CHICAGO, The Chicago Police Department has an institutional racism that has led to the mistreatment of people and an evaporation of public trust, a task force has found.
The Police Accountability Task Force, appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, slammed the city’s police in the report issued Wednesday. Using a mountain of statistical analysis, the report strengthened decades of complaints by African-Americans that they have been routinely harassed by police because of race.
“C.P.D.’s own data gives validity to the widely held belief the police have no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color,” the report noted. “Stopped without justification, verbally and physically abused, and in some instances arrested, and then detained without counsel — that is what we heard about over and over again.”
The report arrived as the city council unanimously approved the appointment of new police superintendent Eddie Johnson, an African-American police officer who has lived his entire life on Chicago’s tough South Side.
Emanuel, under intense pressure to make meaningful changes without alienating police, said it was time both the city and the department “honestly confront the past” and get on with restoring public faith in the police department.
“The question isn’t, ‘Do we have racism?’ We do,” Emanuel said. “The question is, ‘What are you going to do about it?'”
The report makes more than 100 recommendations for change. Meanwhile, violent crime has soared in Chicago, with the murder rate up 62 percent from 2015 and shootings has increased 78 percent, Chicago police statistics noted.