Sweeping Changes for Chicago Police Department Nearly Finalized

A document promised to result in “real and lasting reform” for Chicago police is in the hands of a federal judge.

“It has taken us over a year to get to this day but it has taken our city a generation to get here,” Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Thursday of the consent decree her office drafted in conjunction with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The binding agreement will give an independent monitor oversight to enforce the Chicago Police Department’s implementation of a series of reforms governing everything from officer training to discipline.

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The required reforms aren’t yet finalized, however. The public will have an opportunity to weigh in on those during court hearings scheduled for late October.

The Fraternal Order of Police, which deems the consent decree unwarranted and excessive, has also filed suit seeking to intervene.

“We want to show that the consent decree violates the laws that were designed to protect the work related interests of police officers,” FOP President Kevin Graham said in a statement. “We also maintain our strong conviction that this consent decree is not necessary and will have a devastating effect upon our policing in Chicago and that both Attorney General Madigan and Mayor Rahm Emanuel are neglecting their obligation to protect the public by pursuing it.”

The consent decree is largely built off recommendations in an Obama-era Department of Justice Report instigated by the shooting of black teen Laquan McDonald by white police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is on trial for murder in that case. (Get full coverage of the trial here.)

The DOJ under President Donald Trump chose not to pursue a consent decree, but Madigan filed a lawsuit in August 2017 seeking to force action, resulting in the proposed 226 pages of reforms.

Follow Amanda Vinicky on Twitter: @AmandaVinicky

Related stories:

Chicago Police to Document When They Point a Gun

Emanuel Challenger Lightfoot, Police Union Tear Down Consent Decree

Deal Struck for Federal Oversight of Chicago Police Department

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