Public Support for Court Intervention

The public call for a federal court oversight in the form of a consent decree continues to grow. In addition to community members, community-based organizations, and faith leaders, prominent officials, such as former U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon, former Chief of the Civil Rights Division for the Department of Justice, Vanita Gupta, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia, the City’s Aldermanic Progressive Caucus and even the Inspector General for the City of Chicago have strongly argued for the need for a consent decree.  Major news outlets, including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Boards have also repeatedly emphasized the need for federal court oversight.


New York Times Editorial - Victims Get a Voice in Chicago Police Reform

Community groups were included in the process through a memorandum of agreement filed in federal court last week...if the agreement works as envisioned, minority communities in Chicago who have borne the brunt of police abuses for decades will play a significant hand in shaping a new model of police accountability that benefits everyone.



New York Times Editorial - Who Can Reform the Chicago Police?

"Mr. Emanuel believes that a monitor would be fine — because, as he sees it, the city is already well on its way to reforms that it can institute itself. A whole phalanx of officials disagrees. The city’s inspector general, for example, said that bypassing the courts would be a mistake and spawn further distrust in minority communities.



Chicago Tribune Editorial: Chicago, get that consent decree

"The fundamental reason we have to have a consent decree is this: The breadth of changes necessary at CPD, coupled with the sheer size of CPD, mean that reform will take years. Even with a consent decree, a strong judge and great independent monitor, it will be years — five, seven, maybe more — before the ship has turned in a way that is meaningful and sure to stick."


The push for police reforms stems from a yearlong Justice Department civil rights investigation that found a broken police department with patterns of excessive force and misconduct by officers. Vanita Gupta, the former top Obama Justice Department official who oversaw that investigation in the wake of the Laquan McDonald police shooting, has called Emanuel’s new proposed out-of-court agreement “woefully inadequate” to fix the “deep and long-standing” policing problems in the city.
— Chicago Tribune

Ferguson joins calls for federal court oversight over CPD


Chicago Sun-Times - Fran Spielman

...[City of Chicago Inspector General Joe] Ferguson said Mayor Emanuel "unequivocally can and should pursue" a consent decree with or without the DOJ as a partner. 

Without it - and with a mere memorandum of agreement "with a Justice Department that has no real interest in enforcing constitutional policing" - there can be no legitimacy or public confidence.."

Lisa Madigan Op-Ed: Mayor, Don't do an end run on police reform


Chicago Tribune

"The fact that the city is now negotiating police reforms with a Justice Department that fundamentally does not agree with the need for constitutional policing is ludicrous. And the city's apparent decision not to release the agreement until it is final is unacceptable...The city must negotiate with stakeholders to reach an agreement, not announce one after its details have been decided behind closed doors."


Chicago Tribune

"I always believed that the police could shoot black and brown people with impunity." - Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle

"It's very concerning to me he would negotiate with the Trump administration on this. It's simply a way of trying to minimize static and to deflect issues that will not go away." - Commissioner Jesus Garcia.


"The mayor has reversed course on his commitment to submitting to a consent decree on police reform with little explanation.” - Alderman Scott Waguespack (32nd), chairman of the Progressive Caucus. 



Chicago Sun-Times - Laura Washington

"To restore trust in his police department, Emanuel needs backup - from the community and the courts."