The Latest: Judges says police decree important ‘1st step’
CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on a federal judge’s approval of court-supervised reforms of the Chicago Police Department (all times local):
A federal judge who approved a plan for court-supervised reforms of Chicago police calls the plan “an important step” to repair the damaged relationship between officers and members of the community.
Judge Robert Dow approved the consent decree Thursday without ordering any notable changes in the draft. The 236-page plan, among other things, calls for more data collection on how officers work and expanded training on the use of force. One provision will require officers to file paperwork each time they point a gun at someone, even if they don’t fire.
Dow says in his 16-page decision that the consent decree is “a beginning, not an end.” And he said it is “not a panacea, nor is it a magic wand.” He says it’ll require hard work and good faith over many years.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson say a federal judge’s approval of court-supervised police reforms will “secure a safer and stronger future” for the city.
Judge Robert Dow’s Thursday decision comes after the U.S. Justice Department reported civil rights violations by officers. The mayor and police superintendent say there have been seven separate attempts at police reforms in the last century. They say Chicago “now has an enforceable agreement that will stand the test of time.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois called it an “historic day” in Chicago. It said the decree “is the catalyst for change we have been waiting for,” but adding that reforms will be a years-long process that will require dedication, attention and continued input from Chicagoans.
A federal judge has approved a far-reaching plan for court-supervised reforms of the Chicago Police Department, nearly two years after a U.S. Justice Department report found a history of civil rights violations by officers.
Judge Robert Dow’s decision Thursday to approve the consent decree is a culmination of a process that started with the release of video in 2015 showing white police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times. It led to the Justice Department investigation.
Dow says the decree is a “vehicle for solving ... common problems ... in a manner that defuses tension, respects differences of opinion.”
Former Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled the 200-plus page decree in July. It addresses everything from police recruitment to using force.