CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police released a new progress report about reforms as part of its reporting requirements in the consent decree.
The decree, an agreement with the federal government, requires critical changes in police procedures in response to CPD’s routine use of excessive force in Black and Brown communities with a lack of accountability, according to the decree.READ MORE: Organizer Planning To Go Ahead With Concert In Valparaiso, Indiana This Summer, With Some COVID Precautions
CPD said some of its major accomplishments so far include:
- An addition of more than 200 hours of engagement with the community
- More than 300 hours of classroom training for officers
- More than 100 new or revised department policies including use of force, impartial policing, supervision and retaliation
The classroom training for officers requires eight hours focused on the Fourth Amendment, including search warrant requirements. CPD’s use of warrants has been at the center of extensive reporting by CBS 2.
CBS 2’s years-long investigation uncovered a pattern of CPD officers wrongly raiding the homes of innocent people, including the botched raid on Anjanette Young’s home in 2019. The reporting uncovered officers routinely fail to do their own independent investigation to tips from confidential informants. CBS 2’s analysis of CPD data also found police disproportionately target Black and Latino communities in search warrants.
With the exception of the Fourth Amendment training, the report doesn’t mention specific changes regarding the search warrant approval process. However, recently, Supt. David Brown agreed to make changes to CPD’s search warrant policy in response to recommendations from the Chicago Inspector General.
The latest consent decree updates, filed in federal court, cover the third Independent Monitoring Report period, from March 1 to Dec. 31, 2020. CPD said during this time, the department submitted more than 3,600 items for review to the Independent Monitoring Team, “more than what had been submitted over the first two monitoring periods combined.”
“This report reflects the cultural change that is manifesting in our organization as we seek not just to reform the Department, but transform it,” Brown said in a news release. “We look forward to continuing to work with the community as we proceed on the road to transformational change through reform.”READ MORE: 1 Dead, 2 Injured In I-57 Expressway Shooting Near 119th Street
In a statement, Nusrat Choudhury, legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois, said CPD’s report “confuses activity with accomplishment” and “counts as success the number of pieces of paper submitted to the Monitor and others about police reform and the number of hours spent in meetings.”
“That is not success,” Choudhury said. “The City’s broken policing will only change when CPD truly incorporates into policy and practice in the neighborhoods the views of those most impacted by policing that is unfair and hurts Black and brown communities.”
Choudhury also said the report fails to acknowledge the realities of the past year, “including police use of tears gas and baton strikes against protesters and systemic raids on wrong homes, which brutalize and stigmatize Black and brown communities.”
In the report, CPD mentioned its partnership with the Coalition, which includes community organizations with unique enforcement rights in the consent decree. The Coalition, including civil rights lawyers instrumental in the consent decree, sent CPD an enforcement action in August 2020 demanding an end to “abusive” search warrant tactics that they say violate the decree.
In January, the Coalition took the police department back to federal court, saying the city failed to respond to the enforcement action.
The latest reforms report also does not mention CPD’s use of body cameras — a policy that CBS 2 previously reported is often violated by officers, with little accountability.
The Independent Monitor will assess the police department’s compliance with consent decree requirements. In its last report in June of 2020, the Independent Monitor said CPD missed 71 percent of its deadlines for consent decree reforms for that reporting period.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Temperatures Climbing; Sunny Skies Ahead
The police department said the latest updates mark “accelerated progress” toward compliance.