Chicago Police Sued by Black Lives Matter for court oversight

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Black Lives Matter and other civil rights organizations filed a federal lawsuit in an attempt to force court-monitoring on the Chicago Police Department’s reform efforts.  The lawsuit comes in the wake of Mayor Emanuel’s administration saying it had floated a proposal to the DOJ to install an independent monitor to oversee reform efforts in the Chicago Police Department.   Emanuel’s proposal would not require the police department to enter what is known as a consent decree, which requires court monitoring.

“The City of Chicago has proven time and time again that it is incapable of ending its regime of terror, brutality and discriminatory policing,” the plaintiffs argue in the lawsuit. “It is clear that federal court intervention is essential to end the historical and ongoing pattern and practice of excessive force by police officers in Chicago.”

The DOJ completed a 3-month investigation of the police department before Trump’s inauguration.  After the court-ordered release of a video that showed a white police officer fatally shooting a black teen as he ran from cops, an investigation revealed the police department was full of racial bias, excessive use of force and a culture of cover-up within the ranks.

The Justice Department forced more than a dozen police departments such as the one in Ferguson, and Baltimore into consent decrees during the Obama administration.

Since 2004 Chicago has paid more than $600M in settlements and legal fees related to complaints of police misconduct.  In the last two years, approximately 99 cases have been filed by people alleging excessive use of force by the Chicago police.

The city has also set aside millions of dollars and issues a formal apology for the more than 100 people who allege that police officer under former Commander Jon Burge’s committed terrible acts of torture, the coercion of false confessions, as well as other violations of civil liberties and civil rights.

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