Laquan McDonald

Chicago NAACP Chapters Call for Investigation Into IPRA After Release of Laquan McDonald Video

Two local chapters plan to file a complaint about IPRA to the Department of Justice concerning the organization's relationship with the Chicago Police Department

Local chapters of the NAACP called for a formal investigation into Chicago's Independent Police Review Authority Wednesday following the release of the dash-cam video showing the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald.

After McDonald was shot 16 times by Officer Jason Van Dyke in October 2014, the shooting incident was first investigated by IPRA, which investigates all Chicago police-involved shootings. On Tuesday, more than a year after the shooting, Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder. Later the same day, the dash-cam video was released to the public.

At a press conference Wednesday, Rose Joshua, president of the NAACP South Side Chicago chapter, decried the relationship between IPRA and the Chicago Police Department and said the "marriage" between the two organizations leads to skewed data that favors police officers instead over victims.

"What do we want the mayor to do?" Joshua asked. "To be involved and to be amenable to looking at the ordinance that authorizes IPRA to exist, and to be willing to amend areas of the ordinance that should be amended because of the fact that it is ... pro-police." 

Joshua said her NAACP chapter and the one on Chicago's West Side plan to file a complaint with the Department of Justice concerning IPRA and the information it shares with the police department.

The two NAACP chapters also planned a demonstration at City Hall next week to push for reform in the police department. The demonstration is scheduled to begin at noon on Monday. 

Several Chicago residents and activists on social media called for the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday. Other officials attacked Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, and the City Council's Black Caucus called for the firing of Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy in the wake of the dash-cam video's release. Joshua said, however, that the NAACP does not necessarily blame any one official, instead pointing to a larger "systemic" problem.

"Our problem is not so much the superintendent," Joshua said. "I don't have the information to make that statement that he should be removed. Police shootings in Chicago, and let's be very clear, were happening before he became the superintendent. I think the community needs to work on the systemic problem we have and the responsibility that IPRA has in investigating cases."

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