Statement by Police Board President Kyle Cooper on the Court Ruling Regarding Arbitration of Police Disciplinary Cases

March 21, 2024

While I appreciate the time, care, and attention Judge Mullen gave to this important matter, I respectfully disagree with his decision to allow the most serious police disciplinary cases to be heard by an arbitrator instead of the Police Board.

While it is reassuring that any such arbitrations will be open to the public, police accountability will nevertheless suffer by having the most serious disciplinary cases decided by individual arbitrators who are not required to live in Chicago or undergo the extensive training required by the Consent Decree.

Despite today’s disappointing decision, I remain confident that the Police Board will continue to be a fair and transparent decision-maker in those cases that it will continue to oversee.

In the coming days, the Board will engage with all stakeholders to explore other ways in which the Board can continue to promote transparency and accountability in Chicago’s police-accountability system. Given the Court’s decision, this endeavor is more crucial now than ever.

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