Rahm Emanuel Unveils Changes For Chicago Police But Ignores Much Of Panel’s Advice

The Mayor’s neglect of proposals to curb racism and police violence indicates he is OK with cops’ brutalizing and killing of the city’s black people.

Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel has called for changes for the city’s embattled Police Department in response to a report published last week by the Police Accountability Task Force.

The findings of the panel, which the Mayor appointed in December in the wake of protests demanding his resignation, blamed racism and an ineffective discipline process for the lack of trust and discord between the officers and Chicago’s African-American community.

Emmanuel’s plan includes better training, speedier misconduct investigations, and other changes, but ignores about 70 percent of the Task Force’s recommendations.

The Task Force’s probe revealed that “the community’s lack of trust in C.P.D. is justified. 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 investigators also found that “there have increasingly been situations in which police response to calls involving persons experiencing mental health crises ended with devastating results.” In tackling this, the panel suggested that a response unit is setup to work with community groups and expand and coordinate the Police Department’s training.

In the light of the decades of torture and coerced confessions by C.P.D. officers, notably, former police commander Jon Burge, the Task Force concluded that “statistics give real credibility to the widespread perception that there is a deeply entrenched code of silence supported not just by individual officers, but by the very institution itself.” The Task Force recommended a review of police union contracts, which provide extra-shielding to officers who commit misconduct.

Panelists on the Police Accountability Task Force urged that the Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates police shootings and severe misconduct, should be replaced because “cases go uninvestigated, the agency lacks resources, and I.P.R.A.’s findings raise troubling concerns about whether it is biased in favor of police officers.”

Mr. Emmanuel’s reform plan neglected all but one of the Task Force’s recommendations: the mayor announced that dispatchers, 911 operators, and officers will be given trainings on how to properly dispatching and responding to mentally ill people.

Mayor Emmanuel’s deliberate overlook of all the recommendations geared towards combating racism and police violence is a clear indication of the fact that he is complacent with the manner, in which the city’s people of color, especially African-Americans are profiled, brutalized and killed by cops.

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