GAPA – What is This Ordinance All About?

The Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability (GAPA) is an association of multiple community based organizations working together on issues of police accountability in Chicago. The group came together after the release video showing the murder of Laquan McDonald by Jason Van Dyke. GAPA’s main focus has been the creation of a community commission that would provide communities with a vehicle for a direct role in overseeing practices and polices of the Chicago Police Department (CPD). Read an OpEd I wrote on this issue in Crain’s Chicago Business here. In the summer of 2017 as Mayor Emanuel was working with other justice system stakeholders, including CJP, to create the Citizen Office of Police Accountability and the Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety, GAPA was pushing the Mayor to not pass his version of the commission so they had time to work with their communities to come up with a more robust version. Unfortunately for GAPA despite candidate Lightfoot’s rhetoric about the need to pass GAPA she has made sure that the ordinance did not pass. In fact, Lightfoot has come out publicly and stated that she will be putting her own version out soon despite the fact that the community organizations that drafted GAPA have been working with the Mayor’s office for more than two years before Lightfoot was even elected. In today’s show we discuss in detail the content of the community commission ordinance with Demond Yancy from GAPA.

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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