One week after an accountability task force concluded Chicago cops have “no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised to institute immediate changes to the city’s police force, The New York Times reports.
“As a city, we cannot rest until we fully address the systemic issues facing the Chicago Police Department, and the steps announced today build on our road to reform,” said Emanuel in a statement. “As we look toward the future, our city will be better off because we faced up to these challenges and confronted them head on.”
The mayor’s press release boasts that “nearly a third” of the task force’s recommendations—including a strengthened internal affairs department and increased officer training—will be implemented. This, of course, leaves over two-thirds of their recommendations unimplemented.
Crucially, this includes one of the accountability panel’s boldest proposals: Replacing the city’s “badly broken” Independent Police Review Authority with a truly independent civilian police monitoring agency. From the Chicago Sun-Times:
The mayor didn’t rule out abolishing IPRA, but hinted his decision will wait until he consults with the Justice Department, which is investigating the Chicago Police Department’s “patterns and practices.” On Nov. 24, the city released a video of an officer fatally shooting a knife-wielding teen, Laquan McDonald, triggering the federal probe.
“If you’re going to make changes, you don’t want the Justice Department coming and saying, ‘You got that wrong. Now, do it again.’ These are big, heavy lifts. . . . Nothing can be worse than trying to do this twice.”