Department Of Justice Report Will Say CPD Violated Constitutional Rights

CHICAGO (CBS) – The Department of Justice will release Friday the results of a 13-month federal investigation on the Chicago Police Department that sources say found the department violated the constitutional rights of the people it is sworn to serve.

The year-long investigation was launched after the city publicly released video of the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald.

CBS 2’s Susanna Song is reporting from the Chicago Police Headquarters with some of the findings.

The Department of Justice rushed to get this report done before President Obama leaves office and the details of the findings will be released Friday.

CBS News has learned Thursday morning what is inside the conclusive report.

Sources said the 13-month investigation determined the Chicago Police Department has a pattern of violating the constitutional rights of citizens.

The DOJ probe focused of CPD’s use of excessive force, its system of accountability and if there was a pattern of racial bias.

CBS 2’s Susanna Song spoke to Fraternal Order of Police Spokesman Dean Angelo, who said if this is true, the focus and repercussions should fall on top brass.

“This was supposed to be a pattern and practice examination of CPD,” Angelo said. “If people were aware of civil rights violations and were participants in the CPD, where is the accountability there?”

In 2014, a police officer shot Laquan McDonald 16 times. The shooting was caught on video, but it was not released until almost a year later.

Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged in the murder. He pleaded not guilty, but it was this case that spurred the DOJ to look into CPD. The DOJ was asked to get involved following the video release. The feds rushed to finish this probe before President Obama leaves office. Angelo said that is concerning.

“Is it because of politics, environment in Washington, one administration coming out and one going in,” Angelo said. “How fair and in depth of an investigation can we do?”

Sources said while it could take months before a consent decree if finalized, the DOJ may require the mayor to sign off on an agreement in principle. The mayor has said regardless of the outcome, he will continue his efforts to reform the police department.

Mayor Emanuel said Thursday he hasn’t seen the report so wouldn’t comment. But he added: “We’re going to work at doing the reforms that are necessary.”

The DOJ have had similar reviews in other cities and worked with their local officials to come up with resolutions enforced by a federal government. Baltimore, for instance, will announce Thursday its agreement on how to repair the city’s policing.

The new Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx spoke Wednesday night on WTTW.

“I don’t think they can do a year’s worth of work and say there is no one to enforce it,” Foxx said. “Public has to enforce it, expectation of accountability to help make our streets safer.”

Foxx continued stating the state does not want to charge cases because people want us to, “alleged defendants have the right to have a case presented in a way that is fair, victims too, not as worried about speed, as much as thoroughness.”

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is expected to make a formal announcement on Friday.

There is no word yet on what kind of recommendations the DOJ will make to the city.

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