JESSE L. JACKSON SR.

JESSE L. JACKSON SR.

(GEORGE CURRY MEDIA)—“The community’s lack of trust in C.P.D. (Chicago Police Department) is justified,” so concluded the blistering, in-depth report of the Police Accountability Task Force, set up by Mayor Rahm Emanual after the uproar surrounding the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald.

After a four-month investigation, the task force pulled no punches. “CPD’s own data gives validity to the widely held belief the police have no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color.” It detailed a long pattern of institutionalized racial abuse: unjustified stops, physical abuse, torture, detention without counsel, shootings, and more.

The task force backed its conclusions with data drawn from the CPD’s own files. Blacks, Whites and Hispanics each make up about one-third of the population of Chicago. Yet African Americans constituted three out of every four people that CPD tried to Taser. In addition, 74 percent of the 404 people shot by the Chicago police between 2008 and 2015 were Black.

The Task Force also noted that the system itself was designed to be unaccountable. It singled out police union contracts, urging changes in clauses that “make it easy for officers to lie in official reports,” give officers 24 hours to get their stories right, ban anonymous citizen complaints, and more. The contracts “have essentially turned the code of silence into official policy.”

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