The results of a survey published Monday found that public perceptions of the Chicago Police Department vary widely across racial and ethnic demographics, with “Black Chicagoans experiencing and perceiving the CPD much more negatively” than members of other racial groups, officials said.
The survey was commissioned by the city's Independent Monitoring Team, a task force set up to assess compliance with the city’s Consent Decree. The Consent Decree was agreed to by state and local officials to help ensure that the Chicago Police Department “fully complies with the Constitution and laws of the United States and the state of Illinois.”
The findings of the survey will be used to “assess CPD’s relationship with Chicago community members and identify areas of improvement for future engagement,” according to a press release.
The survey was conducted between Nov. 2019 and Feb. 20, and features responses from 1,053 randomly selected Chicagoans over the age of 18. Officials say the survey also solicited responses from 346 randomly selected Black men between the ages of 18 and 25, the age group with the most police contact.
According to the survey, 34% of young Black men say that their relationship with CPD is either “bad” or “very bad,” compared to 13% of Chicago residents as a whole. Twenty-seven of Black Chicagoans would classify their relationship with CPD in that way, with 10% of Latinos and 4% of white Chicagoans saying that their community’s relationship with the department fits into one of those categories.
While 59% of Chicagoans say that they respect CPD “a lot” or “completely” in their neighborhoods, 28% of young Black men would say the same, according to the survey.
A total of 53% of Chicagoans say the CPD is “trustworthy” or “very trustworthy,” while 30% of Black Chicagoans and 24% of young Black men would say the same.
Twenty-nine percent of respondents say they believe the CPD does a “good” or “very good” job at holding police officers accountable, and 26% of respondents said that they were “confident” or “very confident” that Chicago police would examine complaints of police misconduct thoroughly.
The survey also examined how many Chicago residents have been stopped by CPD officers in the last year, as well as the percentage of residents who feel that they are fairly treated by officers.
The monitoring team says the survey results indicate that “CPD has serious work ahead to gain the trust and confidence of Chicagoans,” and that “significant organizational changes are needed” to help root out discrimination.
The group recommends that the CPD improve its training of officers, and that the department should take additional steps to hold officers “accountable for their behavior.”
The group also says that the survey is a “starting point,” and that another survey will be conducted in 2021.