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Report May Confirm Worst Fears About Chicago Police

According to a report released by a special task force, police in Chicago have “no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color.”

The panel, established by Mayor Rahm Emanuel late last year, found that the department does little to remove problem officers from the force. The panel also discovered that routine encounters unnecessarily turn deadly.

Fear and a lack of trust in law enforcement among people of color is justified, according to the group. It cited data that revealed that 74 percent of the hundreds of people shot by officers in recent years were African Americans, despite Blacks accounting for just 33 percent of the city’s population.

“Reform is possible if there is a will and a commitment,” the report said. “But change must start with an acknowledgment of Chicago policing’s ‘sad history.'”

The task force highlighted examples that spanned generations, including the 1969 murder of Black Panther Fred Hampton, allegations of torture from the 1970s to the 1990s under former commander Jon Burge and the controversial stop-and-frisk practices of the early 2000s.

In a summary of the report, the Task Force on Police accountability recommended replacing the independent review authority that current investigates departmental misconduct with a “new and fully transparent and accountable Civilian Police Investigative Agency.”

The panel also recommended creating the post of deputy chief of diversity and inclusion. No word yet on what the city will do with the proposed changes to the department.