Chicagoans react to scathing DOJ report on police department

EMBED </>More Videos

Chicago activists, politicians, community members and police officers spoke out Friday after the CPD and IPRA. (WLS)

Chicago's activists, politicians, community members and police officers spoke out Friday after the U.S. Department of Justice released their report on the Chicago Police Department and the Independent Police Review Authority. The report stated that the DOJ found reasonable cause to believe officers engage in a "pattern or practice of excessive force," including deadly force, in violation of the 4th amendment.

The Justice Department's findings exposed severely deficient training procedures, including de-escalation and use of deadly force, supervision and accountability systems, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Friday.

Officers are too rarely held accountable for misconduct, and when they are, discipline is unpredictable and ineffective, and failure has "deeply eroded community trust, trust that is the cornerstone of public safety," Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta said.

READ MORE: DOJ's CPD Findings Fact Sheet
READ MORE: Full DOJ Findings
READ MORE: DOJ-Chicago Agreement Principle

The Department of Justice report on the Chicago Police Department looked back at the last four years, but there are some who feel that is not long enough.

EMBED More News Videos

The DOJ report on the Chicago Police Department looked back at the last four years, but there are some who feel that is not long enough.



Long before the Laquan McDonald case, police abuse victims and their lawyers have been trying for years to get the attention of the justice department and the city. One victim is disappointed the DOJ report excluded the Jon Burge era - an era that set the stage for today's reform.

He spent 24 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. Darrell Cannon is free now, but forever locked inside his head is November 2nd, 1983. It's the day Cannon says Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge's detectives tortured him.

"From placing a shot gun in my mouth to trying to hang me with my handcuffs to pulling down my pants and making me lay down in back seat of detective car while they electric shocked me with a cattle prod," Cannon said.

The torture led to a false confession. It took a lengthy legal battle for Cannon's murder conviction to be thrown out. His attorney Flint Taylor has spent decades fighting similar battles against the Chicago Police Department. The Department of Justice findings only confirm what Taylor and others have been saying for years.

"Before it was us talking about it, litigating about it and the city resisting it with all of its money lawyers and resources," Taylor said.

Taylor is hopeful federal oversight will put some muscle behind real change within the police department.

EMBED More News Videos

Chicago?s activists, politicians, community members and police officers spoke out Friday after the CPD and IPRA.



Chicago Police Officer Dean Angelo said training has been a longtime concern for the Fraternal Order of Police.

"People shrugged it off because it comes from me, the FOP, now it's coming from the government and people are starting to take note, which is a good thing for our members," Angelo said.

One retired Chicago police officer said although Johnson will start the process, it will take years for the department to change.
"We don't like change," said Richard Wooten, retired CPD officer. "We're so used to doing things a certain way. But when change becomes inevitable and is forced upon you, you have no alternative but to change."

EMBED More News Videos

Chicago's activists, politicians, community members and police officers spoke out Friday after the CPD and IPRA.



People who live in the neighborhoods where the department's abuses took place watched the DOJ's announcement intently Friday morning. At Marvin's Restaurant in Chicago's Austin neighborhood, many said the findings are not surprising.

"The underpinning of this whole investigation is overt racism," said Rev. Phil Hilliard of the Austin Corinthian Baptist Church. "It is now on the radar, there is no denying what takes place in the Chicago Police Department."

"It's going to benefit all of us when we understand that we need to own the city's challenges together," said Rev. Tim Hoekstra from Suburban Life Community Church.

EMBED More News Videos

Chicago?s activists, politicians, community members and police officers spoke out Friday after the CPD and IPRA.



Community activists who have been calling for change met with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch Friday at the Dirksen Federal Building, but said they did not leave the meeting feeling heard.
"One of the things I'm positive and optimistic about is this, this mayor did say he's interested in making some sort of consent decree," said Rev. Ira Acree. "We will be watching him. I hope he honors his word."

The investigation into CPD began when activist William Calloway obtained the video of an officer shooting and killing Laquan McDonald and released it in 2015. Calloway said he still believes Mayor Emanuel covered up the McDonald dash cam video.

"Do something. We want officers charged. We want Rahm Emanuel charged. We want Anita Alvarez barred, and make sure that she does not have a license to practice law when she was the states attorney covering up murders for the police," said activist Ja'mal Green.

Family members of people killed by police joined together in Chicago's South Loop.

"We know that these cops are killing our families, our loved ones, are nothing to them but a mountain of paperwork," said Amika Tendaji of Black Lives Matter. "It doesn't matter to them if they shoot us down, it's only a matter of convenience."

EMBED More News Videos

Chicago's activists, politicians, community members and police officers spoke out Friday after the CPD and IPRA.


Related Topics:
newschicago police departmentChicago
(Copyright ©2017 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments