Chicago Black Caucus Wants Meetings With Top Cop Candidates | NBC Chicago
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Chicago Black Caucus Wants Meetings With Top Cop Candidates

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    The Chicago City Council Black Caucus says it wants to interview candidates for the before Chicago's next police superintendent is picked. NBC 5's Charlie Wojciechowski reports. (Published Thursday, March 24, 2016)

    The Chicago City Council Black Caucus says it wants to interview candidates for the before Chicago's next police superintendent is picked.

    Sources tell NBC Chicago the choice could come as soon as Monday, but the group says it's important for them to speak to the candidates first.

    "We want to hear from all candidates right now, before a decision is made," Ald. Roderick Sawyer said. "We believe a local police veteran who understands the African American experience in Chicago would be the best able to restore justice and safety in our city."

    A total of 38 individuals applied for the job, but only three were chosen: Dr. Cedric Alexander, the current Director of Public Safety in Dekalb County, Georgia; Anne Kirkpatrick, the former Chief of Police in Spokane, Washington; and Eugene Williams, the Chief of Support Services in Chicago, and the only current Chicago officer who made the cut. Notably absent from the short list is acting Interim Superintendent John Escalante.

    "This is an historic moment and things have to change from the inside out," Police Board President Lori Lightfoot said.

    The mayor says he will not rush his decision.

    "I want to see gun violence go down and the morale of our department, the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday, go up," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

    "We are here because enough is enough. This is 2016. We should not be living like we are in the 50’s or 60’s or even before then," said Richard Wooten, a retired CPD officer and Gathering Point Community Council.

    While the mayor decides, the Department of Justice is continuing its investigation of the Chicago Police; meeting today on the South Side with community residents and retired African American officers who say the department’s structure needs to change.

    "If this department is supposed to be reflective of the people it serve, it certainly is not. We have one area with no black detectives in it. We have some areas where we make up less than 10 percent," Ret. Det. Joseph Moseley said.

    And while some black leaders are recommending Williams for the job, the Chicago City Council Black Caucus says members' minds are not made up.

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