CRS Sues for Chicago Police Reform


Community Renewal Society is committed to police accountability and reform that centers the needs of those most directly impacted by police misconduct. This is why we have partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union and several other community groups to file a lawsuit that seeks the participation of impacted community groups in the reform of the Chicago Police Department (“CPD”), including how force is used against people with disabilities and against Black and Latino Chicagoans.

For us to win a seat at the table, we need to bring to light the experiences of those who have been hurt by CPD. If you or one of your loved ones has been impacted by excessive use of force by CPD we want to hear your story. We would like to talk with you about ways your experience could strengthen our efforts to force meaningful reforms over CPD. 

If you or someone you know would like to share with us, there are two ways you can get involved:

At the press announcement on Wednesday October 4, Interim Executive Rev. Robbie Craig, and CRS Police Issue Team leader Rev. Samuel Paul gave the following statement on why we have joined the ACLU and other community groups in filing this lawsuit.

Community Renewal Society (CRS) is a 135-year-old faith-rooted organization that engages individuals and communities to address problems of racism, poverty, joblessness, and injustice. 

CRS informs, educates, trains, and organizes its member congregations to advocate for racial and economic justice in the Chicago, its surrounding communities, and the state of Illinois.

We stand here today as an organizational plaintiff in this lawsuit because we believe that those most impacted by police misconduct must be included at the decision-making table for any consent decree over the Chicago Police Department.

We stand here because no Chicagoan should live in fear of coming in contact with law enforcement.  While most Chicagoans value the protection and service from our Police Department, our Black and Brown communities are disproportionately at risk of aggravation, aggression, and assault from those sworn to protect them. 

We stand here because we have a broken system of accountability in Chicago. It is a system that allows police officers to utilize excessive force and violate constitutional rights with few repercussions. The patterns of misconduct and civil rights violations outlined in the Department of Justice’s report are unacceptable and must come to an end.

Our member congregations know well the charge: “to whom much is given, much is required.” We have a moral imperative to ensure that law enforcement officers are accountable and responsible to the communities they serve. True and lasting reform can occur only with community members at the table.  We must act to make this inclusion a reality and not rely on vague promises from politicians.

If our city’s leadership is serious about creating reform with credibility, community stakeholders representing those most directly impacted by police misconduct must be at the negotiating table.

We stand here today ready to ensure the voices of our congregations and communities are represented in any court enforced oversight of the Chicago Police Department.