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City clergy demand Chicago Police Department reform

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Dozens of Chicago ministers gathered outside CPD headquarters Tuesday to demand reforms for the police department. (WLS)

Dozens of Chicago ministers gathered outside CPD headquarters Tuesday to demand a meeting with the city's top cop and reforms for the police department.

The group calls itself the "Chicago Clergy Coalition for Police Accountability." Members said they don't want Chicago to turn into Dallas or Baton Rouge.

About 50 local faith leaders from different backgrounds called for an end to police brutality and listed the changes they think are necessary to improve the CPD's relationship with the community.

They delivered the 15-point reform plan to CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson's office around 10:30 a.m. It includes creating a department of diversity, spending social time with residents and more.

"There has to be a spotlight on the mental health concerns of police officers as it relates to the issue of public safety. Many officers are operating with a multitude of stressors," said Reverend Lindsey Long, St. John's United Methodist Church.

Reverend Ira Acree of The Leaders Network said he spoke to Johnson, who is out of town, on the phone Tuesday morning. He promised to meet with the coalition next week.

The clergy said they just want a change for the better and hope by improving relations between police and neighbors, Chicago's streets will be safer for everyone.

"The violence in Chicago and the nation is at a crisis point. Our hearts go out to victims of violence against the police and innocent civilians. When we improve community-police relations, we make the streets safer for everyone. Now is the time to radically reform the Chicago Police Department," said Rev. Marshall Hatch, chairman of the Leader's Network and Pastor of New Mount Pilgrim Church, in a press release Tuesday.

"We cannot expect peace without justice. We cannot lose sight of the fact that the unjustified killings of African Americans is what has brought us to the boiling point. Many of these recommendations originated with the mayor's Task Force on Police Accountability. We are demanding a time line for implementations," said Rev. Cy Fields, President of the Leaders Network and Pastor of New Landmark Church, in the same release.

Related Topics:
chicago police departmentchicago violenceeddie johnsonreligionChicago - Bronzeville
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