Some of what it says needs to be said: "From 2011-2015, 40% of complaints filed were not investigated by IPRA." And: "These events and others mark a long, sad history of death, false imprisonment, physical and verbal abuse and general discontent about police actions in neighborhoods of color."
And let's not forget the false (and consistently false) police reports and (mayoral?) cover-up related to the killing of Laquan McDonald:
Not until thirteen months later -- after a pitched legal battle doggedly pursued by local investigative journalists resulted in the court-ordered release of the dash-cam video of the shooting -- did the public learn the truth: McDonald made no movements toward any officers at the time Van Dyke fired the first shot, and McDonald certainly did not lunge or otherwise make any threatening movements. The truth is that at the time Van Dyke fired the first of 16 shots, Laquan McDonald posed no immediate threat to anyone.They really should have added that McDonald didn't pose any threat when the last shots were fired.
There are the ignored red flags:
The enduring issue of CPD officers acquiring a large number of Complaint Registers (“CRs”) remains a problem that must be addressed immediately. From 2007-2015, over 1,500 CPD officers acquired 10 or more CRs, 65 of whom accumulated 30 or more CRs. It is important to note that these numbers do not reflect the entire disciplinary history (e.g., pre-2007) of these officers.The inability to act on red flags:
Sadly, CPD collects a significant amount of data that it could readily use to address these very troubling trends. Unfortunately, there is no systemic approach to addressing these issues, data collection is siloed and individual stakeholders do virtually nothing with the data they possess.And the perennial problem with "community policing":
Historically, CPD has relied on the Community Alternative Policing Strategy (“CAPS”) to fulfill its community-policing function. The CAPS brand is significantly damaged after years of neglect. Ultimately, community policing cannot be relegated to a small, underfunded program; it must be treated as a core philosophy infusedBut here's where ideology begins to trump common sense. It's claptrap to advocate for "community policing" without defining community policing or offering any evidence to its effectiveness. Yes, police right now need better relations with the non-criminal public in minority neighborhoods. But the main job of police, lest we forget, is to deal with the criminal public.
And then there's the absurdity -- the dangerous and even racist absurdity -- of promoting racial balance in police activity and use of force.
Police Officers Shoot African-Americans At Alarming Rates: Of the 404 shootings between 2008-2015:Really? That's your perspective?
• 74% or 299 African Americans were hit or killed by police officers, as compared with
• 14% or 55 Hispanics;
• 8% or 33 Whites; and
• 0.25% Asians.
For perspective, citywide, Chicago is almost evenly split by race among whites (31.7%), blacks (32.9%) and Hispanics (28.9%).
The idea that police should stop, arrest, and even shoot and Tase people in proportion to population demographics is nutty. For real perspective, consider that of 3,021 Chicagoans shot last year, just 25 were shot by police. 79 percent of murder victims were black; 4 percent were white. For known assailants (which is known just a shamefully low 26 percent of the time) the figures are comparable.
With this perspective, the use-of-force stats seem quite reasonable. To say this is not to deny a historically troubling legacy or even current problems. But if the benchmark for success in policing is racial parity in use of force, then Chicago and Chicagoans are in for more bloody years.
Chicago is 5.5 percent Asian. As a benchmark of success, will we not rest till more than 5 percent of those shot by police are Asian?
Overall, use of lethal force by the Chicago Police Department is on par with the national average (0.33 per 100,000 for the CPD, compared with 0.31 for the nation). Chicago is below LA, Houston, Atlanta, San Francisco, and most cities. The Chicago Police Department may have 99 problems, but an excessive use of lethal force and a racial disparity in that use of force doesn't seem to be one of them.
Still, there is a room for improvement. The NYPD kills people at an outlyingly-low rate of 0.08. Maybe, instead of suing police departments into institutional paralysis, folks could determine what the NYPD is doing right and advocate better -- rather than less - policing based on best practices. (But who on the Left wants to talk about what the NYPD is doing right?)
But I'll finish on a positive note:
The findings and recommendations in this report are not meant to disregard or undervalue the efforts of the many dedicated CPD officers who show up to work every day to serve and protect the community. The challenge is creating a partnership between the police and the community that is premised upon respect and recognizes that our collective fates are very much intertwined.