City leaders want community input to shape police misconduct ordinance

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The former head of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's task force on police accountability is calling for more transparency. (WLS)

Lori Lightfoot, the former head of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Police Accountability Task Force, and other city leaders are urging the mayor to include community concerns in what happens next.

The Chicago City Council's Chairman of the Public Safety Committee announced there will be public hearings on an expected ordinance about police accountability.

"The objective here is to get some input from the community. We need organizations, faith-based organizations, to weigh in on what we have to do to make this right," said Ald. Ariel Reboyras, 30th Ward.

The announcement comes after several civic leaders and civil rights attorney presented a letter to the Mayor and Ald. Reboyras. The coalition urges the mayor and aldermen to allow community input to shape any city ordinance about how police misconduct is handled after the extensive Police Accountability Task Force report.

"It's critically important that voices from all across the city get heard otherwise the end result will not have any legitimacy," Lightfoot said.

"Before positions become hardened, that the mayor should release a draft of that ordinance for public discussion and debate," said Paul Strauss, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights.

A spokeman for the Mayor released a statement saying, in part: "The Police Accountability Task Force themselves held a series of public hearings .... The City Council has already agreed to build on that public process by holding public hearings on the ordinance to ensure every resident has the opportunity to voice their opinion."

Ald. Reboyras, the Chairman of Public Safety, said the process will take time but he continues to work on an ordinance for the city council meeting on June 22.

"Personally I don't want to rush it, but if we have something my colleagues can agree on, I will present it," said Ald. Reboyras.

While an ordinance is expected to be presented late this month, public hearings will follow. The earliest city council would vote on a police accountability ordinance would be in July.

It seems there is desire to make changes, but those who have worked on this issue want any change to be thoughtful and respectful of the community.

Related Topics:
chicago police departmentchicago city councilrahm emanuelChicago - River North
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