Notes from Chicago Police Accountability Task Force Community Forum #2
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Hosted by the Chicago Urban League
at South Shore Cultural Center
2622 W. Jackson Blvd.
Note: these meeting notes are incomplete. If you would like to participate in Smart Chicago’s Documenter program and get paid to complete them, contact us.
These are notes from the second of four community forums across the city to provide residents the opportunity to speak or submit written comments on improving the accountability, oversight and training of Chicago’s police officers.
The Smart Chicago Collaborative had one text documenters (Daniel X. O’Neil), two videographers (Community TV Network, posted soon), and one photographer (Daniel X. O’Neil, under Creative Commons 4.0 license) covering the meeting, which was hosted by the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force.
The Task Force itself also videotaped this meeting — see that here.
Very important disclaimer: this is an unofficial record of proceedings. We are certain that there are errors and omissions in this document. If you see an error, you are free to fix it — this document is editable by anyone with the link. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, contact Smart Chicago here.
The proceedings began at 6PM.
The welcome is conducted by the moderator, Matt.
He speaks of history, a moment of change. The necessity of change. Caring about the future. The protests were necessary. You are here because you care about your city. It is a listening tour and the audience is the star of the show.
Acknowledges dignitaries present:
Acknowledges members of the Police Board:
Explains the format for comments and questions. There will be two categories:
- Speakers: those who want to make a comment or question from the microphone. There are two microphones, with podiums, set up at the front of two rows.
- Non-Speakers: those who want their comment read, but choose not to go to the microphone
He explains that all people will be seated, and moderator will call for the next speaker up and read one of the non-speaker comments while the speaker makes their way to the microphone. Each speaker is given two minutes. This is to give everyone a chance to be heard. One cannot defer any time to another. He speaks of general rules for respect, including not speaking over others, refraining from personal attacks, and so on. He mentions that the proceedings are being videotaped and it will be published to the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force website.
Task Force and Working Groups Overview
Introduction of Lori Lightfoot, Chair: “We believe this is a very important moment for our city”.
She describes five areas of work for the Task Force (as taken from their website):
OFFICER IDENTITY & VIDEO RELEASE POLICIES
How do we provide transparency in a timely fashion while ensuring that investigations are solid so that officers who abuse their authority are held accountable?
We will develop a common sense policy for the release of names of officers and videotape evidence related to serious police actions such as police-involved shootings and deaths in custody.
Sergio Acosta — Lead
How should Chicago police officers de-escalate situations so that they use an array of options and the use of force is not a primary option?
We are examining current Chicago Police Department policies, procedures and practices relating to de-escalation training, techniques, reporting and documentation and comparing them to best practices from around the country.
Alexa James — Lead
COMMUNITY & POLICE RELATIONS
How do we bridge the current gulf in relations between the police and the communities they serve, and instill respectful relations as a policing imperative?
We are reviewing policy, strategy, training and other issues related to community policing. We will recommend ways to develop genuine community engagement, based on understanding and respect. This will include methods to uncover and address bias — both conscious and unconscious.
Randolph Stone — Lead
EARLY INTERVENTION & PERSONNEL CONCERNS
What is the best way to design a personnel management system that identifies, rewards and models exemplary behavior?
Included in these recommendations will be a defined process for flagging problem behaviors and intervening at the earliest possible stage.
Lori E. Lightfoot — Lead
LEGAL OVERSIGHT & ACCOUNTABILITY
What legal infrastructure may be standing in the way of the City’s ability to implement the recommendations designed to bring about real change?
We are analyzing state statutes, collective bargaining agreements, general orders, ordinances and other policies and procedures that might be an impediment to true accountability, and will recommend changes.
Maurice Classen — Lead
Working Groups: “We intend to lay bare some very tough issues. Some very hard truths. Things we haven’t talked about in public before…and then use those as the springboard”
Lightfoot introduces others on the stage:
- Sergio Acosta, Lawyer at Hinshaw & Culbertson: federal prosecutor, state prosecutor, does criminal defense work. Represents working group focusing on video release policy. City has never had such a policy. Scheduled to be completed by March 31. “One of the things we’re balancing is the public’s right to know”.
- Victor B. Dickson, President/CEO of Safer Foundation: they work with individuals with criminal records to seek employment, break the cycle of poverty and recidivism
- Randolph Stone — Professor at University of Chicago Law School. He introduces his sister, the Honorable Marianne Jackson, Circuit Judge, Juvenile Justice Division, Calendar 61. Teaches criminal and juvenile justice at the University of Chicago
- Governor Deval Patrick is in the audience. Former Governor of Massachusetts who serves as a senior advisor to the task force
- Joe Ferguson, Inspector General for City of Chicago. He describes himself as “more of a technical advisor of the task force”. His office is assisting in research. Encourages everyone to check out www.chicagopatf.org He represents working group for legal oversight and accountability
Lori Lightfoot ends by speaking about the fact that there are neighborhoods in our city that are under siege. And we need the police to be successful in those communities. Success is truly engaging the community in a partnership. We believe this is an opportunity for all of us to come together and speak in one voice.
These notes are incomplete. We will be using the video account of this meeting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyBp579HSWQ&list=PLJ75D_m2b5Gt-fxHWKLF_OXQtb_QdUBca&index=2&nohtml5=False to complete these notes. Stay tuned.
Name of person. (pic)
Meeting concludes, x:xx PM