After CPD misses consent decree deadlines, Mayor Lightfoot called on to ensure police reform, accountability

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After the latest report showed the Chicago Police Department missed a majority of deadlines mandated under the consent decree, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is being called on to step up her efforts to ensure police accountability.

Mayor Lightfoot and new CPD Superintendent David Brown have both emphasized recently that the consent decree requirements are just the baseline, not the ceiling, for reforms. But critics said the latest report shows the department is not capable of reforming itself.

RELATED: Chicago consent decree: City missed majority of deadlines on court-ordered police reforms, independent monitor says

Bringing about meaningful change in the police department will be a tall order for the city, and the latest independent monitor report showed police met only 28 percent of their deadlines for improvements.

"This is, again, a slap in the face to our communities, to say that we don't respect deadlines," said 20th Ward Alderman Jeanette Taylor.

"It's no excuse for the Chicago Police Department to be missing deadlines in something so critical and so vitally important to the city of Chicago," said community organizer William Calloway.

Lightfoot said the report points to just how much transformative change the department needs, and it's why she's not pushing for additional reforms in the next three months. But critics said she has to do more.

"It's clear now that the mayor's office needs to step in and step up and take leadership, because the CPD is not capable of self-reform, and the efforts that it's doing just aren't enough," said Karen Sheley, director of Police Practices Project at ACLU of Illinois.

Deputy Superintendent for Constitutional Policing and Reform Barbara West, who is tasked with overseeing the department's compliance efforts, said those efforts are not being slow-walked.

"We're not dragging out feet, no, it's just a very thoughtful approach to get policy right, and to bring the community along with us is very important," she said.

But the failure to meet critical reform deadlines could further fuel the demonstrations that have called for defunding police and providing more civilian oversight.

"This report shows why protests are important because if we the people let up on the Chicago Police Department they will, I believe they will go back to business as usual," Calloway said.

The ACLU said if the police department can't provide more accountability and transparency in how it plans to meet the demands of the consent decree, they and other groups may be forced to take the city back to court.
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