Latest: Activists don’t trust Chicago mayor to reform police
CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Department of Justice’s report from its yearlong investigation into the Chicago Police Department (all times local):
Black Lives Matter activists say they don’t trust Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to reform the Police Department after the U.S. Justice Department concluded officers have used excessive force and violated people’s constitutional rights for years.
Hours after the mayor appeared with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and others on Friday to announce the report, the activists say they have no faith that Emanuel will reform the police force as he pledged to do.
Arewa Karen Winters says they do not believe Emanuel about the report any more than they believe his contention that he did not see the video of the 2014 police shooting of Laquan McDonald until the public saw it more than a year after the black teen was killed.
And Kofi Ademola says that while he agreed with much of the report about years of using excessive force against minorities and violating their constitutional rights, he says some of the reforms the city is doing — equipping more officers with body cameras and Tasers — only “adds to our oppression.”
Two key players in the fight to force the city to release the Laquan McDonald shooting video say the Justice Department’s civil rights investigation’s findings will help combat police abuse of blacks for years.
The 2015 release of the video under a court order led to large protests and the Justice Department investigation of the Chicago Police Department. Its findings were released Friday.
Journalist Jamie Kalven says he’s skeptical that the Justice Department under Donald Trump will exert much pressure on the city to carry out the recommended reforms. But he says the report will be a powerful tool for civil rights attorneys filing police abuse lawsuits in Chicago.
Attorney Matt Topic says it is “momentous” that the federal government acknowledged what civil rights attorneys and activists have been saying for years. He says such official acknowledgment will increase public pressure on City Hall and the police department to root out and combat such abuse.
Some black activists are disappointed with the Justice Department’s civil rights investigation of the Chicago Police Department, saying they don’t think it will protect minorities.
The investigation report was released Friday. It found that the department has violated the constitutional rights of residents for years, permitting racial bias against blacks, using excessive force and killing people who didn’t pose a threat.
Activist Ja’Mal Green says the investigation was “ridiculous” because it didn’t address what many believe was an attempt by City Hall and the police department to cover up the details of the Laquan McDonald shooting.
The black teen was shot 16 times by a white officer in 2014 and dashcam video released a year later conflicted with officers’ accounts of what happened and led to large protests and the Justice Department investigation.
Green says he’s pessimistic that recommended reforms will be carried out once Donald Trump takes office.
The president of the Chicago Police Board says she’s supportive of a Justice Department report detailing reforms needed in the Chicago Police Department.
Lori Lightfoot gave a news conference Friday after the Justice Department released the findings of its yearlong civil rights investigation of the Chicago Police Department.
She says what’s needed next is leadership from the mayor’s office and cooperation from the union that represents Chicago police officers.
The Justice Department report recommends that the police department improve transparency, training and accountability for bad officers. Lightfoot says the recommendations mirror those made by the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force, which she also heads.
The city created the task force in 2015 to create a plan to overhaul the police department. The police board is an independent civilian body that oversees certain police activities.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch says negotiations between the Justice Department and the city of Chicago to implement police reforms will continue after Donald Trump becomes president next week.
Lynch did not mention Trump or his attorney general nominee, Sen. Jeff Sessions, by name during a news conference Friday announcing the findings of a Justice Department’s yearlong civil rights investigation of the police force. But she said her office and city officials have agreed that the reform efforts will continue “regardless of who sits at the top of the Justice Department.”
Trump’s stance on this kind of Justice Department investigation isn’t clear. This week at his confirmation hearings, Sessions expressed ambivalence about the federal review process and said he was concerned that broad investigations of police departments risk smearing an entire agency and harming officer morale.
The head of Chicago’s police union says he thinks the Justice Department hurried its civil rights investigation of the city’s police force so that it could release its findings before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.
The Justice Department released the findings of its yearlong investigation Friday. It found that the department has violated the constitutional rights of residents for years, permitting racial bias against blacks, using excessive force and killing people who didn’t pose a threat.
In a news release sent minutes before the report was posted online, Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo said he wonders whether the investigation was compromised because it was completed in what he says was record time.
Angelo says he thinks it is a clear indication the Justice Department wanted the probe completed before Trump takes office.
The Justice Department and the city of Chicago have signed a joint statement in which the nation’s third largest city commits to police reforms under a court-enforced agreement, called a consent decree.
The document was released Friday along with the findings of a yearlong Justice Department civil rights investigation of the police force. It found that the police department has violated the constitutional rights of residents for years, permitting racial bias against blacks, using excessive force and killing people who didn’t pose a threat.
The agreement in principle provides only broad outlines for reform, including commitments to improved transparency, training and accountability for bad officers. Officials from the Justice Department and city will negotiate a final settlement.
Those talks will take place under the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the Justice Department civil rights investigation of the city’s police department is “sobering” and that the city will proceed with reforms.
Emanuel said Friday after the release of the scathing Justice Department report that the city has already implemented some of the recommended changes. He cited expanded de-escalation training for officers and stricter use-of-force polices that were put in place after the 2015 release of video showing a white officer shoot a black teenager 16 times.
Emanuel also addressed the Justice Department’s conclusion that officers do not have nearly enough supervision. He pointed to his decision to increase the number of lieutenants and other supervisors.
The yearlong investigation found that the police department has violated the constitutional rights of residents for years, permitting racial bias against blacks, using excessive force and killing people who didn’t pose a threat.
The head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division says Chicago police officers shot people who didn’t pose an immediate threat and used stun guns on people for no other reason than they didn’t obey the officers’ verbal commands.
At a news conference on Friday announcing the findings of a Justice Department civil rights investigation of the police department, Vanita Gupta said a lack of training or outdated training for the officers is largely to blame.
Gupta said investigations into officers’ actions are “glacially slow” and that discipline of officers is often “unpredictable and ineffective.”
She also said officers don’t have enough support to help them deal with the trauma of their jobs.
The U.S. Justice Department has issued a scathing report on civil rights abuses by Chicago’s police department over the years.
Justice Department officials released the report Friday after a yearlong investigation. It found that institutional Chicago Police Department problems had led to serious civil rights violations, including racial bias and a tendency to use excessive force.
The investigation was launched in 2015 after the release of dashcam video showing an officer shoot a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, 16 times.
The report is one step in a long process that, in recent years, has typically led to bilateral talks between the Justice Department and a city, followed by settlement plan that a judge enforces.
The case may signal how committed President-elect Donald Trump’s administration will be to pushing for police reform.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will join other officials to release the Justice Department’s findings from an investigation into the Chicago Police Department.
Federal officials say a news conference will be held late Friday morning at the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson also will be in attendance, as will the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon.
The release of the report comes after a yearlong civil rights investigation into Chicago police. It’s expected to find a pattern and practice of violations over many years.
The federal government launched its investigation of the 12,000-officer force in 2015, after video was released that showed a white police officer fatally shooting a black teenager.
The U.S. Justice Department plans to release a major report on Chicago police after a yearlong civil rights investigation.
Officials will make it public Friday.
The investigation into the 12,000-officer police force began in 2015 after release of a video showing a white officer fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times.
An official familiar with the report has told The Associated Press the report would find constitutional violations over years. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed through reforms since the investigation began, including overhauling a police oversight body. The report’s likely to call for more reforms.
Reports in recent years have been followed by reform plans enforced by courts.
This item includes information reported by Associated Press writer Michael Tarm.