A damning report has slammed the Chicago police department. The report from the Justice department is said to have uncovered consistent use of excessive force, and numerous civil rights violations.
The results of the report are likely to inflame tensions in the state. The report comes after a year long investigation in to the way the department operates after the death of a black teenager in 2014. The teenager was shot multiple times by a white officer. Video from the Police vehicle that attended the incident showed Laquan McDonald holding a knife. The department had tried to keep the video away from the public, but after its release there was a backlash against the department. These protests eventually ended in the Commissioner losing his job.
The investigation also looked at the training of recruits. The level of training was found to be sub-standard, as was the adherence to taught principles. The force has since promised that it would do better. It needs to. Since 2004 the department as paid out more than $500m in the settlement of claims of officers misconduct. The department has a dark history with civil rights. During the 1970’s the department was well known for its use of violent means to get Black males to commit to crimes that they hadn’t committed. Whilst there is no link to today, the department is notorious in the black community for its past. It is highly likely that this still has a bearing today.
Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo who heads up the Police union in Chicago took to Twitter just before the report was announced. He questioned the validity of the report. Claiming that it was rushed in order to be released before Donald Trump takes office. Trump is well known to be a believer in stiff justice. It is expected that there will be a lot of changes at the Justice department once he enters the fray. Though whether there is validity in Angelo’s claims is questionable. It is within his interest to protect his officers being head of the union.
Whatever happens it is clear that it will not be business as usual at Chicago Police department. This report is likely to have long lasting ramifications on the department. It will be an early test of Trump’s stance on justice as to the action that is taken.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.