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Tag Archives: Chicago. Police

Chicago Police and Minorities

No big surprise here.

Chicago police ‘have no regard’ for lives of minorities, report says

The Chicago Police Department is failing to hold officers accountable and not doing enough to combat a “justified” lack of trust from the community, according to a sweeping report released Wednesday by a task force assembled by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The task force’s report was unsparing when it came to the department’s problems with race, saying that its members “heard over and over again from a range of voices” who feel that the Chicago police are racist.

In the 22-page report, the task force pointed to data from the Chicago police that it said “gives validity to the widely held belief the police have no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color.”

The task force looked at more than 400 shootings in Chicago from 2008 to 2015 and found that about three-quarters of the people wounded or killed in police shootings were black. Hispanic people accounted for 14 percent of those shot, while white people made up 8 percent of them.

Similar proportions were found among people hit with Tasers in recent years. Census data show that black, Hispanic and white people make up nearly equal slices of the city’s population.

“Residents of Chicago spoke of random police stops in which they are treated with disdain, and fearful that any interaction with police could lead to violence against them,” Victor Dickson, member of the task force and head of a non-profit that helps people with criminal records, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, our research supports those perceptions.”

The task force’s report said that some people in the community “do not feel safe in any encounter with the police.”

The report said that evidence showed that “people of color— particularly African-Americans—have had disproportionately negative experiences with the police over an extended period of time,” something that the task force’s members said continues today “the use of force, foot and traffic stops and bias in the police oversight system itself.”

Before the report was released, Emanuel (D) said he would be open to any recommendations from the group about how to help the country’s second-largest local law enforcement agency.

“I don’t really think you need a task force to know that we have racism in America, we have racism in Illinois or that there is racism that exists in the city of Chicago and obviously can be in our departments,” Emanuel said Wednesday, before he received a copy of the report.

Emanuel said he felt the city was taking positive steps forward, including pushing to diversify the ranks of its police force and the department’s leadership.

“The question isn’t, ‘Do we have racism?’ We do,” Emanuel said. “The question is, ‘what are you going to do about it?’”

Last December, Emanuel announced that he was creating the task force amid protests prompted by video footage of a white Chicago police officer firing 16 shots at Laquan McDonald, a black teenager.

Laquan’s Murderer

Since the McDonald video was released — over the objections of city officials — Emanuel and the Chicago police force have been under a national microscope, even as the city faces a surge in violence….Read More Here

 

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Another $6.4 Million For Chicago Taxpayers For Bad Cops

It is rapidly adding up, and there appears to be no end in sight…

Chicago panel recommends $6.4M for 2 police custody deaths

City Council panel recommended Monday that Chicago pay $6.45 million to families of two men who died in police custody — one after he was dragged from a jail cell and shot with a stun gun and the other who had a fatal asthma attack after officers allegedly refused to let him use his inhaler.

In a hearing, the council’s finance committee voted to settle the two lawsuits after a recitation of the facts by the city’s top attorney that included allegations that officers ignored the pleas of the parents of one of the men and taunted the other man shortly before he died.

Members of the council, who have watched the city pay out more than $660 million in police misconduct cases since 2004, angrily wondered why these cases were popping up again and again while in many cases officers involved remain on the job.

“This is a travesty,” Alderman Anthony Beale said.

But they also quickly agreed to recommend the settlements to the full council, which will likely approve them, heeding the warning of the city’s top attorney who said if the cases went to trial the city risked being ordered by a jury to pay the families far more than $6.45 million.

Philip Coleman

In one case, the council agreed to recommend that the city settle a lawsuit for $4.95 million brought by the family of Philip Coleman. He was taken into custody in 2012 after he allegedly attacked his mother. When officers arrived, Coleman’s parents begged officers to take their adult son to a hospital for psychiatric treatment rather than a jail.

But Corporation Counsel Steve Patton said they were rebuffed, with the officer in charge telling the parents, “We don’t do hospitals, we do jail.”

Officers shot him with a stun gun and handcuffed him before they dragged him by his hands from his holding cell — an incident that was captured by a video. The city released the video just days after it was forced to release the video of a white police officer shooting a black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times, killing him. Coleman died at the hospital from a reaction to an anti-psychotic drug given to him by a doctor.

In the lawsuit, Coleman’s family contend that Coleman would still be alive if he was taken to a hospital to begin with and Patton told the committee that an expert hired by Coleman’s family was prepared to testify at trial that the treatment of Coleman by officers contributed to his death.

Alderman Carrie Austin expressed disgust with the behavior of the officers.

“Maybe that young man would be alive today if they had a heart,” she said.

City Council members also were angry after hearing Patton describe the last moments of Justin Cook. Arrested after a chase in which a gun was recovered, Patton said officers refused Cook’s pleas to be allowed to use his inhaler. One witness, he said, even disputed the officer’s contention that he sprayed the contents of the inhaler into Cook’s mouth, saying that the officer instead “sprayed it in the air” and said he should have thought of his asthma before he tried to run away. Another witness, he said, told of how an officer held the inhaler in front of Cook and asked, “Is this what you want?”

Patton said a supervisor later arrived at the scene and, seeing Cook’s inability to breathe, ordered his handcuffs removed so that Cook could use his inhaler. But he said Cook died…Read More

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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