Chicago Police

Lightfoot, Chicago Police Unveil New Working Group to Review Use of Force Policies

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago police announced on Monday a new working group to review the department's policies around use of force.

The working group will consist of 20 community members, activists and police officers from across Chicago, Lightfoot said in a City Hall news conference.

They will meet virtually via video conference with members of the Chicago Police Department for the next weeks to "provide feedback, revisions and formal recommendations" for a new use of force policy.

"These 20 diverse community members—ranging from residents, students, experts, lawyers and advocates—will not only review and revise all nine of CPD’s Use of Force policies but also work in partnership with our officers to build a better, safer and stronger Department," Lightfoot said in a statement.

"While we may come from different backgrounds and professions, we are all united in our goal: create better policies and better training for our officers so that we can empower them to addresses situations appropriately and prevent any excessive use of force incidents from ever happening," she continued.

The members of the group include:

• A’Shonti Tiesha McKinney, Crowned Elites LLC
• Aaron Gottlieb, Jane Addams College of Social Work, UIC
• Amika Tendaji, Ujimaa Medics & Black Lives Matter
• Arewa Karen Winters, Justice for Families, The 411 Movement for Pierre Loury
• Chris Taliaferro, Alderman of the 29th Ward, Chairman of the Public Safety Committee
• Cleopatra Watson, United Pullman
• Craig B. Futterman, University of Chicago Law School
• Dr. Waltrina Middleton, Community Renewal Society
• Eric Wilkins, Communities United
• Erin Jones, Citizens Organization of Public Safety Standards
• Ernest Cato III, Chicago Police Department
• Father Larry Dowling, St. Agatha Parish, North Lawndale, CRS Member Church
• Israel Abdul, resident
• La’Rie Suttle, resident
• Mark Clements, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Oppression, and Chicago Torture Justice Center
• Michael Harrington, Network 49
• Mylon Patton, resident
• Nicolette Rivera, resident & community advocate
• Rachel Murphy, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
• Rose Joshua, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Chicago Southside
• Sherilynn Asuoha, Emmaus
• Tanya Watkins, Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL)
• William Nate Sanders, Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL)

At the end of the eight weeks, the group will present its final policy recommendations for review by CPD leadership.

"One of the most important components of our commitment to meaningful reform is ensuring that we provide our community partners with a seat at the table," CPD Supt. David Brown said. "The open and productive dialogue that will take place over the next several months will result in improved use of force policies for officers and residents alike."

The announcement of the new working group came as protests continue across the city and around the world in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

Dozens of demonstrations in recent weeks have drawn thousands of protesters to the streets of Chicago, calling for action to end police brutality and systemic racism.

The new working group comes as several investigations remain open into allegations of Chicago police officers using excessive force.

At least two arrests captured on video have sparked such investigations. One took place on May 31 outside Chicago's Brickyard Mall, with video showing nearly a dozen officers swarming a vehicle and using batons to smash its windows before taking a woman to the ground.

A second incident took place on June 1 in the city's Uptown neighborhood, in which video shows an officer chasing down a protester, shoving him to the ground and punching him multiple times after a demonstration, then striking another officer attempting to intervene.

Chicago's Civilian Office of Police Accountability has said investigations were opened into both incidents, as well as into hundreds of complaints made against officers since the protests began.

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