Joint Statement from Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and CPD Superintendent David O. Brown on the Independent Monitoring Team's Second Semiannual Report
"Today's release of the Independent Monitoring Team's second semiannual report illustrates how the level of transformational change and reform that we are working towards cannot be achieved overnight. This road toward a more transparent, accountable and professional police force began more than four years ago with the Police Accountability Task Force following the murder of Laquan McDonald by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke. While we have continued to build on a host of police reform and accountability measures since then, we have been clear that this moment is just the start, not the end of our journey. We can do better, and we are redoubling our efforts to meet important milestones mandated by the consent decree.
"Since the consent decree became effective in March 2019, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department have successfully implemented a host of significant reform measures, including additional in-service training and mental health support for our officers, updated use of force policies that emphasize de-escalation and sanctity of life, and an updated approach toward community engagement that will ensure CPD policies are reflective of the communities we serve. From mandating all CPD consent decree-related positions be prioritized in the hiring process to restructuring CompStat meetings with district commanders to assess training compliance, the City has also taken the immediate steps to further ensure the Department has the framework, resources and personnel necessary to improve compliance with consent decree deadlines. A key component of these foundational efforts includes the launch of the new Office of Constitutional Policing and Reform, led by Deputy Superintendent Barbara West, which will prioritize consent decree compliance and reform at every level of the Department.
"While we remain committed to fulfilling the requirements outlined in the consent decree, we have been clear that the consent decree is merely a baseline, not the ceiling, when it comes to police reform. Now, more than ever, we must double down on our efforts, which is why we announced a series of reform measures that will be prioritized over the next 90 days, including crisis intervention and procedural justice training, a new recruit program on police-community relations and additional reform measures.
"We look forward to sustaining the ongoing partnership alongside the Independent Monitoring Team, the Office of Illinois Attorney General, as well as with our community partners to implement the kind of meaningful change needed to make CPD a better Department for all of Chicago."