Long-awaited Consent Decree with CPD announced

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Chicago Police Department Headquarters

Crusader staff report

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Friday, July 27, announced a long awaited consent decree, capping 18 months of negotiations and protests from activists seeking police reforms in the nation’s second largest police department.

The announcement, which was made at 2 p.m. at the Thompson Center in Chicago, came two weeks after the controversial shooting of 37-year-old Harith Augustus. The incident placed more pressure on Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who drew criticism for moving too slow on a promise he made to enter a consent decree shortly after a scathing 2017 U.S. Department of Justice Report. The report found that Chicago Police engage in a pattern or practice of using deadly force on residents in Chicago, especially Blacks. The report also found that the department failed to properly document incidents where officers shot and killed Black residents.

Emanuel promised then U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch that the CPD would enter into a consent decree. Months later, Emanuel appeared to backpedal on his promise, drawing intense criticism from activists who pushed the mayor to implement reforms under court oversight. But the mayor and Johnson said many of the reforms in the consent decree were already implemented. Madigan filed a lawsuit to force the city into a consent decree under court oversight and allowed activists from Black Lives Matter to file their own lawsuit to address the problem as well.

The full consent decree can be viewed online at www.chicagopoliceconsentdecree.org. Members of the public have an opportunity to review the consent decree and provide their input during a 21-day period that will end on August 17, 2018.

Key provisions include:

USE OF FORCE & FORCE REPORTING

  • Enhances CPD’s de-escalation tactics.
  • Requires officers to provide life-saving aid.
  • Requires tracking and analyzing all foot pursuits and, if recommended by the independent monitors, adopting a new foot pursuit policy.
  • Further restricts officers from shooting at moving vehicles.
  • Requires CPD to adopt a policy prohibiting the use of Tasers for flight alone and strongly discourages the use of Tasers in schools and on students.
  • Requires monthly publication of use of force data.

COMMUNITY POLICING & IMPARTIAL POLICING

  • Integrates community policing principles in all CPD operations.
  • Requires structure and oversight for CPD officers in Chicago schools.
  • Improves CPD interactions with diverse communities.
  • Ensures access for individuals with disabilities.
  • Requires CPD to incorporate community input into key CPD operations.

ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY

  • Improves transparency at all stages of misconduct investigations. Requires that every complaint to the City and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) receive a unique tracking number that will be linked with all stages of the process. By 2020, allows members of the public to track the status of complaints on-line.
  • Requires COPA and CPD’s Bureau of Internal Affairs (BIA) to complete investigations within 180 days, and the districts to complete investigations within 90 days.
  • Requires the City to ensure adequate staffing levels and training for COPA and CPD internal investigators.
  • Addresses the code of silence and officer collusion.
  • Improves independence and transparency of gender-based misconduct investigations, including requiring automatic investigations of officer-involved domestic violence allegations and extensive review and public reporting on each investigation of officer-involved sexual misconduct and assault.
  • Requires CPD and the City to use their best efforts to renegotiate collective bargaining provisions, including the prohibition on anonymous complaint investigations and revealing complainant identities prior to administrative interviews.
  • Establishes transparency into misconduct investigations and CPD-related lawsuits by requiring on-going and annual publication of data.

RECRUITMENT, HIRING, & PROMOTION

  • Improves recruitment and hiring diversity efforts.
  • Assesses fairness and transparency in supervisor promotions.

TRAINING & SUPERVISION

  • Improves training for probationary officers in the Field Training Program.
  • Requires 40 hours of annual, in-service training.
  • Expands supervisor training by requiring supervisors to have ongoing, in-service training on topics including managerial and leadership skills.
  • Lowers the number of officers per supervisor to one sergeant for every 10 officers and ensures that officers have one consistent supervisor.

OFFICER WELLNESS

  • Improves efforts to destigmatize officer wellness programs.
  • Develops and implements a comprehensive suicide prevention initiative.
  • Increases CPD’s licensed mental health professional staff from three to at least 10.

CRISIS INTERVENTION

  • Enhances training requirements by requiring CPD to begin providing at least eight hours of ongoing training every three years.
  • Requires CPD to document and track all service calls involving individuals in crisis, and adopt a demand-driven model for staffing crisis intervention-certified officers.
  • Requires crisis intervention training for all CPD officers. DATA MANAGEMENT
  • Requires CPD to create and implement an electronic case management system by 2020.

INDEPENDENT MONITOR

  • Requires evaluation by an independent monitor who will publicly report on consent decree progress and assist the federal judge overseeing the case with enforcement.
  • A Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued on July 27, 2018. Responses are due Sept. 4 and will be posted at chicagopoliceconsentdecree.org for public comment. A public forum will also be held with independent monitor finalists.
  • The Attorney General’s Office and the City will consider all information gathered during the monitor selection and make recommendations to the federal judge overseeing the case for consideration and approval.

IMPLEMENTATION, ENFORCEMENT, & MONITORING

  • Filed in federal court, the consent decree will operate as a federal court order once approved by a judge.
  • Terminates only when the City and CPD have demonstrated full and effective compliance.

In negotiating this Agreement, Madigan and Johnson said that they consulted with community leaders, community members, police officers, police officer unions, civilian CPD members, advocates, and other concerned individuals who offered meaningful insights and recommendations for change. This Agreement reflects the broad input received by the Parties from the diverse communities that make up the City of Chicago.

Strong community partnerships and frequent positive interactions between police and members of the public make policing safer and more effective, and increase public confidence in law enforcement. Moreover, these partnerships allow police to effectively engage with the public in problem-solving techniques, which include the proactive identification and analysis of issues in order to develop solutions and evaluate outcomes.

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