Federal Monitor: CPD Lagging Behind in Consent Decree Compliance

(WTTW News)(WTTW News)

An independent federal monitor overseeing reforms to the Chicago Police Department says CPD is well behind in implementing those reforms.

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Federal monitor Maggie Hickey on Friday released the first semiannual report for the CPD’s consent decree, saying that the department is not in compliance with a majority of the reforms, and has missed 37 of 50 agreed-upon deadlines to get into what it calls “preliminary compliance.”

“The first report begins to illustrate the scope of reform needed and details how that change cannot be expected overnight,” Hickey said of the report in a statement. “We continue to identify hurdles, provide recommendations, work with the community to assess the City and CPD’s compliance and ultimately, help the City reach full and effective compliance with the consent decree.”

Hickey’s report shows the department has met deadlines on items like community policing and crisis intervention improvements. But it has failed to enact multiple required changes regarding use of force in a timely manner.

Document: Read the full report.Document: Read the full report. “In the first reporting period, the (Independent Monitoring Team) assessed the CPD’s compliance with 25 paragraphs of the consent decree within the Use of Force topic area, including two foundational paragraphs,” the report states. “The CPD met its deadlines for three of the paragraphs that had deadlines this reporting period, meaning it missed its deadlines for 16 of the paragraphs.”

Despite the slow pace of compliance, Hickey says the report stresses that the work is ongoing and complicated by the fact that each mandate should be fully vetted and heard by the public. According to the report, it’s important that the reform efforts are done thoroughly rather than quickly.

The report measures reform efforts undertaken from March 1 through Aug. 31, 2019. The consent decree is in effect for a minimum of five years, and this is the first of 10 anticipated reports.

Hickey was appointed by a federal judge to institute reforms mandated in a federal consent decree after former Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan sued the city and police department in federal court. This action followed the Obama-era Department of Justice conclusion that the CPD engaged in a pattern and practice of unconstitutional use of force.

In response to the report, the Chicago Police Department said in a statement Friday it “remains committed to adopting and implementing the meaningful, enforceable police reforms outlined in the consent decree.”

“While we are working diligently to comply with the requirements as quickly as possible, we are placing greater importance on affirming the reforms have undergone the appropriate reviews to ensure we’re working toward a more transparent, accountable and professional Department of which the entire city can be proud. We believe that public safety and reform strategies are mutually reinforcing and can be accomplished simultaneously, and will continue working alongside the Independent Monitoring Team and Office of the Illinois Attorney General to implement change and sustain compliance with the consent decree,” the statement reads.

Note: An earlier version of this story referenced an incorrect number of missed deadlines, due to an error in the original news release. The story has been updated.

Related stories:

Top Cop Eddie Johnson on Gun Violence, Police-Community Relations

Chicago Police Publish New Data on Civilian Complaints

Chicago Police Department Unveils New Dashboard Tracking Use of Force Reports

What Maggie Hickey’s Appointment Means for Chicago Police Reform

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