Wednesday, December 9, 2015

CHICAGO CITY COUNCIL: Impose Civilian Control on CPD

Seal of the City of Chicago
People calling for discipline over the Chicago Police Department no longer have to feel like voices in the wilderness.

(How many shootings and cover-ups did it take . . . ?)

What's essential now is that there be systemic change.

Chicago has 50 aldermen -- constituting its city council -- who have the power to put a new structure for police accountability into place. Right now they're pissed off because they've accepted what the mayor and the police have been feeding them. They should turn that anger into a new way to do police accountability from now on.

There is a longstanding campaign in Chicago to have a civilian police accountability council -- one that is democratically elected.

Isn't it strange how something can go, overnight, from being a wildly idealistic hope to being the obvious solution?

Joe Scarry to Scott Waguespack (Alderman, Chicago 32nd ward):
"Do you support a democratically-elected civilian
#police #accountability council for #Chicago?"
Scott Waguespack to Joe Scarry:
"maybe some form of one after the DOJ digs out the mud"

Update: December 10, 2015

Chicago's Aldermanic Black Caucus has as a seven point plan for police reform in Chicago.

Point #6 is "The Blue Ribbon Task Force must be broadened to include community members, representation from the City Council, clinicians and members of the Defense Bar."

Let's talk about how that relates to having a democratically-elected civilian police accountability council.

Update: December 11, 2015

Meanwhile, Chicagoans continue to make their demands clear:

via Matt McLoughlin on Facebook:
"Hundreds are in the streets again tonight demanding a Civilian Police
Accountability Council along with the resignation of Rahm Emanuel
and Anita Alvarez. Photo of the die-in outside City Hall via Aislinn Sol."

Update: December 12, 2015

Chicago Monitor: "Why is the Demand for Community Control of the Chicago Police Being Ignored?" - "CPAC [Civilian Police Accountability Council] has been written up in a draft ordinance for over a year. There was a protest in August with over 3,000 Chicagoans from the Black, Latino, Arab, Muslim, and many more communities demanding the implementation of CPAC even before the Laquan McDonald video was released and before the Department of Justice investigation into the CPD was announced. That very clear demand last August was met by the city administration and city aldermen with a deafening silence."

Update: December 18, 2015

The failure of governance in Chicago continues to be front-page news around the country. In today's New York Times: "Chicago Pays Millions but Punishes Few in Killings by Police": "Of more than 400 police shootings since the Independent Police Review Authority was created in 2007, the agency has found claims of wrongdoing against officers valid in only two cases. The authority issues only recommendations for discipline. The police superintendent and the Police Board have the last word in the most egregious cases. All the while, the city, which is in the middle of a fiscal crisis, has spent more than $500 million settling police cases since 2004." (emphasis added)

Where are the leaders on Chicago City Council who will come forward with a really new plan for police accountability?

Update: December 19, 2015

I couldn't sleep after the notice came in via text message that another Chicago alderman had responded to my question: Do you support a democratically-elected civilian #police #accountability council for #Chicago?

From @JamesCappleman
to @scarry @ChicagoFoodGirl:
"I will support the findings
and recommendations from
the Dept. of Justice."

Especially after another citizen chimed in . . . .

"way to punt . . . "

In the time it took me to make a cup of coffee and log on, the message from Alderman Cappleman was hidden:

As of 6:20 a.m. CT December 19: "@JamesCappleman's account is protected."

My conclusion?  It's dawning on the people on Chicago City Council that they're in the spotlight, and that the people they represent want to see them govern!

Update: December 24, 2015

Protests are planned again in Chicago to take place on Michigan Avenue -- the "Magnificent Mile" -- just as Christmas Eve shoppers jam the neighborhood.

Suggestion to aldermen: today would be a very good day to be able to say, "I have spent the day meeting with community leaders to work together with them on concrete proposals for a democratically-elected civilian police accountability council for Chicago."

Christmas Eve, 2015, in Chicago: Shopping for a new mayor . . . .
(Photo: Danny Villa)

Related posts

A campaign exists to bring about a democratically-elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) in Chicago. The campaign would involve the people in electing the watchers of the police, and put the ultimate control of (and responsibility for) the police in the hands of the citizens of Chicago.

(See Does a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) need to be part of a "new plan of Chicago"? )

#BlackLivesMatter: When all is said and done, how many career politicians in Chicago will have crashed and burned along the way because they couldn't or wouldn't step up and lead on this issue?

(See #PeopleOverPolice: Is This What Democracy Looks Like? )

It's time for Chicago's Progressive Caucus as a whole -- and all its members individually -- to come out strongly in favor of a democratically-elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) for Chicago.

(See A Modest Proposal for Chicago's Progressive Caucus: Support CPAC )

People around the world reading the exposé in The Guardian today about the thousands of (mostly African-American) people denied their rights while being detained at a secret Chicago Police Deparment location at Homan Square might wonder if anyone in Chicago is doing anything in an attempt to get control of the police.

(See CHICAGO: Twilight Zone? Constitution-Free Zone? (What's it look like to YOU?) )