city, through its Police Department, “promotes a culture of rampant brutality” that disproportionately and intentionally targets blacks and Latinos.

The complaint cites recent examples like the shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald, or a video that shows an off-duty officer beating a man at a Portillo’s, but it also cites Chicago police’s handling of protestersat the 1968 Democratic National Convention and confessions obtained by torturing suspects under Jon Burge to show a long history of “racially discriminatory policing.”

Some of that is detailed in a Department of Justice report published in January.

In the wake of that report, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel agreed to the Police Department being subject to formal, mandatory judicial oversight in the form of a consent decree.


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