We stand here today with Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa and the other brave members of the Chicago City Council who have taken a stand for justice. They have taken a stand for moving to the Council floor and passing the ordinance establishing an all-elected, all-Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC).
These brave Council members are saying that they will agree no more to multi-million settlements and legal fees for police crime coverups. They will demand that the facts of police crimes be publicly known, facts that have always been hidden even from them by the Mayor and the City Law Department.
We stand with all the community organizations who have joined in the call for community control of the police: Black Lives Matter, the Chicago Teachers Union, Asata’s Daughters, SOUL, Service Employees International Local 73, Trinity United Church of Christ, Good Kids Mad City, and countless other community, religious, and labor organizations.
They are taking a stand for an end to police crimes. They are taking a stand for a law that will require the police department to do its job of ending the tide of drugs and guns that are inundating our communities.
They are taking a stand for an end to a system that classifies Black and Brown people as profiles in criminality.
The people have spoken
- In a dozen hearings called by the City Council and its Public Safety Committee in the past two years, in which the people overwhelmingly called for passing CPAC.
- 55,000 postcards have been signed by the people supporting CPAC and sent to their representatives in the City Council.
- A thousand people marched through the city and the Magnificent Mile demanding passage of CPAC as the next step toward ending police murders, following the guilty verdict of Jason Van Dyke for the murder of Laquan McDonald.
We are not impressed by the Mayor’s apologies and crocodile tears. We know he doesn’t dare to run for another term because he knows he can’t get elected after the coverup of these crimes against Black and Brown people and the outrage of the people.
Since the mayor’s tearful display Quintonio Lagrier, Bettie Jones, Harith “Snoop” Augustus, Ronnieman Johnson, and others have been shot down in cold blood by Chicago Police. Since the Van Dyke verdict October 5 Ricardo Hayes has been murdered by police. The existing structures – COPA and the Police Board – have done nothing to remove these killers from the police force. Neither the mayor nor anyone else have done anything to release the incarcerated survivors of police torture who were convicted based on coerced confessions. We are not impressed by “negotiations“ for a federal court consent decree committing the city to “reform”, a decree with no teeth and with no provision for community control.
The solution to the problems of police crime and violence is clear: hold the police directly accountable to the communities they now occupy, and the crime, including police crime, will stop.