Newark Police decree is window to Chicago's future

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Chicago is in the early stages of what Newark, New Jersey concluded Wednesday: a Justice Department plan to overhaul the police department. (WLS)

An ABC7 I-Team Investigation
Chicago is in the early stages of what Newark, New Jersey concluded Wednesday: a Justice Department plan to overhaul the police department.

Newark's police department will shift to a more community-focused approach to policing, add more training and submit to federal monitoring as part of a consent decree resulting from a Justice Department probe that found that officers routinely used excessive force and made street stops that disproportionately affected minorities.

The settlement agreement will require Newark police to revise policies and train on the use of force, stops and searches, and is considered to foreshadow the changes that should be expected by Chicago police.

There is also an unusual bridge between the two cases: Garry McCarthy. He was superintendent of the Newark police as the DOJ investigation began in 2011, and his final days as Chicago superintendent came as the DOJ was revving up here.

During a 2011 I-Team interview with McCarthy in New Jersey, he talked about the problems there that would become similar concerns here in Chicago.

Goudie: "Are there room for mistakes in police work?"
McCarthy: "I'm not going to say there is room for it, but what I am going to say it is an eventuality. We get into critical situations where we have to make split second decisions. Sometimes they are tragic split-second decisions. Unless it's an exceptional circumstance, we have to maintain the middle road because cops are entitled to the same constitutional protections as John Q Citizen and I'm not willing to throw cops under the bus just because it may be political issue."

It was under McCarthy's reign in Newark that authorities say the community trust deteriorated, a similar situation that Chicago city officials contend with now.

Under the decrees, Newark police will also equip all patrol cars with video cameras and require most officers to wear body cameras.

The agreement also calls for a police civilian review board, which Newark's city council approved earlier this month.

The Justice Department's currently has five ongoing investigations, including the Baltimore Police Department and, of course, Chicago.

Click to read the Newark Complaint

Click to read the Newark Consent Decree

Click to read the Newark Fact Sheet

Click to read the Police Reform and Accountability Accomplishments
Related Topics:
newsI-Teamchicago police departmentgarry mccarthyChicago - Bronzeville
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