Chicago Accepts Federal Court Oversight For Police Reform

CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Mayor Rahm Emanuel now have an agreement that clears the way for court supervision of Chicago Police Department reform.

The two appeared together with Police Supt. Eddie Johnson to announce the change in approach.

The officials are seeking court oversight by filing a new lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

The legal move comes months after the city said it had a draft deal with the Trump administration to carry out reforms without a role for the courts.

“I have made it clear that [the original agreement] was not going to be enforceable in court,” Madigan said.

That agreement drew sharp criticism from activists who reform of city’s 12,000-officer force couldn’t possibly work without close court scrutiny.

A damning Justice Department report in January found deep-rooted civil rights violations by police, including a tendency to use excessive force.

The 161-page report blamed insufficient and outdated training, disciplinary, and supervision policies at the department. As many CPD critics have said for years, the Justice Department found the Chicago Police Department’s use of force unfairly targeted African American and Hispanic communities.

“Restoring police-community trust will require remedies addressing both discriminatory conduct and the disproportionality of illegal and unconstitutional patterns of force on minority communities,” the report stated.

In a huge about face Emanuel, who has said federal oversight was unnecessary, embraced what he called a new partnership.

“It’s going to require what the attorney general just said is a sustained effort with oversight to make sure we never veer off the road of reform.”

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