Fifty days have passed since the video of LaQuan McDonald’s killing was released, and yet Mayor Emanuel and the City Council have taken no decisive action to address the systemic failures of Chicago’s police oversight.
However, on Monday, January 18 aldermen from neighborhoods across the city will stand before more than a thousand Community Renewal Society faith leaders at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Faith in Action Assembly to declare their support of the FAIR COPS Ordinance.
FAIR COPS would establish a Police Auditor, appointed by a third party independent of the mayor, given the power to investigate and address patterns of police misconduct by individual officers, as well as across the entire police department. While Chicago’s political leaders have looked the other way when police abuse its residents, New York, Los Angeles, Denver, and many other cities across the country have improved police accountability by installing police auditors.
The General Assembly must also take action to halt police misconduct in Illinois. On Monday, state senators and representatives will be asked to pledge their votes for legislation removing the requirement to sign a sworn affidavit in order to file a complaint against a police officer. A sworn affidavit discourages many people from reporting police misconduct and violates our First Amendment right to petition our government for a redress of grievances.
Finally, all three Democratic candidates for Cook County State’s Attorney have committed to attend Monday’s Faith in Action Assembly and respond to questions about the State's Attorney's role in police accountability.
Together we can win real reforms that will increase police accountability in Chicago and across the state. Join us on Monday, January 18, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at First Baptist Congregational Church, 1613 W. Washington Blvd and hold your aldermen, state representatives, and state senators accountable to enact real reforms.