(CBS) — Mayor Emanuel is defending the formal launch of Chicago’s police oversight agency this week, though it will be missing what some say is a crucial element.
WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports from City Hall.
There is still no Civilian Advisory Board for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA).
City officials and community leaders are still working out how it will be created.
Mayor Emanuel says the public can still have confidence in COPA. But, Arewa Karen Winters, whose 16-year-old relative Pierre Loury was shot and killed by police, is concerned COPA will be like the Independent Police Review Authority.
Winters also wants the community involved in any federal court consent decree worked out between the city and Illinois Attorney General.
IPRA Chief Administrator Sharon Fairley also will head up COPA. She was appointed to take over IPRA in 2015, after the former boss, Scott Ando, resigned amid the Justice Department’s probe of the Chicago Police Department.
The new agency is comprised of 120 employees and nearly 80 investigators and attorneys. The city was forced to disband IPRA after the 2015 scandal over the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald.
Part of the reform included a commitment to transparency. Thursday night, a day before COPA officially took over police oversight, authorities released video from a police-involved shooting in July. The police dashcam footage show officers shooting 18-year-old Saul Flores after he allegedly pointed a gun at police during a traffic stop in the Belmont Central neighborhood.
Flores was shot in the arm and leg. He was treated at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, and was charged with aggravated assault of a peace officer and unlawful use of a weapon.
Authorities now are required to release video of such police shootings within 60 days.
“The agency is built on the four values of integrity, transparency, timeliness, and independence. So the city has a new video release policy that, within 60 days of an incident, we release any video or audio evidence that we have for certain cases,” COPA spokeswoman Mia Sissac said.
Officials marked the launch of COPA with a formal ceremony Friday morning at the South Shore Cultural Center.