Advocates for a Chicago Police Consent Decree on the Need for Reform


It’s official: A federal judge has approved a court order holding the Chicago Police Department accountable for a host of reforms in the wake of the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014.

The federal consent decree approved Thursday by U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr. includes directives for officers, such as not using deadly force against “fleeing subjects who do not pose an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm to an officer or another person,” as well as protocols to re-evaluate police training needs, recruitment and hiring practices.

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In his motion, Dow called the agreement “an important first step toward needed reforms of the Chicago Police Department and its policies.”

An independent monitor to oversee the agreement is expected to be chosen by March 1.

In a joint statement released the day of Dow’s ruling, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said, “This agreement builds on the strength of the reforms underway at the Chicago Police Department today, ensures there are no U-turns on that road to reform, and will help secure a safer and stronger future for our city.”

What are advocates for a police consent decree expecting now that the agreement is official? And were any crucial reforms left out of the court order?

Joining us to share their perspectives are community activist and 5th Ward aldermanic candidate William Calloway, whose efforts were instrumental in the 2015 release of the Laquan McDonald police shooting video; and Northwestern University law professor Sheila Bedi, who has been a part of the consent decree negotiations.

Follow Evan Garcia on Twitter: @EvanRGarcia


Related stories:

Federal Judge Approves Historic Chicago Police Consent Decree

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