Department of Justice Investigative Findings Of The Chicago Police Department
The United States Department of Justice completed a probe of the Chicago Police. Its investigation was conducted over a period of 13 months. They found that the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) used biased techniques to investigate officers and a consistent unwillingness to probe or dispute officers’ statements.
The Chicago police force is one of the nation’s largest, with 12,000 officers.
The DOJ also found that the police received insufficient training in de-escalation techniques and poor training on all levels.
The investigation also found Constitutional violations, and violations of federal law by officers in the use of force, racial disparities and other systemic problems.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports;
“The Justice Department and City Hall have hammered out a pact, called a “statement of agreement,” which will detail remedies the city has already or will be taking to address problems that have ruptured relations between police and the people they serve, particularly minority communities.”
Attorney General Loretta Lynch will be out of office on January 20, 2017, and wanted to complete DOJ investigations in Baltimore and Chicago before the new administration takes over.
In a December 7, 2015 press release announcing the opening of the investigation, the DOJ stated;
“As part of the investigation the department will gather information directly from police officers and local officials; community members, and other criminal justice stake holders, such as public defenders and prosecutors. The department will also observe officer activities through ride-alongs and other means; as well as review documents and specific incidents that are relevant to the investigation. Pattern or practice investigations of police departments do not assess individual cases for potential criminal violations; instead they look at incidents for patterns created by systems and practices. “
The DOJ’s 164 page report includes illustrations of the failure of supervisors and lieutenants to investigate. For example, page 48 states:
“Illustrative of the inadequacy of supervisory review of force incidents is the troubling incident discussed above in which officers deployed a Taser against an unarmed 65-year-old woman who was in mental health crisis. The TRR file contains only a cursory description of the incident, and without reviewing the Taser data download or requesting any investigation, the sergeant approved this TRR three minutes after the officer submitted it, and the lieutenant approved it less than 25 minutes after that. There is no indication that the lieutenant asked the officers any questions about whether this force was necessary or whether there might have been something they could have done to avoid using force against this woman, such as seeking assistance from a crisis intervention trained officer.”
The report can be read and/or downloaded here.
Below is the press conference announcing the DOJ’s findings.
Posted on 01/13/2017, in civil rights, Department of Justice and tagged Chicago, Department of Justice, DOJ, excessive force, investigation, Lynch, Police Department, unconstitutional. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.