CHICAGO (CBS) — After more than a year of wrangling, a landmark agreement is reached between the state and the city of Chicago.
It requires police officers to report each time they point a gun at a person.
CBS 2’s Mai Martinez has followed the developments and has the story.
Supporters of the decree, including the ACLU, are applauding this latest development but the union representing the majority of Chicago police officers is blasting it and vows to fight it.
“CPD is only as strong as the trust that the community has in us,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and that the consent decree is another step in rebuilding that trust.
The lone sticking point: documenting every time an officer points a firearm at someone. It was finally agreed upon by both sides.
“We never, ever said we were against documenting pointing,” said Johnson. “What we knew was that we had to create a mechanism so we would be transparent, but that it didn’t cause officers to hesitate.”
Per the decree starting in July of 2019, after pointing a gun at someone, an officer would have to promptly notify the Office of Emergency Management and Communications of the incident.
OEMC would then notify a supervisor who would have to document and review the incident.
Then, within 30 days, a designated unit at CPD headquarters would review and audit the information to determine if the incident violated CPD policy and identify any patterns and address any concerns regarding equipment, training or policy.
The head of the union that represents most Chicago police officers fears the requirement will cause officers to hesitate.
“You have to make a decision in a split-second. Taking out your gun to cover yourself, to make sure that people aren’t going to assassinate you I think is reasonable,” said Kevin Graham of the Fraternal Order of Police. “And I don’t think that people should be leaving paper every time they have to pull their gun.”
But superintendent Johnson reiterated that only incidents where the gun was pointed at someone would require documentation. And that unholstering a firearm and having it at the ready would not have to be documented.
“We never want officers to hesitate. Because if they do that could mean the loss of their life or someone else’s,” Johnson said.
New training on when officers should and shouldn’t point a gun at someone will begin in January of next year. But the requirement to document every time an officer points a gun at someone won’t begin for another six months after that.