[Marxism] Dog bites man
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Apr 13 18:39:05 MDT 2016
NY Times, Apr. 13 2016
Chicago Police Dept. Plagued by Systemic Racism, Task Force Finds
By MONICA DAVEY and MITCH SMITH
CHICAGO — Racism has contributed to a long, systemic pattern of
institutional failures by this city’s police department in which police
officers have mistreated people, operated without sufficient oversight,
and lost the trust of residents, a task force assigned by Mayor Rahm
Emanuel has found.
The report, issued on Wednesday, was blistering, blunt and backed up by
devastating statistics. Coincidentally, it was released as city leaders
were installing a new, permanent superintendent for the Chicago Police
“The community’s lack of trust in CPD is justified,” the task force
wrote. “There is substantial evidence that people of color —
particularly African-Americans — have had disproportionately negative
experiences with the police over an extended period of time.”
The report gives validation to complaints made for years by
African-American residents here who have said they were unfairly
targeted by officers without justification on a regular basis. It raises
the pressure on Mr. Emanuel and other Chicago leaders to make
significant changes at a pivotal time for the nation’s second largest
municipal police force, which has been under intense fire from residents
and under scrutiny from the federal authorities. It includes more than
100 recommendations for change.
The task force amassed data that shows the extent to which
African-Americans appear to have been targeted. In a city where whites,
blacks and Hispanics each make up about one-third of the population, 74
percent of the 404 people shot by the Chicago police between 2008 and
2015 were black, the report said. Black people were targeted in 72
percent of thousands of investigative street stops that did not lead to
arrests during a recent summer.
Three out of four — 76 percent — of people on whom Chicago police
officers used Taser guns between 2012 and 2015 were black. And black
people made up 46 percent of police traffic stops in 2013.
“CPD’s own data gives validity to the widely held belief the police have
no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color,”
according to the report, a draft summary of which was first reported in
The Chicago Tribune on Tuesday afternoon. “Stopped without
justification, verbally and physically abused, and in some instances
arrested, and then detained without counsel — that is what we heard
about over and over again,” the task force wrote.
The stinging findings come at a particularly troublesome time here, as
violent crimes have increased this year and as police morale is reported
to have sunk.
The task force was given its assignment late last year, after the
release of a graphic dashcam video showing a white Chicago police
officer, Jason Van Dyke, fatally shooting a black teenager, Laquan
McDonald, along a Chicago street. Widespread protests followed, and Mr.
Emanuel fired the city’s police superintendent, who was officially
replaced on Wednesday by his choice, Eddie Johnson, a longtime officer
who is black. The Justice Department has since announced an
investigation into the department’s patterns and practices, which is
The task force members — chosen by Mr. Emanuel — were racially diverse,
with professional backgrounds in social work, law and government. Lori
Lightfoot, the president of the Chicago Police Board, was chairwoman of
the group, and the panel was advised by Deval Patrick, the former
Massachusetts governor who spent part of his childhood in Chicago.
The other members were Randolph Stone, a clinical professor of law at
the University of Chicago; Sergio E. Acosta, a former federal
prosecutor; Victor Dickson, who leads an organization that helps former
inmates; Joseph Ferguson, Chicago’s inspector general; Maurice Classen,
a former prosecutor; Alexa James, a licensed clinical social worker; and
Sybil Madison-Boyd, a psychologist who works with urban youth.
On Wednesday, before the report was released, Mr. Emanuel said he had
not yet seen it, but that his “general attitude” was to be “open to look
at everything they say.”
Mr. Emanuel said he was not surprised by the suggestion of racism, and
that he wanted to work through those issues.
“I don’t really think you need a task force to know that we have racism
in America, we have racism in Illinois or that there’s racism that
exists in the city of Chicago and obviously could be in our department,”
Mr. Emanuel said.
He added: “The question is: ‘what are we going to do to confront it and
make the changes in not only personnel but in policies to reflect, I
think, the values that make up the diversity of our city.’”
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