Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the findings of a Department of Justice probe into the Chicago Police Department "sobering," and vowed the troubling issues within the city's policing can be solved.
Emanuel and Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson stood at the side of Attorney General Loretta Lynch as she announced "serious problems," including civil rights violations, found within the department.
Police misconduct will not be tolerated anywhere in this city and those who break the rules will be held accountable for their actions.
"Misconduct not only harms the individuals affected, it damages the reputation of the Chicago Police Department," Emanuel said. "At the same time – it is important to recognize that the incidents of misconduct cited in this report do not represent the values of the city of Chicago - and I believe firmly they do not represent the good work of the vast majority of the men and women of the Chicago Police Department – as the report itself cites."
The highly anticipated report, released just one week before President Barack Obama's presidency comes to an end, revealed landmark findings about the Chicago Police Department aimed at eliciting change as the city battles a cloud of distrust as well as spiking violence.
The report describes a police force whose “unreasonable" use of excessive and deadly force allegedly reflects poor training and oversight, putting citizens and its own officers in danger. Standing beside Chicago’s mayor and police superintendent, Lynch said the Justice Department and city are negotiating over a court-enforced suite of changes called a consent decree.
Emanuel's statements were echoed by Johnson who vowed the department would "do better."
"What the findings in their report say to me is that we need to do a much better job at mentoring, supporting, and training our police officers - it’s what they deserve for putting their lives on the line for us and what the city deserves when we ask for its trust," Johnson said. "Quite simply, as a department, we need to do better. And you have my promise and commitment that we will do better."