Reform Monitor to Review Chicago Police Protest Response

An independent monitor overseeing the progress of reform of the Chicago Police Department said Friday that she will investigate allegations that officers have been violent toward people protesting the killing of George Floyd.

Several Chicago officers came under scrutiny this week after a video showed them pulling two women from a car and throwing them to the ground. Two officers have lost their police powers while the incident is investigated, the department said.

Authorities also are reviewing a separate video that shows an officer chasing and punching a protester last week.

Independent Monitor Maggie Hickey announced her plans during a court hearing after she received a letter from activists in Chicago requesting an investigation.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability said it had received 344 complaints by Friday morning alleging police conduct, mostly related to the protests or unrest but also including allegations that officers covered their name tags or turned off body cameras.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement Friday that she supported Hickey's plan.

“Just as the overwhelming majority of protests remained peaceful this week, the vast majority of officers followed their training and supervisor direction during these difficult times,” Lightfoot said. "Nonetheless, we will continue to vigorously investigate all reports of excessive force arising from this week.”

Separately, the president of the Chicago Police Board, which determines discipline against officers, said he was struck by police on Sunday while they clashed with protesters. Ghian Foreman, who is black, said he was not protesting.

"I am choosing not to discuss the specifics of my encounter or dwell on how it occurred," Foreman said. “It is more important to focus on how it could have been avoided and how aggressive police confrontations can be avoided moving forward.”

Protests have kicked off in cities across the U.S. since Floyd’s May 25 death. The handcuffed black man died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into Floyd’s neck as he pleaded for air, even after he stopped moving.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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