Chicago police civilian oversight plan passes city council vote 36-13

CHICAGO (WLS) – The Chicago City Council passed an ordinance that creates more civilian oversight of the Chicago Police Department.

The ordinance removed the council’s safety committee on Tuesday night and passed the full council by a vote of 36-13. Now it comes to the mayor’s desk.

The plan is a compromise between the mayor and community groups, and is the subject of heated debate.

The civil war for surveillance began six years ago after the death of Laquan McDonald.

“I think we finally have a mechanism, another tool in the toolbox that will connect the community and the police so that we can reduce clearance rates, we can tackle crime. crime,” said Alderman Rod Sawyer, ward 6.

Outside City Hall, supporters gathered to celebrate with grassroots groups that helped bring the ordinance to fruition. And while they say the plan isn’t perfect, they agree it’s a step in the right direction.

“Finally, we can celebrate this small but powerful step forward,” said Cydney Wallace, Jewish Council on Urbanism.

“There was a saying about Chicago, that Chicago wasn’t ready for reform, today it is,” said District 5 Alderman Leslie Hairston.

However, there was heated debate ahead of the vote about the effect of the new ordinance and what it would actually achieve.

“This ordinance is predicated on the belief that we’re going to empower our community. That we’re going to give them a real seat at the table and give them a real voice, that we have can make our policy system better and we can have a safer city in every neighborhood,” said Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, Ward 35.

“We don’t need police reform, we need family reform, families need to start taking over ownership and custody of their children and protecting their communities,” said Alderman Nick Sposato, ward 38. speak. “We can’t blame the police for everything. We’ve got 11 voiceovers that I see.”

The ordinance creates a seven-member civilian oversight board that will recommend candidates for the positions of police chief and COPA administrator, and has the power to fire the head of COPA. It will also make recommendations on police policy. But the mayor of Chicago retains the power to hire and fire the director of the CPD.

Supporters say the ordinance will help restore public confidence in the CPD. Two former police officers on the council sided with the opposition.

“If we can’t fix the cracks in our Chicago Police Department, we can’t really reshape the future of this city. You know, our department has to be ready to pick it up.” accept that change,” said Alderman Chris Taliaferro, ward 29.

“This acronym isn’t going to make people come and talk to them anymore, what it’s going to do is make the police want to interact a little bit less for fear that everything they do will be recorded on this,” he said. 41st Ward says Alderman Anthony Napolitano, phone in hand.

Mayor Lightfoot said the ordinance won’t solve every problem, but after six years, it’s time for police civilian oversight.

“We’ve made complete progress but there’s still work to be done and none of us can outsource our responsibilities to get it done,” she said.

The seven-member interim committee will begin operating on January 1, 2022. The City Council will nominate 14 people from which the mayor will select seven, which must then be approved by the city council. .

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Huynh Nguyen

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