At Issue: Chicago Police Union Seeking To Block New Use Of Force Policies

CHICAGO (CBS) — The union representing rank-and-file Chicago police officers has asked the Illinois Labor Relations Board to block the department from implementing new policies regarding the use of force.

Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham said the Chicago Police Department violated its contract with the FOP, because the changes were not negotiated with the union.

Graham said the department also did not consider the effect the new policies would have on the way police do their jobs.

The new use of force policy came as part of a series of changes at the department in the wake of the Laquan McDonald police shooting scandal and other controversial cases of police violence, as well as a scathing Justice Department report that found officers routinely violate minorities’ civil rights.

“What I believe the city is trying to do is absolve themselves of responsibility in some of these orders. If you paint the orders to where you say ‘We’re going to make scrambled eggs today, but I don’t want you to break any eggshells when you do it,’ you’ve put them in an impossible spot for a chef to try and prepare some,” Graham said.

The Police Department has said, by the time the new policies go into effect next month, all 12,000 officers will have completed new training in the use of deadly force.

Next year, all officers must take a hands-on eight-hour training course in “scenario-based instruction” regarding the new guidelines.

By 2019, officers will be required to undergo 24 hours of training, and by 2021, every officer will complete 40 hours of training each year.

Graham said the FOP has filed a complaint with the Illinois Labor Relations Board, seeking to block the new rules.

“What I have a problem with is they failed to negotiate with us over this, and that I am concerned about the type of facilities, and how they’re going to be doing it,” he said.

He also said he’s worried about the effect the policies will have on officers’ work.

“Some of the language puts our officers at a disadvantage, even when they are doing their job properly,” he said.

Graham is the guest on this weekend’s edition of At Issue, airing Sunday at 9:30 p.m.

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