Pro Bono Partners

Mayer Brown

Police Accountability Task Force Calls for Sweeping Changes

The Police Accountability Task Force earlier this month released a 190-page report outlining their findings and sweeping recommendations for reform of the Chicago Police Department. The report provides a blueprint for fundamentally changing the way in which the public engages with the police, and how CPD can develop effective oversight and auditing and create a transparent and predictable system of accountability.

The Task Force, chaired by Lori E. Lightfoot, was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in December of last year in the wake of the delayed release of the video that depicted the shooting death of teenager Laquan McDonald.

With support from Civic Consulting Alliance, the Task Force reviewed research; interviewed community members, legal and civil rights organizations, current and former police officers and young people across the city; and analyzed best practices in other police departments.

A robust community engagement process that included four community forums held across the city also informed the Task Force's findings and recommendations. Chief among them are the need for citizen oversight, replacing the Independent Police Review Authority, and addressing racism. The Task Force also called for requiring on-going professional development for all officers.

The Task Force's report garnered extensive interest and enthusiasm across the city from organizations and individuals who want to play a role in moving the recommendations forward and, ultimately, work to restore trust between the Chicago Police Department and the communities they serve.

As the report said, "The citizens, elected officials and others in public life in Chicago now must take this report and act on it." Added Lori E. Lightfoot, "Reform is possible if there is a will and a commitment."

The report was delivered to Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago City Council for review and implementation. After reviewing the report, the City announced it would begin implementing about one-third of the recommendations immediately.

This report offers a roadmap to restore an essential partnership in our city and bring about long-lasting and positive change.

Lori E. Lightfoot


Chair

Police Accountability Task Force