Chicago Police Department Introduces New Use-Of-Force Policy

“When I say to you that this is a new day at CPD, it’s not a joke and I’m not kidding about it,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is looking to make sure the least amount of force possible is used in future police interactions. This decision comes at a time when the department is being probed by the Justice Department, following the Chicago police shooting of Laquan McDonald.

The Chicago top cop released details of the new policy on Friday. The new policy calls for the department’s officers to use the least amount of force needed and it also stresses “the sanctity of life.”

At a news conference on Friday, Johnson told reporters about the new policy and how it plans to “clarify response options to officers during split-second decisions or in the critical time before those moments while placing a heavy emphasis on the sanctity of life.”

The U.S. Department of Justice has been investigating the Chicago Police Department after the 2014 deadly shooting of Black man Laquan McDonald. McDonald was shot 16 times by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, as he was walking away from the officers at the scene. Subsequent to the shooting, the former Police Superintendent, Garry McCarthy, was fired and Van Dyke was charged with murder.

The proposed new policy requires officers to use lethal force only if there is an immediate threat of great bodily harm or death; officers are told to handle situations carefully and not use force unless “all other reasonable alternatives have been exhausted.” The policy also includes the requirement for independent justification every time a weapon is used in force.

Police officers would have to intervene if they see another officer violating department policy and they are also required to provide medical help to injured victims in use-of-force incidents. The policy is set to go through 45 days of public observation before a departmental review, and a final version is introduced by the end of the year.

Johnson stated that officers will be trained on the new policy and the proposed new policy is a step toward promised transparency efforts. “When I say to you that this is a new day at CPD, it’s not a joke and I’m not kidding about it,” he said.

Police brutality has been a major topic of talk in our society, following the numerous deaths of Black people at the hands of police officers. The department’s proposed new policy is aimed at making sure the amount of lethal force used by officers is cut down; it’s a step in the right direction, but officers should also be severely punished whenever they commit a crime.

Source: The Root
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