Coalition urges City to commit to police contract reforms after Mayor Emanuel proposes “independent monitor”
Contact: Timna Axel
For immediate release
June 8, 2017
CHICAGO – Noting the urgency to make changes to the City’s contract with the Chicago Police Department, the Coalition for Police Contracts Accountability (CPCA) today urged the City to commit to a police union contract that is fair and accountable to the people of Chicago.
The group’s demand comes after last week’s public reports that the Emanuel Administration is seeking the appointment of an “independent monitor” selected by the City and the U.S. Department of Justice to oversee reforms to the Chicago Police Department – without a consent decree under court oversight. Echoing concerns of other police reform advocates and former DOJ officials about a proposal that does not include oversight by the federal judiciary, CPCA argues that this new proposal threatens the road to police reform in Chicago.
“With this toothless proposal, Mayor Emanuel is departing from his earlier commitments to true police reform, and is risking Chicago’s chance to repair our long-broken system of policing,” said Willie Preston, Organizer with Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL).
“The police union contract now represents the Mayor’s best chance to respond to the community’s fears and restore trust in the police.”
The Mayor’s Task Force Report in 2016 and the DOJ Report released earlier this year both cited provisions within the police union contracts that protect a code of silence and shield officers from accountability. The rights of Chicagoans are non-negotiable and federal courts are a final check against the excesses of the contracts, which disproportionately hurt Black communities. Without court oversight, the proposed agreement between the City and the DOJ puts even more pressure on the City to negotiate or litigate for a police union contract that addresses the Department’s historic pattern of discrimination and misconduct.