The monitor overseeing the legally-binding reforms of Chicago’s police department submitted a plan in federal court Thursday, outlining goals and metrics for the department in the next year.
The plan submitted by the court appointed monitor, Maggie Hickey, is part of a legal agreement called a consent decree that came after the U.S. Department of Justice released a damning report in 2017 that said Chicago’s police used “unreasonable” and “unconstitutional’ force, especially against black and Latino residents. The state of Illinois sued the city of Chicago in order to force the consent decree.
Upcoming deadlines set in the consent decree, and reflected in Hickey’s plan, include a July deadline for the department to begin tracking incidents where an officer points a gun at a person. Hickey and her team will then review the data, and make recommendations for how the department should change its policy or training.
By September, the police department will develop a policy that defines the role of police officers assigned to Chicago Public Schools. That policy will also be subject to review by the monitor.
The monitor’s plan for the first year includes a community engagement plan. Sheila Bedi, a lawyer with the MacArthur Justice Center, represents a coalition of community groups that won the right in court to participate in how the consent decree will be monitored and enforced.
Bedi said the strength of the monitoring plan is that it relies on Chicago’s “black and brown communities,” which she said are “most affected by police violence and corruption.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson released a joint statement on the plan that said, “by implementing meaningful, enforceable police reform and investing in South and West side communities that have been systematically overlooked in our city for generations, we can help create a more equitable, safer and stronger Chicago for all.”
Shannon Heffernan is a criminal justice reporter for WBEZ. Follow her @shannon_h.