A component of our efforts at the Chicago Justice Project is monitoring and analyzing policy and legislative trends on public safety in Chicago. Our Legislative Agenda for Accountability and Transparency aims to bring about a more just, community-driven, and evidence-based policing and police accountability system in Chicago. A .pdf of the report is attached at the bottom of this post.
Approaching the issues of our current public safety system through legislative change can be effective in achieving these goals. We cannot allow legislators to avoid responsibility for the harm done to our community from policing. Legislators can and should regulate the police.
The importance of this type of research is highlighted in the most recent monitoring report which details the CPD’s compliance with legally binding recommendations given past civil rights abuses. It indicates that only around 52% of recommendations have met just preliminary compliance and about 70% have met any level of compliance. Our legislative priorities were created through an analysis of the Recommendations for Reform by the Police Accountability Task Force, the Department of Justice’s Investigation of the CPD, the Consent Decree, the IACP Recommendations of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, various Independent Monitoring Reports, the Policing Executive Research Forum’s report on Reducing Gun Violence, The Police Response to Homelessness Report, Guiding Principles on Use of Force, and community input. While many recommendations stem from these sources, CJP recommends some additional policies backed by experience and research in tracking the CPD over many years.
Our legislative priorities are organized into the following eight categories: Transparency, Data Collection, Accountability Systems, Methods of Policing, Community Policing, Training, Crisis Intervention, and Use of Force. In total, we analyzed 368 recommendations across 11 sources to compile our 51 total legislative priorities. We also incorporated recommendations from community activist groups. Asterisks preceding a policy (***) indicate that while this policy is encoded and supposed to be enacted, the Independent Monitoring Committee has evaluated that the CPD is not in partial or full compliance with it.
It must be noted that CJP’s legislative priorities are a non-comprehensive list of recommendations, in part dependent on the political climate and immediate community needs, and must be updated given new events, policies, and crises.
Legislative Priorities by Category:
According to the Chicago City Council, the mission of the CPD is to “protect the lives, property, and rights of all people, to maintain order, and to enforce the law impartially” with the “highest degree of ethical behavior and professional conduct at all times”. The City Council and citizens cannot verify if the CPD is in line with these standards and acting ethically without transparency. Similarly, we cannot verify if our existing accountability systems are functioning without proper and thorough reporting of police misconduct. We recommend the following legislative recommendations to improve transparency in Chicago’s policing systems.
CJP’s Police Litigation Ordinance: Ensures that Alderpersons are provided with the facts of the case before voting on police misconduct litigation settlements, mandates that a meeting is held by the Committee on Public Safety on settlements and judgments every month that includes a settlement for city council approval and that the committee holds meetings twice a year solely focused on the CPD and its accountability structure.
CJP: Citizens need access to a full accounting for all money that the CPD obtains from sources that do not come directly from the City’s general operating fund/corporate fund. Additionally, a detailed accounting for how every penny is spent ought to be made public. This means, for example, a public detailed account of how the $281.5 million from COVID-19 relief money was used by the CPD instead of being allocated to COVID-19 relief services. This includes specifying allocations to services and equipment, why these purchases were made, and what functions the equipment or software will be providing.
CJP: The Chicago Police Department should provide a yearly report that details the software and technologies used to collect information about and/or surveil Chicago residents including any contracts with private companies or any third-party vendors. This should include all software, technology, or third-party vendors contracted out as part of the CPD’s surveillance of first amendment activities.
CJP: Each year, the CPD, COPA, and IAD should be required to produce an audit of the data they capture and have access to through other local and national level justice agencies. Each agency should then be required to post all the data they generate to their website withholding only personal identifiers. This data should be updated at a minimum of every month.
Police Accountability Task Force: Require CPD and the police oversight system to release to the public incident-level information on arrests, traffic and investigatory stops, officer weapon use, and disciplinary cases.
***Independent Monitoring Report – 433: CPD will require that officers provide their name and star number, or in the case of non-sworn members other employee-identifying numbers, to any member of the public, upon request. The CPD has not met preliminary compliance with this policy.
Independent Monitoring Report – 508: The City and CPD will undertake best efforts to ensure that all administrative investigation files, disciplinary history card entries, COPA and BIA disciplinary records, and any other disciplinary record or summary of such record, are retained electronically, and indefinitely, for purposes of historical trend analysis, non-disciplinary EIS, and public transparency. COPA has finalized its policy to be in compliance but the CPD has not, failing to meet preliminary compliance.
Data Collection: (6)
Data collection is integral to evaluating policies. Without collecting and making data accessible we cannot determine if policing policies are beneficial or harmful to communities. Data can also help us realize trends and patterns in officer behavior, use of force, histories of misconduct, and more. Essentially, data is key to determining the outcomes of policies and foundational to accountability measures. Without knowledge of violations of procedure, we cannot hold police accountable and prevent future harm from misconduct.
CJP: The Chicago City Council should pass legislation that regulates the weapons that the officers are allowed to carry & requirements that must be followed for the deployment of those weapons each time they are used. Officers should be required to detail each deployment of these weapons, whether the deployment was within CPD policies, and whether the deployment adheres to city, county, state, and federal law. The CPD should provide an annual report to the Chicago City Council each year on every weapon in the CPD’s arsenal.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 157: CPD will collect and analyze information on the use of force by CPD members, including whether and to what extent CPD members use de-escalation techniques in connection with use of force incidents. CPD will use this information to assess whether its policies, training, tactics, and practices meet the goals of this Agreement, reflect best practices, and prevent or reduce the need to use force. The CPD has met preliminary compliance with its new Use of Force Dashboard.
Independent Monitoring Report – 572: CPD will regularly review citywide and district-level data regarding reportable uses of force to: a. assess the relative frequency and type of force used by CPD members against persons in specific demographic categories, including race or ethnicity, gender, age, or perceived or known disability status; and b. identify and address any trends that warrant changes to policy, training, tactics, equipment, or Department practice. The CPD has not met any level of compliance.
Independent Monitoring Report – 576: CPD will conduct random audits of body-worn and in-car camera recordings of incidents that involved civilian interactions to assess whether CPD officers are complying with CPD policy. CPD will take corrective action to address identified instances where CPD officers have not complied with CPD policy as permitted by law, and will identify any trends that warrant changes to policy, training, tactics, equipment, or Department practice. The CPD has not met any level of compliance.
Independent Monitoring Report – 583-596: CPD must collect and provide information to supervisors that enables them to proactively identify at-risk behavior by officers under their command, and to provide individualized interventions and support to address the at-risk behavior through an automated electronic system. The types of events sought to be avoided could include examples such as any instance in which a CPD member is: directly involved in an excessive force incident; subject to a sustained finding in a misconduct investigation; a defendant in a civil lawsuit resulting in an adverse judgment or settlement; suspended more than five days; the subject of a recommendation of employment termination by COPA, BIA, or the Superintendent, etc. The CPD has met only preliminary compliance with measures 583-596.
Independent Monitoring Report – 606: Within 365 days of the Effective Date, CPD will conduct an assessment of CPD’s current information collection mechanisms and data management technology to identify: a. what data CPD currently collects and what additional data needs to be collected; b. the manner of collection; c. the frequency with which each type of data is updated; d. the quality control mechanisms in place; e. what software applications or data systems CPD currently has; f. redundancies or inefficiencies among the applications and systems currently in use; and g. the extent to which the applications and systems currently in use interact with one another effectively. The CPD has not met preliminary compliance.
Accountability Systems: (14)
While knowledge of misconduct and abuses is the first step to holding police accountable, it is ultimately meaningless without the proper procedures to address misconduct. Chicago has one of the most complex local-level police accountability systems in the US but that does not equate to effective or efficient responses to misconduct. We must ensure that accountability systems within the CPD and independent groups like COPA are working transparently and effectively to address misconduct. Similarly, we must ensure that members of policed populations and fellow police officers feel comfortable and safe in reporting misconduct. At the most basic level, Chicagoans deserve redress for harms caused by police misconduct.
CJP: A more transparent and detailed process for affidavit requirements on officer misconduct complaints. Complaints against officers are required to be accompanied by a signed affidavit to be investigated beyond a preliminary stage. Despite an override mechanism if the evidence warranted further investigation, non-affidavit complaints, essentially anonymous complaints, rarely get fully investigated. The ability to make anonymous complaints is important because those who have been harmed by the CPD may feel the need to protect their identity. The omnibus bill HB 3653 eliminated the signed affidavit requirement but it is present in the new collective bargaining agreement.
CJP: Investigative agencies should start investigations whenever they obtain information from any credible source, including media accounts of an incident, information from civil lawsuits alleging police misconduct, and motions to suppress filed in criminal cases based on allegations that an officer failed to comply with constitutional search and seizure requirements.
CJP: Retired CPD officers who have a pension from the CPD must cooperate and give testimony in internal investigations throughout receiving a pension. Failure to participate honestly and openly can result in loss of pensions. CPD officers are currently allowed to retire while under internal investigations and still receive pensions, which encourages them to avoid punishment for themselves and fellow officers by retiring. Retired officers do not currently have a duty to provide testimony or evidence in ongoing investigations of officer misconduct.
CJP: COPA & IAD should produce a detailed report accounting for their use of the override function, the results of override submissions, and the findings in any subsequent investigations. For COPA this should also include an accounting of all the lawsuits filed against the Chicago Police Department and whether any of those lawsuits served as the basis for COPA either seeking an override or opening an investigation. The report should also detail the final results of any override attempts as well any findings from subsequent investigations.
CJP: The CPD, COPA, and the Police Board should produce a report on the Illinois Freedom of Information Act requests they receive each year, the responses they give to each request, and whether or not the request was fulfilled. Included in this report should be a plan by the agency regarding when they will start posting that data to their website to eliminate the need for Chicago residents to submit requests to access this data. This report should also detail every lawsuit filed against each agency related to alleged violations of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. That should include what each agency is being sued for, the disposition of each lawsuit, and any fees the agency has to pay related to violations of the law. The Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety should be mandated to annually audit each agency’s response of FOIA and report to the Chicago City Council.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 437: CPD will expressly prohibit all forms of retaliation, intimidation, coercion, or adverse action against any person who reports misconduct or cooperates with an administrative investigation. The CPD has met preliminary compliance with this policy through General Order G08-05 but has not met secondary compliance.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 444: Within ten days of the final disciplinary decision of each complaint of sexual misconduct against a CPD member alleging conduct against a non-CPD member, the City will provide the Deputy PSIG with the complete administrative investigative file. The Deputy PSIG will analyze each administrative investigative file and will publish an annual report. The Deputy PSIG is currently in full compliance while COPA is working on secondary compliance. The CPD has not yet met preliminary compliance.
Independent Monitoring Report – 456: The City will ensure that the disciplinary histories of current and former CPD members are reviewed prior to employment with COPA, or assignment within BIA or as an Accountability Sergeant. The CPD and COPA have only met preliminary compliance.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 462: A signed complainant affidavit will not be required to conduct a Preliminary investigation. The CPD has only met preliminary compliance, the CPD has not.
Independent Monitoring Report – 471: The City and CPD will ensure that BIA arrives at the investigative findings and recommendations within 180 days of the initiation of the investigation. Any request for an extension of time must be approved in writing by the Chief of BIA or their designee. The City and CPD have only met preliminary compliance.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 478: Within 120 days of the Effective Date, CPD and COPA will each review and revise their policies regarding Preliminary investigations, including Preliminary investigations of anonymous complaints, and the process for seeking an override affidavit in the absence of a signed complainant affidavit. COPA is in preliminary compliance though the CPD is not.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 496: The City and CPD will ensure that interfering with an administrative investigation, including being untruthful in an investigation into misconduct or colluding with other individuals to undermine such an investigation, or intentionally withholding requested evidence or information from an investigator, will result in disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution based on the seriousness of the conduct. Though this may partially constitute a rule 14 violation, the CPD, City, and COPA have only met preliminary compliance due to non-finalized policies or policies that only partially address this measure.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 516: Each sustained finding contained within a CPD member’s disciplinary history will be considered for the purposes of recommending discipline for a subsequent sustained finding for a period of up to five years after the date of the incident or the date on which the violation is discovered, whichever is later. COPA is in preliminary compliance though the CPD is not.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 517: The City, CPD, and COPA will ensure that findings of “Sustained – Violation Noted, No Disciplinary Action”: a. may not be used in any investigation in which the conduct resulted in injury to any person; and b. will only be used for investigations that warrant a sustained finding, but were a result of unintentional violations of policy or law. COPA has met preliminary compliance through their Disciplinary and Remedial Recommendations, though the CPD has not.
Methods of Policing: (5)
The methods of policing section involves recommendations for the procedures and practices of the CPD’s policing. CJP promotes policies that center the protection of the rights, dignity, and safety of the populations being policed. If one of the goals of policing is to protect the constitutional rights of citizens it is especially important to ensure the police force themselves are not invoking harm and rights violations on those they are policing.
CJP: Anjanette Young Ordinance – All CPD raids must include a knock, an announcement, and no less than 30 seconds’ wait to break down a door. Residential search warrants will be limited to between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Body cameras must be on for the entire raid. If children are present while police are executing a search warrant, officers are prohibited from handcuffing them or pointing weapons at them.
CJP: The Chicago City Council should pass legislation regulating the use of search warrants including eliminating the use of no-knock warrants, in all but the most urgent of circumstances. These regulations should be crafted to rein in the rampant misuse of search warrants and the negative impact those warrants have on Chicago families and the relationship between the CPD and Chicago’s communities. The CPD should also produce a report detailing every time they raided the wrong home or business with an audit of each instance to understand if every CPD regulation and city, county, state, and federal law was adhered to when applying for and conducting the search. The Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety should be mandated to audit search warrant use annually and report to the Chicago City Council.
IACP GMU Evidence Assessment Report: Agencies should refrain from using practices such as quotas for traffic or pedestrian stops, tickets, and summonses that are not directly related to improving public safety (such as for generating revenue).
IACP GMU Evidence Assessment Report: Law enforcement agencies should create policies and procedures for policing mass demonstrations that employ a continuum of managed tactical resources that are designed to minimize the appearance of a military operation and avoid using provocative tactics and equipment that undermine civilian trust.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 70: CPD will designate at least one member as an ADA liaison who will coordinate CPD’s efforts to comply with the ADA and: a. regularly review the effectiveness of CPD’s policies and training and report any recommended revisions to the Superintendent; b. serve as a resource to assist CPD members in providing access to police services for individuals with disabilities, and c. act as a liaison between CPD and individuals with disabilities. The CPD has met preliminary compliance through designating an ADA liaison but has not achieved secondary compliance due to lacking policies and codification of the role of the ADA liaison.
Community Policing: (5)
Community policing recently revitalized under Superintendent Brown and Lightfoot is an initiative intended to build trust in the police within Chicago communities. If, under this initiative, officers are supposed to work directly with residents in the community to resolve neighborhood issues, it is strange that we do not hear a lot of input from actual residents on community policing.
In reality, these community policing initiatives are at best symbolic and at worst an attempt for the CPD to maintain legitimacy under the guise of community support. A 12-year study of Chicago’s community policing program, CAPS, revealed no result in meaningful community control over decision-making regarding policing policies and structures. Data collected over months of CAPS meetings in several neighborhoods reveals that the program mobilizes residents, already amenable to police cooperation, to surveillance and report on others in their neighborhoods. In effect, CAPS has built trust with community members who already trusted the police and effectively expanded surveillance against others.
A departure from how community policing has been practiced historically, at CJP we prioritize legislative recommendations that actually give community members more power over policing. We also support policies that cater to the specific needs of the local community to ensure the safety and protection of the rights of policed populations. If the police want to build trust with policed populations they must show a willingness to incorporate community feedback and eagerness to cater to the needs of the communities they patrol.
CAARPR’s Community Control of Police: The creation of a directly-elected all-civilian council with powers including, but not limited to: final authority over police policy, power over disciplinary measures, and full access to investigations by oversight institutions.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 20: CPD will develop and institute a policy prohibiting the transport of individuals with the intent to display or leave them in locations where known rivals or enemies live or congregate. Though the CPD has codified this policy, they have not provided evidence that they are actually following it, failing to meet secondary compliance.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 31: CPD will provide arrestees access to a phone and the ability to make a phone call as soon as practicable upon being taken into custody. The CPD has met preliminary compliance through G06-01-04, but fails to provide evidence that it has been properly implemented.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 35: If a juvenile has been arrested, CPD will notify the juvenile’s parent or guardian as soon as possible. Officers will document in the arrest or incident report attempts to notify a parent or guardian. If a juvenile is subsequently interrogated, CPD policy will require, at a minimum, that: a. Juvenile Miranda Warning will be given to juveniles before any custodial interrogation; b. the public defender’s office may represent and have access to a juvenile during a custodial interrogation, regardless of parent or legal guardian permission; c. CPD officers will make reasonable efforts to ensure a parent or legal guardian is present for a custodial interrogation of a juvenile arrestee under 15 years of age in custody for any felony offense d. juveniles in custody for felony offenses and misdemeanor sex offenses under Article 11 of the Illinois Criminal Code will have their custodial interrogation electronically recorded. This policy is currently codified through S06-04, though there is insufficient evidence that the CPD has finalized and delivered training, failing to meet secondary compliance.
Independent Monitoring Report – 160: CPD will establish and maintain clear channels through which community members can provide input regarding CPD’s use of force policies and propose revisions or additions to those policies. CPD will regularly review the input received, including during the review process. The CPD has not met preliminary compliance.
Police training is meant to teach officers proper conduct. The strategies and underlying philosophies of the strategies taught in training will inform future police conduct so it is important that trainings are being conducted properly. Additionally, with changing policies to strategies of policing, training must be updated so that officers are made aware of and can be held accountable for violations of new policy.
CJP: Regardless of being a non-officer, any individual who goes through homicide investigator training should be able to gain certification. Currently, while any individual can take the required training to become a lead homicide investigator in the state of Illinois, only law enforcement officers can be certified as lead homicide investigators. Additionally, the CPD requires that only certified homicide investigators can, in fact, investigate homicides. In tandem, these requirements mean that only CPD officers can investigate fellow CPD officers for officer-involved deaths. This strengthens the police code of silence by preventing accountability agencies like COPA from investigating officer-involved deaths. To allow investigative agencies to do their intended job of investigating police misconduct, the Chicago City Council ought to allow non-officers to become certified lead homicide investigators.
Independent Monitoring Report – 244: CPD’s training regarding the use of firearms, Tasers, OC devices, impact weapons, and other force options that CPD currently authorizes or may authorize in the future will be consistent with its commitment to de-escalation as a core principle. Any initial training, qualification, or requalification regarding these force options will incorporate scenario-based elements, including scenarios in which officers achieve resolution without employing force. CPD’s training regarding these force options will also provide specific guidance to officers regarding required procedures and techniques after each of these force options are used, including procedures and techniques for limiting a subject’s injuries. The CPD has not met secondary compliance.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 275: Integration of the concepts of procedural justice, de-escalation, impartial policing, and community policing into CPD training, including, but not limited to use of force, weapons training, and Fourth Amendment subjects. The CPD has achieved preliminary compliance through S11-11 but has not reached secondary compliance due to a lack of evidence of continued application of the policy.
Independent Monitoring Report – 329: Officers returning to active duty after taking a leave of absence of a year or more must complete all mandatory training content required as part of the In-Service Training Program that was missed during the previous three years, in addition to the mandatory courses required in the current year. The CPD has not met secondary compliance.
Crisis Intervention: (2)
We have seen on a national and local level that police are often unfit to respond to individuals in crisis. Because your average police officer has not proven to be equipped to respond to individuals in crisis we can shift that responsibility to those with specific training to address their needs.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 106: CPD will require that, when available, at least one Certified CIT Officer will respond to any incident identified as involving an individual in crisis. CIT Officers will continue to be prioritized for dispatch to incidents identified as involving individuals in crisis, as assigned. CPD will review and revise the appropriate policies to ensure that, in situations in which a Certified CIT Officer is not available to respond to a call or incident identified as involving an individual in crisis, the responding officer engages in crisis intervention response techniques, as appropriate and consistent with CPD policy and their training, throughout the incident. Responding officers will document all incidents involving an individual in crisis. The CPD has met preliminary compliance under S04-20 but has not yet achieved secondary compliance due to a lack of updated training for CIT officers.
Independent Monitoring Report – 107: On a quarterly basis, the CPD will collect and analyze the number of calls for service identified as involving individuals in crisis for every watch in each district to evaluate the number of Certified CIT Officers needed to timely respond. The number of Certified CIT Officers on each watch in every district will be driven by the demand for crisis intervention services for the particular watch and district. The CPD has missed the deadline for preliminary compliance.
Use of Force: (7)
While police forces ought to be permitted under certain circumstances to immediately address harm, we have seen an unacceptable frequency and severity of force against policed populations. This is especially true when taking into account factors like race, neighborhood, and socioeconomic status. We must clearly define what type of force is permissible and under which conditions it can be used in legislation. With gray areas in policies surrounding use of force, we risk serious harm to policed populations without the potential for accountability. If a goal of policing is to ensure safety we must promote policies of de-escalation to ensure police themselves are not perpetuating violence.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 175: CPD will require CPD officers to provide life-saving aid to injured persons as soon as it is safe and feasible to do so until medical professionals arrive on the scene. CPD officers must recognize and act upon the duty to intervene on the subject’s behalf when another officer is using excessive force. Though this is covered in CPD policy under GO3-02, the CPD will not meet full compliance until the policy has been sufficiently implemented.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 211: CPD officers must assist subjects exposed to application of an OC device with decontamination and flushing. CPD officers must request the appropriate medical aid for a subject after the discharge of an OC device if the subject appears to be in any physical distress, or complains of injury or aggravation of a pre-existing medical condition. Though the CPD has met preliminary compliance, it must implement this policy through appropriate training to receive the next level of compliance.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 213: CPD officers must not use impact weapons (e.g., baton, asp, improvised impact weapons) to intentionally strike a subject in the head or neck, except when deadly force is justified. Though this has been implemented under G03-02-07, the CPD must provide adequate training and incorporate community feedback to meet secondary compliance.
Independent Monitoring Report – 216: CPD officers must request appropriate medical aid for a subject who experiences an impact weapon strike when the subject appears to be in any physical distress or complains of injury, or when the subject sustained a strike to the head from an impact weapon or a hard, fixed object. CPD officers must render life-saving aid to the subject consistent with the officers’ training until medical professionals arrive on the scene. The CPD must include language that officially obligates officers to provide aid in G03-02 to meet preliminary compliance.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 221: Any CPD member who engages in a reportable use of force must immediately report the incident to OEMC. OEMC is required to notify the involved member’s immediate supervisor and the Watch Operations Lieutenant of the district of occurrence. The CPD lost secondary compliance because of failures to report on use of force during 2020 protests. Training and community engagement is necessary to regain secondary compliance.
*** Independent Monitoring Report – 517: CPD officers are prohibited from using deadly force against fleeing subjects who do not pose an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm to an officer or another person. While the CPD has some new policies that cover this requirement, they have not sought the proper community input to achieve preliminary compliance.