WBEZ | Department of Justice http://www.wbez.org/tags/department-justice Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Emanuel: Chicago's Law Department to Be Reviewed http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-chicagos-law-department-be-reviewed-114415 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_742326828917.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p dir="ltr">Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday that there will be an outside review of the Federal Civil Rights Litigation division of the city&rsquo;s law department.</p><p dir="ltr">The announcement follows a city attorney&rsquo;s resignation for concealing evidence in a police shooting case. It also comes just two days after the mayor said there was no need for the justice department to investigate.</p><p dir="ltr">A judge ruled that city lawyer Jordan Marsh knowingly concealed evidence and made misleading comments in a lawsuit over a fatal police shooting in 2011.</p><p dir="ltr">Emanuel told reporters twice this week that there&rsquo;s &ldquo;zero tolerance&rdquo; for what Marsh did. But Emanuel&rsquo;s position on the next steps for the law department have changed over the course of the week. On Tuesday, Emanuel said it wasn&rsquo;t necessary for the Department of Justice to add the city&rsquo;s Law Department to its current investigation into the Chicago police department.</p><p dir="ltr">Thursday, he switched it up. Emanuel now says if federal investigators showed up he&rsquo;d &ldquo;cooperate&rdquo; with them. But he didn&rsquo;t call for them himself.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I, as mayor, don&rsquo;t direct the justice department,&rdquo; Emanuel said.</p><p dir="ltr">He also added that the city&rsquo;s corporation counsel will soon release details about a &ldquo;third party&rdquo; investigation into the Federal Civil Rights Litigation division of the Law Department.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Steve Patton in quick order is gonna have a third party -- independent entity -- look at that division, make sure everybody&rsquo;s clear about the professional standards,&rdquo; Emanuel said.</p><p dir="ltr">Emanuel&rsquo;s changing position mirrors other public comments he&rsquo;s made since the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video. At first, Emanuel said the Justice Department did not need to investigate the Chicago Police Department, but then later said he would welcome them. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Thursday&rsquo;s comments came at the ribbon cutting for the new Malcolm X College campus on the West Side - one of two good news press conferences Emanuel has attended this week, which has become a rarity for the mayor lately. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Emanuel was asked if this was part of an effort to score points or reclaim trust in the African American community, a point the mayor disputed.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Today, you know, the building is done, so you traditionally cut a ribbon. It&rsquo;s not about me earning points, it&rsquo;s about making sure the kids of Chicago...the students..they&rsquo;re earning a good paying job and a good career.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">On Tuesday, Emanuel announced the expansion of the Chicago Transit Authority&rsquo;s Second Chance program, which helps ex-offenders find employment and job training. He invited long-time congressmen Bobby Rush and Danny Davis, African American leaders who are well respected in their communities.</p><p dir="ltr">But Davis said he didn&rsquo;t feel used, especially since this was a program he was passionate about.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;In politics,&rdquo; Davis said. &ldquo;You make use of every opportunity.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian covers Chicago politics for WBEZ &nbsp;Follow her<a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian"> @laurenchooljian</a>.</em></p></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 07 Jan 2016 15:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-chicagos-law-department-be-reviewed-114415 Justice Dept., Ferguson Nearing Agreement On Better Policing http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-12-30/justice-dept-ferguson-nearing-agreement-better-policing-114319 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/1217_ferguson-624x415.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_98157"><p><img alt="Demonstrators, marking the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown, protest along West Florrisant Street on August 10, 2015 in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on August 9, 2014. His death sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and drew nationwide focus on police treatment of black suspects. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2015/12/1217_ferguson-624x415.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="Demonstrators, marking the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown, protest along West Florrisant Street on August 10, 2015 in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on August 9, 2014. His death sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and drew nationwide focus on police treatment of black suspects. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)" /></p><p>Negotiations between the Department of Justice and the city of Ferguson, Missouri over policing improvements following the death of Michael Brown last year are &ldquo;productive,&rdquo; according to DOJ officials, and there&rsquo;s hope an agreement could soon be released publicly. City officials are reportedly objecting to the cost of a federal monitor to oversee better training and record-keeping in the Ferguson police department.</p></div><p><a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/12/17/ferguson-doj-negotiations" target="_blank"><em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s</em></a>&nbsp;Eric Westervelt talks with&nbsp;Tory Russell, co-founder of&nbsp;Hands Up United, the protest group that was formed after Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer. Russell discusses his reaction to the news and whether activists have had a voice in the process.</p></p> Thu, 17 Dec 2015 15:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-12-30/justice-dept-ferguson-nearing-agreement-better-policing-114319 Retired Black Chicago Police Want Hiring Halt http://www.wbez.org/news/retired-black-chicago-police-want-hiring-halt-114204 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/6310071171_4b3fe6b551_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A group of retired black&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Police officers are calling for the department to halt promotions and hiring until federal authorities complete an investigation launched in the wake of the Laquan McDonald shooting.</p><p>At a news conference Thursday, the retired officers joined the ranks of those who have been voicing distrust of leaders including Mayor Rahm Emanuel since last month&#39;s release of the video of the McDonald shooting.</p><p>Retired officer Richard Wooten says that to bring about the reforms people are demanding, African-Americans must be given something they&#39;ve long been denied: a fair shot at joining the department and climbing through the ranks.</p><p>Similar complaints have been raised for years.&nbsp;</p><p>But Wooten says he and others believe now is the time to affect change while the federal<a href="https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.wbez.org/programs/takeaway/2015-12-08/department-justice-will-conduct-wide-ranging-investigation-chicago-pd&amp;sa=U&amp;ved=0ahUKEwij9oHQzOPJAhXj5YMKHZS3ACkQFggFMAA&amp;client=internal-uds-cse&amp;usg=AFQjCNHS0QkC3KyY7jhizkZjSZK9-xpPSQ" target="_blank"> Department of Justice is investigating&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Police.</a></p></p> Thu, 17 Dec 2015 12:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/retired-black-chicago-police-want-hiring-halt-114204 Federal Investigation into Chicago Police Department Begins http://www.wbez.org/news/federal-investigation-chicago-police-department-begins-114180 <p><div><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_343647857407.jpg" style="height: 430px; width: 620px;" title="In this Dec. 7, 2015 file photo, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, right, and U.S. Attorney in Chicago Zachary Fardon speak at a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington about an investigation of the Chicago Police Department. Federal officials are meeting with Chicago police Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, as the U.S. Department of Justice launches a civil rights probe triggered by the shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)" /></div><p>CHICAGO&nbsp;(AP) &mdash; A federal civil rights investigation that will look at one of the nation&#39;s largest police departments began in earnest Wednesday, with&nbsp;Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;top officer saying Department of Justice agents were expected to sit down with top Chicago&nbsp;police brass.</p><p>Interim Superintendent John Escalante told a city council hearing Tuesday police are entering uncharted territory as they prepare to answer inquiries. &quot;We have not been through anything like this before,&quot; he said.</p><p>The following is a news guide to what brought about the investigation, where things stand and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-08/what-happens-doj-investigations-police-departments-114095" target="_blank">how it could play out</a>:</p><p><strong>THE ANNOUNCEMENT</strong></p><p>U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch <a href="https://soundcloud.com/morningshiftwbez/ag-loretta-lynch-announces-doj-probe-into-cpd-practices" target="_blank">announced the investigation </a>Dec. 7 amid protests over the release of a video of the 2014 fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald by white <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/jason-van-dyke" target="_blank">Officer Jason Van Dyke</a>, who is charged with murder.</p><p>Chicago&nbsp;joins a long list of other police departments that have been looked at, and the DOJ has opened 23 since the start of the Obama administration, its website says. Among those are Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, where the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in 2014 prompted months of protests. A few investigations were closed without a finding of constitutional violations.</p><p><strong>FIRST STEPS</strong></p><p>Based in part on how such investigations have unfolded in elsewhere cities, Wednesday&#39;s meetings are most likely get-acquainted sessions. There&#39;s no rush: Investigations of far smaller departments have taken more than a year to finish, and it&#39;s likely the one into&nbsp;Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;12,000-officer force will be the same.</p><p>The head of the&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;police union, Dean Angelo, told WTTW-TV he already met with the U.S. assistant attorney general for the civil rights division, Vanita Gupta, who leads the investigation. Angelo described it as an informal, off-the-record talk, and said he conveyed that the union wanted to &quot;help facilitate the moving parts of the investigation.&quot;</p><p>While staff from the Justice&#39;s Department&#39;s civil rights division takes the leads the investigation, the U.S. Attorney&#39;s Office in&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;will provide support. Federal officials say they won&#39;t provide updates as the investigation goes along.</p><p><strong>INTERVIEWEES</strong></p><p>Over coming months, investigators will talk to everyone from beat cops to city leaders, which is likely to include Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Investigators will even <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-10/cpd-sergeant-what-it%E2%80%99s-be-cop-these-days-114123">ride along with officers on patrol</a> and observe how they interact with area residents.</p><p>They&#39;ll also go through thousands of police records.</p><p>A key component is also community outreach &mdash; talking with families of&nbsp;Chicago residents shot by officers, likely setting up a hotline and email for tips and holding town hall meetings to get direct feedback from the public.</p><p><strong>THE SCOPE</strong></p><p>One reason a civil rights investigation takes so long compared to criminal investigations: It is vast. The DOJ will scrutinize&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;police from top to bottom as agents try to determine if there&#39;s something systemic in how the department works that leads to patterns of abuse that violated citizens&#39; rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.</p><p>Among the many questions federal investigators will answer in a final report: Is there racial bias in the use of force by officers? Are abuses widespread or are isolated to a few rogue officers? And do systems that are supposed to hold officers accountable actually work?</p><p><strong>END RESULT</strong></p><p>The investigation comes first, followed by a publicly released report. Then,&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;and the DOJ will endeavor to hammer out a reform road map to bring about change that sticks.</p><p>Most of the time, cities enter agreements voluntarily, the DOJ said. But sometimes, the sides disagree on critical provisions and must fight it out in court.</p></p> Wed, 16 Dec 2015 13:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/federal-investigation-chicago-police-department-begins-114180 Black Lawmakers Call for Broader Federal Probe http://www.wbez.org/news/black-lawmakers-call-broader-federal-probe-114100 <p><p>CHICAGO (AP) &mdash; Several black Illinois lawmakers are asking the U.S. Department of Justice to expand its investigation of the&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Police Department to include the Cook County State&#39;s Attorney&#39;s Office and the civilian agency that investigates officer misconduct.</p><p>State Sen. Kimberly Lightford is chairwoman of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. She said Tuesday that problems in&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;go beyond the police department.</p><p>The&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Democrat says &quot;only an outside investigation&quot; that includes the prosecutor&#39;s office and the Independent Police Review Authority can restore the public&#39;s trust in law enforcement.</p><p>Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Monday her office is opening an investigation into racial disparities and the use of force by&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;police. The announcement followed the release of a video showing a white&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;officer fatally shooting a black teen 16 times, a video that sparked days of protests.</p></p> Tue, 08 Dec 2015 13:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/black-lawmakers-call-broader-federal-probe-114100 Morning Shift: December 8, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-08/morning-shift-december-8-2015-114099 <p><p>Over the past couple of weeks, Chicago law enforcement has been in the national spotlight &mdash; and Monday that spotlight got a bit hotter when Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the Department of Justice will be investigating the Chicago Police Department. Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed a new head to the Independent Police Review Authority, the agency that investigates police complaints and misconduct. We get a better sense of what happens <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-08/what-happens-doj-investigations-police-departments-114095">when the Federal government investigates a big city police department</a>, and whether those investigations result in long-term changes.</p><p>And in the wake of the Laquan McDonald video, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-08/new-videos-police-involved-deaths-released-114098">two more videos</a> depicting police using deadly force were released to the public. We talk to two reporters about those newly released police videos, and what happens in them.</p><p>Plus we get an update on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-08/world-leaders-enter-second-week-climate-talks-paris-114094">COP21</a>, the climate conference happening in Paris.</p></p> Tue, 08 Dec 2015 12:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-08/morning-shift-december-8-2015-114099 What happens in DOJ investigations of police departments? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-08/what-happens-doj-investigations-police-departments-114095 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_256042194714.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>With years of allegations of excessive force, biased policing and unconstitutional practices leveled at the Chicago Police Department, it&rsquo;s a wonder the Department of Justice hadn&rsquo;t stepped in like it has in cities big and small from New Orleans and LA to Easton Pennsylvania and Beacon New York.</p><p>That changed Monday when U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the Department of Justice is <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-07/attorney-general-lynch-announces-doj-probe-cpd-practices-114071">opening up an investigation into the Chicago Police Department</a>.</p><p>So what exactly happens during these so-called &ldquo;pattern-or-practice&rdquo; investigations? And when they are complete, do departments really change? Here to tackle those questions is <a href="https://twitter.com/StephenRushin?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Stephen Rushin</a>, assistant professor at the University of Alabama, and an expert on Department of Justice examinations of American police departments.&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 08 Dec 2015 12:16:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-08/what-happens-doj-investigations-police-departments-114095 The Department of Justice Will Conduct a Wide-Ranging Investigation of the Chicago PD http://www.wbez.org/programs/takeaway/2015-12-08/department-justice-will-conduct-wide-ranging-investigation-chicago-pd <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/chicago-pd.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_main/public/story/images/chicago-pd.jpg?itok=akgfRtXw" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy (R) returns a salute to an unnamed recruit during a recruitment graduation ceremony in Chicago, Illinois on April 21, 2014. Chicago's police chief was ousted on December 1, 2015 following days of unrest over video footage showing the shooting of a black teenager and the filing of murder charges against a white police officer in the young man's death. (Jim Young/Reuters)" /></p><p>&quot;The Department of Justice is committed to upholding the highest standards of law enforcement throughout the United States,&quot; Attorney General Loretta Lynch said. &quot;Today, I am announcing that the Department of Justice has opened an investigation into whether the Chicago Police Department has engaged in a pattern or practice of violations of the Constitution or federal law.&quot;</p><p>The DOJ&#39;s announcement comes on the heels of widespread outcry over the Chicago Police Department&#39;s handling of the Laquan McDonald case. In 2014, 17-year-old McDonald was shot by police 16 times in 15 seconds.</p><p>At the time of the incident in October 2014, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was looking ahead to a hotly-contested re-election in February 2015, which he would later win in a run-off in April.</p><p dir="ltr">A week after the runoff, the city of Chicago agreed to a $5 million settlement with McDonald&#39;s family, which included a clause to keep video footage of the shooting confidential.</p><p>The timing of the confidentiality agreement has raised questions about a cover-up. Last month, a judge ordered that the video of the shooting be released, but there are also other allegations swirling that Chicago police&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-cop-shooting-laquan-mcdonald-met-20151127-story.html" target="_blank">intentionally deleted other video footage</a>&nbsp;that may have been key to the case.</p><p>&ldquo;We understand that the same systems that fail community members also fail conscientious officers by creating mistrust between law enforcement and the citizens they are sworn to serve and protect,&rdquo; Lynch told reporters on Monday. &nbsp;</p><p>In examining that comment made by Lynch, Rob Wildeboer, senior editor for WBEZ Chicago, says it&rsquo;s important to read between the lines.</p><p>&ldquo;I think Attorney General Loretta Lynch makes a really interesting point that has been borne out by data released recently by the Chicago Police Department,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;[Data show&nbsp;that] the vast majority of officers are good officers, and a small number of them rack up a huge percentage of the complaints against officers. The probe by the federal government is going to go at something that has long been a problem in Chicago, which is police discipline and a lack of oversight and transparency in that discipline system.&rdquo;</p><p>Though the McDonald case has triggered this investigation, Wildeboer says the DOJ review will go much deeper than one incident.</p><p>&ldquo;This investigation is not just going to focus on one case,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not just about Laquan McDonald and how he was shot down. The city released several police reports this past weekend, and there were five officers that kind of all gave the same narrative about how Laquan McDonald was attacking officers, and that when he was shot and down on the ground, how he was still trying to get up and trying to attack officers. That provides, on paper, a justification for why police shot him. But it&rsquo;s a narrative that just isn&rsquo;t borne out by the video that we&rsquo;ve seen.&rdquo;</p><p>In addition to examining the McDonald case, Wildeboer says the DOJ will investigate inconsistencies that have come to light in a number of other cases.</p><p>&ldquo;We have an agency called the Independent Police Review authority &mdash; they investigate incidents of police shootings,&rdquo; says Wildeboer. &ldquo;Out of 400 investigations in the last eight years, they&rsquo;ve found only two police shootings unjustified &mdash; the rest were all [deemed] good shootings. I think this Department of Justice Investigation is going to take a look back at that and provide some serious oversight, which has been lacking for decades in Chicago.&rdquo;</p><p>Last week, Emanuel said a potential DOJ investigation would be misguided, but he reversed course on Monday, saying that welcomed today&rsquo;s announcement.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s way too late for him to be proactive in this,&rdquo; says Wildeboer. &ldquo;He is reacting to this all over the place. At this point, Attorney General Lynch can say she&rsquo;s looking to cooperate with local folks, but she doesn&rsquo;t need their cooperation &mdash; at this point they have jurisdiction to come in and look at police practices. If the city of Chicago doesn&rsquo;t agree to do what the Justice Department thinks they ought to do, then they can just go in front of a federal court that can enforce the changes that the Justice Department wants to implement.&rdquo;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-12-08/department-justice-will-conduct-wide-ranging-investigation-chicago-pd" target="_blank"><em>via The Takeaway</em></a></p></p> Tue, 08 Dec 2015 09:31:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/takeaway/2015-12-08/department-justice-will-conduct-wide-ranging-investigation-chicago-pd Morning Shift: December 7, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-07/morning-shift-december-7-2015-114072 <p><p>Guns, violence, sex and a dash of humor are some of the ingredients of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-07/wbez-listener-film-critics-review-spike-lee%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98chiraq%E2%80%99-114069">Spike Lee&rsquo;s new film Chiraq</a>, which opened this past weekend. The film took in just over $1 million, putting it at the number 13 spot. We sent three Morning Shift listeners to see the movie and they join us to give their critique.</p><p>The violence depicted in the film is an all too real experience for many young African Americans, which is part of the reason a recent study shows they&rsquo;re the<a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-07/life-expectancy-young-african-americans-114068"> least optimistic about living past the age of 35</a>. 50 percent of young African Americans think they&rsquo;ll be dead after that age. We check in with the co-author of the study to find out what other factors are behind that pessimism.</p><p>Plus we have live coverage of a Attorney General Loretta Lynch announcing a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-07/attorney-general-lynch-announces-doj-probe-cpd-practices-114071">Department of Justice probe into the practices of the Chicago Police Department</a>.</p></p> Mon, 07 Dec 2015 12:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-07/morning-shift-december-7-2015-114072 Attorney General Lynch announces DOJ probe into CPD practices http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-07/attorney-general-lynch-announces-doj-probe-cpd-practices-114071 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/lynch AP Jose Luis Magana.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WBEZ broadcasted the live news conference by US Attorney General Loretta Lynch announcing a Department of Justice Civil Rights Investigation into the Chicago Police Department. The move comes in the wake of the October 2014 police shooting of 17-year-old African American Laquan McDonald and the subsequent release of a dash cam video showing the incident. The calls for a Justice Department probe began with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Last week she wrote a letter to Lynch asking the Department to determine whether CPD violated the Constitution and federal law. Since then, the calls have increased: US Senator Dick Durbin called for an investigation, as did Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. And Sunday, Durbin&rsquo;s Republican colleague US Senator Mark Kirk said in a statement that the Justice Department should hold anyone involved in wrongdoing accountable.&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 07 Dec 2015 11:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-07/attorney-general-lynch-announces-doj-probe-cpd-practices-114071