Exploring CPD’s Response to George Floyd Protests

floydThe Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) response to the George Floyd protests turn out to be chaotic, unorganized, and under prepared. This comes from a review of the CPD”s response from a report recently released by the Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety (DPSIG), Deborah Witzburg.

Floyd was murdered on a Monday and despite spreading protests around the country and open source intelligence (social media) CPD Superintendent Brown and other officials within the CPD failed to realize the scale of the protests and unrest Chicago would experience during the upcoming weekend and over the next several weeks.

The Minneapolis police’s murder of George Floyd was the spark that the powder keg of job insecurity, housing insecurity, and health insecurity that the pandemic brought on was waiting for. Despite this Superintendent Brown and other officials completely discounted the intelligence despite the fact that other police agencies like the Illinois State Police and Cook County Sheriff’s Office reviewed the same intelligence and knew the response to what happened to George Floyd was not going to be good.

The report also talks about the massive disorganization throughout the ranks within the CPD. They were unclear about the tactics that had been authorized and what general orders were in affect and guiding their actions. According to the report this led to massive numbers of protestors being arrested for no reason or released from custody when they should have been held and prosecuted.

The report also details a massive under reporting of the use of force by officers throughout the first 10 days of protests and unrest. Anyone paying attention to local TV news or what was streaming on social media could easily find uses of force that greatly out numbered those officially reported by officers.

Despite all of this the Mayor, Superintendent Brown, and the President of the Chicago Police Board Ghian Foreman to hold a press conference on Saturday morning after the first night of protests and praise the actions of officers. The report by the DPSIG shows just how poorly things within the CPD actually went on the first night of protests responding to the murder of Floyd.

Today our guest is Deborha Witzburg, Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety. She will be discussing her recent report that takes a closer look at the Chicago Police Department’s response to George Floyd protests.

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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