A new report from the Justice Department found the Chicago Police Department routinely violated the civil rights of the people it arrested. The 13-month investigation found a number of rights violations including officers using excessive force and using unsound tactics. This report is similar to the one that was released last August in Baltimore, which was found responsible for similar rights violations among its police force.
Ideally, the report will be used as a tool for lawmakers and law enforcement to coordinate change and solve their issues, which Chicago may need, as it recorded 762 homicides in 2016. In the report, the Justice Department highlighted a number of civil rights injustices, including officers tasing children (in a highlighted case it was done to a 16-year-old). The force also seems to have a mess of a database with the report saying, “The city was not able to accurately identify how many people were shot by CPD officers.” But one of the most damning parts of the report is how the officers don’t use the necessary tactical procedures to deal with crimes:
“We found that officers engage in tactically unsound and unnecessary foot pursuits and that these foot pursuits too often end with officers unreasonably shooting someone — including unarmed individuals. We found that officers shoot at vehicles without justification and in contradiction to C.P.D. policy. We found further that officers exhibit poor discipline when discharging their weapons and engage in tactics that endanger themselves and public safety, including failing to await backup when they safely could and should; using unsound tactics in approaching vehicles; and using their own vehicles in a manner that is dangerous.”
Chicago is regularly raked over the grills for apparent corruption within the police department. Donald Trump has even taken the city and Mayor Rahm Emanuel to task for his approach, saying if he can’t fix things, he’ll bring in the federal government to deal with it. Emanuel has already launched some programs in the city to help curb violence and hold officers accountable. The report may show he doesn’t have a handle on things, but this may light a fire under him.