Chicago Police Routinely Trampled on Civil Rights, Justice Dept. Says

City and federal officials have agreed to a series of reforms the Police Department will make to address the problems detailed in a scathing report.

Comments: 228

  1. No matter how much support police deserve, no matter how difficult and demanding the job of a police officer is, this type of behavior is totally inexcusable. Totally!

  2. By now, I think we all realize that the DOJ, in the current administration, is all about the race issue. It stepped into the political issue with its investigation of the FBI. It is now a political tool of the administration.
    I don't believe anyone can trust this report and its conclusions, or assume that they are objective.

  3. Sure they're objective. Haven't you been listening to all the criticism of the Emanuel administration coming from the DOJ and White House?

  4. It is a war zone in Chicago. Maybe we as a country are asking too much for police force without blemishes. I am sure people will not agree but I Thank God everyday I am not a cop in Chicago. Also, everyone who is going to jump on and say see I told you so please offer a solution to the seven hundred plus murders in Chicago. That's what is always lacking in these justice department reports. Solutions. Anyway, I am not a shill for the police, I just don't know the answer especially when people in the most effected neighborhoods want police to be more aggressive.

  5. Have you considered why it is a "war zone"?

    Chicago / Cook County have systemically driven low-income and government-housed populations out of the most viable portions of our city. They are now pushed to the fringes where public transit is scarce, schools are horrible, jobs are not easy to come by, and police coverage is sparse.

    Perhaps desperation to survive in these conditions (from both the citizens and the cops) has created a bad environment. There is no excuse for cops behavior when it crosses constitutional rights, but I think it is important to contextualize how this situation came to be.

  6. You can quote the numbers all you want. It isn't cops being killed in Chicago. Cops should be seen as heroes to people under fire. Why don't they? You can be aggressive without breaking the law.

  7. Always an excuse, never any personal responsibility.

  8. One of the major concerns about the likely appointment of Senator Sessions to Attorney General is his opposition to this kind of federal investigations of local police. This may be the last one of this kind conducted for at least the next four years.

  9. 768 Chicago citizens who lost their lives last year in a gang infested war zone probably would be grateful if they had more police and more support and fewer witch hunts. It is the Chicago politicians, especially Mayor Rahm, who allowed this slaughter to take place who should be investigated, not the police.

  10. Well you know the mayor could appoint a police chief who defines good policies and hire good police officers? How about that for a change? Why do the citizens elect mayors who appoint police chiefs who allow horrible activities and hire new officers to perpetuate them? You know Chicago has had a democratic mayor for decades? Or are you proposing that cities get rid of police departments and send their money to the federal government to provide local law enforcement? Other countries have a national police? Is that what you want?

  11. Not a single police officer was or will ever be held responsible. Even the cop who murdered LaQuan McDonald on video will never go to jail. The police Dept operates like a criminal enterprise in that they have a culture of silence. They have no standards, and increasingly lack judgement, restraint and logic.

  12. It isn't just Blacks and Latinos who are afraid of and disgusted with the Chicago police. I am an elderly White woman, and my experience with them, even though I called them. They are not helpful, rude and THREATENING. So I am not surprised when they murder people. It is not just "a few bad apples;" it is a culture--a far-right culture.

  13. "it is a culture-- a far-right culture"
    Yeah, I've always heard that about Rahm Emanuel and the leadership in Chicago.

  14. Murderous mayhem on the streets of Chicago is not a "far-right culture," it's a culture of disrespect and dishonesty that goes unchecked by the leftist leaders who represent them. These are not Republican precincts. Chicago needs less Rahm, more Rudy.

  15. I felt similarly when I lived in Chicago. I was, at the time, a young, white mother, living in an affluent neighborhood. I tried to teach my then-toddler to go to police for help, in part by introducing her to police I saw in the neighborhood. The only response I got was a glare or being ignored altogether. That glare I got though - I NEVER approached a Chicago police officer again. I know that not all police officers are like this - but the general attitude was a complete 180 from other cities I've lived in, such as NYC and Boston.

  16. This is classic damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't. This is why regular DOJ civil rights investigations of our nation's police departments and police officers (who, particularly in some of our cities' more dangerous neighborhoods, put their lives at risk to safeguard ours) only have a chilling effect. I will not miss this Administration.

  17. This kind of thinking is based on the completely ludicrous idea that police brutality helps police prevent crime. It doesn't, not even close.

    Look at my fair city of Cleveland. In addition to the Tamir Rice case, there was an unarmed couple killed in a hail of 138 shots, and numerous other cases of brutality that caused the Justice Department to do the same thing to Cleveland's police that they are doing here to Chicago. During that same period, Ariel Castro kidnapped 3 women (2 of them teenage girls) and imprisoned them in his basement for a decade before citizens helped them escape, Anthony Sowell murdered 13 women before he was caught again by citizens and not police, and the Heartless Felons gang had been operating with impunity in many of the city's poorest neighborhoods. Over 50% of murders go completely unsolved, and that's been stretching back well before the DoJ forced changes to how Cleveland police do their job.

    What is actually needed:
    1. Police need to regain the trust of the community they police. That will require the highest integrity on the part of the police.
    2. The community, in turn, will need to help the police by providing information that will help the police find out why crimes are happening and who is committing them.

  18. A "chilling effect" on whom? On the police? I don't disagree that the CPD is tasked with a very difficult assignment, bringing down the homicide rate and defusing gang warfare. But routine excessive force, as alleged here, has a disparate impact on their community. I *want* them to be "chilled" from using "any means necessary" to enforce the law. It also frightens me that I cannot imagine the DOJ under Sessions undertaking any investigation of this sort, period.

  19. Sixty Minutes, the CBS news show, just told us that the crime problem in Chicago is in part because police do not check out as many people as they did in the past. Are the police supposed to just ask them for their autograph, or what? This kind of finding is what leads to the police feeling like they can't win, and I am not sure they can either. People have to start taking responsibility for some of their own actions.

  20. They're supposed to adhere to the Constitution and the oaths they've sworn to uphold. The police are people and need to take responsibility for their actions as well.

    If you feel you cannot win, find a job that does not give you the power to kill, harass or detain people with impunity. Pretty simple.

  21. "People have to start taking responsibility for some of their own actions."

    And that is all people are asking of the police. When there *are* bad actions, take responsibility for them. Identify them and acknowledge them so you can reduce the frequency with which they occur.

  22. As the Police should, take responsibility for their actions.

    Nobody said policing is easy. It's very difficult. But the difficulty of the job doesn't mean that we should excuse the police not performing up to the standards we set for them and that they've agreed to.

  23. Certainly a matter that should be further reviewed and have institutions held accountable but would rather have resources, especially African american leaders; our soon to be former president, rap artists, athletes, BLM movement address the 800+ minority on minority homicides that took place in Chicago in 2016.

  24. No consent decree for Chicago? Rahm Emanuel gets away with it again? Both Baltimore and Chicago should have been placed under consent decrees a long time ago. Emanuel and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake given preferential treatment for their party positions, when other cities would not been given so much leeway. That is outrageous.

    When word of Chicago's true usage of Homan Square was made public by The Guardian, that is when the DOJ should have pushed to get a consent decree, even if Emanuel was to lose his bid for reelection.

    In Baltimore, Marilyn Mosby, who courageously attempted to bring some justice to Freddie Gray, is now under threat of lawsuits. President Obama should pardon her before he leaves office.

    Leaving Chicago with an agreement to do better and a scathing report just isn't good enough.


    Exceptionalism: mass-Incarceration, hunger and a secret police facility

  25. This starts at the top. Rahm Emmanuel needs to resign immediately.

  26. But how is the consent decree going to reduce the number of black-on-black homicides?

  27. By helping to ensure that the Police treat black lives with the respect they deserve. Once that happens, PERHAPS the black lives affected will matter more to themselves.

    That said, the fallacious notion of "black-on-black" homicides (vs. white-on-white homicides or Latin-on-Latin homicides) really has no real relevance to how the Police conduct themselves. It's just a way to obfuscate the wrong done to Blacks by the police.

  28. You are talking apples and oranges. Black on black crime justifies police misconduct in communities of color? Are you saying since some blacks mistreat other blacks that should give police a pass to discriminate against blacks? One problem does not justify the other problem and I have grown tired of the comparison. So white on white crime would justify mistreatment of white people by the police?

  29. Handling violent criminals roughly is not "mistreatment" no matter the race of the cop or the criminal.

  30. For those who say The Black Lives Matter movement just a bunch of whiners out to cause dissent, this report proves them wrong. If not for this movement and people saying enough is enough would any of these issues come to light. For years’ communities of color have been telling us they are not treated fairly by their protectors and we blew them off. We can no longer ignore the pleas of a community for justice. I say Bravo to the youngsters willing to shine a light on this issue. True all lives should matter but black people are saying in the eyes of law enforcement their lives mean less.

  31. Steve - Why isn't the BLM movement out protesting or doing SOMETHING EVERY day in the communities where homicides are out of control; in communities where it seems where "NO LIVES MATTER"

  32. why aren't more folks protesting hate crime? I suspect they will one day but you have to start somewhere.I refuse to tear down a movement still in its infancy.If not for them would we even be having this discussion??

  33. "As you can see from our actions over the past year...."
    Where has the Emanuel administration been previous to last year while this has been happening before the mayor's eyes? It appears that Rahm is once again making sure that he does not "let a serious crisis go to waste".

  34. Where has Mayor Rahm Emanuel been?
    Why isn't he held accountable for his city?
    What a failure he is.

  35. As Ogre writes, he's taken TIF money and shuttered doors of overpopulated Chicago public schools, all to spend elsewhere on a "gentrifying" Chicago elite who want catering and chartered education.

  36. And this is why we need a Justice Department holding law enforcement accountable. Hard to imagine that continuing under Jeff Sessions.

  37. I wish this article had spent time measuring this report vis a vis Chicago's highly concentrated crime problem...if indeed the report makes any recommendations about that.

    Chicago's murder rate might actually be much higher if medical technology had not improved so much meaning that many who would have died before now live.

  38. The police in Chicago are not that different from police in other major cities. Its the political decision to cut off certain neighborhoods from the economic benefit of public monies that has created these so-called war zones. Chunks of the city that the police know have been forgotten. Underfunding, then shutting down public schools; shuttering half the public mental health clinics; diverting public funds, like TIF, from their intended sources to benefit real estate development for the wealthy. The NYT should be highlighting this side of story instead of reveling in the bloodshed like every other news outlet.

  39. So you think the problem is... we're not spending enough money on these people?

  40. The most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago get the lions share of the taxpayers money. Private business won't invest there, with good reason, but the City cant help themselves from throwing good money after bad.

  41. the original post is referring to the withdrawal of services several decades ago as a part of white flight. Services that working class families and poor people paid for (poor people pay a limited tax too) at that time. It was unfair then and its unfair now with greivous consequences.

  42. "Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch also announced
    at the federal courthouse in downtown Chicago detailed steps the city had
    committed to take to remedy the problems."

    Why is Rahm Emanuel even showing his face and running his mouth about this? I guess he's copied Obama's "lead from behind" strategy which seems to work better than any teflon.

  43. Why is this breaking news? I am not surprised at all and I only follow headlines on Chicago.

  44. Chicago just had 4 black men beat a disabled white male and live stream it. That didnt seem to make the breaking news according to The Times then the media wonders why it has a credibility problem?

  45. Scott, Correction: It was 2 black men and 2 black women. Otherwise you are correct.

  46. The media will always have a credibility problem with those who draw the patently false equivalency between a single event of criminal behavior and a routine, systematic pattern of criminal and unconstitutional behavior that had been prevalent for decades.

  47. It most certainly did make the breaking news. It was on the front page of the NYT.

    Its your comment that has a credibility problem. Perhaps you should stop cherrypicking most recent incident that buttresses your preconceived narrative. Try reading articles that cite data collected over a period of time/put individual incidents in the larger context. You know, like this one? I bet you didn't even read it all the way through.

  48. Like this is the problem in Chicago right now. More politically correct policing will equal more people being murdered.

  49. Right now the police are effectively on a work stoppage in Chicago. The bad guys know it and are taking advantage of it. This DOJ finding is going to compound the problem. If there is a person who has violated the law, prosecute them. It is ludicrous to effectively condemn a police force of thousands of officers, most of whom are just trying to go their jobs. Ivory tower people may feel good about this action, but if they think it is going to make things better, I invite them to go to Lawndale tonight at around 3 AM and be part of the real world that need police protection.

  50. The police union, police command authority, and Chicago's political leadership have all had lengthy opportunity to clean house on their own terms. If it truly is a few bad apples and most police truly wish to expel abusive individuals from their ranks, the public has waited more than long enough. The fact that little has happened until very recently with the latter two groups, and the union is still defending the thin blue line of silence, public patience is at an end for good reason.

    The public's lack of confidence in the police accounts for a significant part of the crime problem in Chicago. If people don't trust the police, and the police do nothing to change that, nevermind the possibility that this might be a shameful hidden slowdown in protecting the public until they quit pressuring for improvement in police behavior, then they will have a hard time making any inroads on crime. Creating such a self-fulfilling situation is a mistake. The police know what their job is and the more time they spend faithfully doing it, the less crime there will be.

    The failure to hold virtually any officer individually to account makes every officer accountable at a certain point. That's no one's fault but their own.

  51. Work stoppage because they can't continue their policy of violating minority rights without facing disciplinary action. Fire them and hire capable people.

  52. Recently there was a pew survey which said most cops feel that they are under sieze. May be most of them are watching fox news.

  53. Based on your moniker, you most certainly are okay with the female police officer, in Chicago, that was savagely beaten on October 6, last year.
    She told Chief Johnson, while visiting her at the hospital, "she knew that she should shoot this guy, but she chose not to because she didn’t want her family or the department to go through the scrutiny the next day on national news,”

  54. All police departments must have a culture which places serving the people first. Despite the truly evil elements of society which confront every officer every day, the attitude should be that the people are innocent until proven otherwise. I sense that most departments today view themselves as military organizations confronting an enemy rather that a group of men and women who truly wish to "protect and serve". The emphasis must be on serving the people.

  55. What a world it would be if police thought that way, but they don't.

  56. Nice but naïve. Try working as an urban cop for a week without becoming first, terrified, and then jaded, cynical, head on a swivel, and finding your shoulders creeping up around your ears from stress causing excessive back and neck pain. Being the one (besides ER staff) who routinely see people at their worst and exhibiting their worst behavior does not make for a 'protect and serve' kind of workday mindset. People do stupid things and make messes of their bodies and their lives and those of others. Police can feel like janitors, cleaning up other peoples messes thrown in with a the threat of being shot at, hit, spit on, thrown up on, etc. Their world goes from quiet moments which can transition into chaos within seconds. Hard to relax or have a normal life while waiting for the inevitable call that something has turned to sh*t in a heartbeat and it's your problem now.

    Thankfully, there has been a lull in police shooting civilians. Civilians need to do their part in behaving like responsible citizens, so the police don't have to untwist the wreckage of people who don't care who they hurt in the process of hurting themselves. Lets all step up, do our part, behave and respect each other so we can all stand together some day.

  57. If they are afraid then LEAVE. Get another position. Move to the country and leave the job to someone else.

  58. It has become practice by some of our politicians across the country to profusely compliment police which apparently has given apparent license to kill instead of protect and serve. This must change and police should be held to account for police excesses where it matters rather than giving them a pass.

  59. They have no obligation to "protect and serve". The SCOTUS made sure of that. The only mandate for police is to arrest criminals and collect evidence for prosecution.

  60. Some smart moves from the Obama administration in the final days. Although much of his legacy is in jeopardy, he's laid some groundwork that will not be easily dismantled. We can be thankful for one final push before the dark days of the Trump administration.

    If only Hillary Clinton was about to serve, we'd have additional opportunities to reduce systematic bias.

  61. Bernie would have won, and been so much better than Hillary.

  62. In the 1950s, when I was a suburban high school student working for the summer in Chicago, i became friends with a native Chicago girl. I stayed overnight with her in order to go to a movie and then shop the next day. On the way back to her home from a Friday night movie, she got mixed up about which busses to take and we got lost. I happened to see a policeman, whom I asked for directions, and we arrived home safely. However, when her father heard what had happened, he was visibly shaken and said, "It's not always safe to ask them either." We were/are white.

  63. "It's not always safe to ask them either." We were/are white.
    Racists indeed.

  64. The problems of Chicago are unique to it in some ways. Nonetheless, what happens there takes place within a wider context of state law, the complacency of state legislative leaders, and a largely lapdog press environment that fails in its duty to speak truth to power.

    Thus, Chicago is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to issues with racial legal disparities in Illinois. It's visible, obvious, and large in its own right. Beware what else lies even more hidden beneath the water. While it thankfully doesn't involve murder every day, police in Illinois routinely practice their sordid selectivity about who finds the law breathing down their neck.

    For instance, African-Americans find themselves subject to arrest for cannabis at a rate 8 times higher than the overall population. The state finally passed decrim, but how that's applied still often rests with the judgment of officers, whose historical record on such matters still doesn't inspire confidence. Traffic stop data and other indications show that such disparities remain pervasive in the Chicago suburbs and downstate.

    Much of this, sadly, can be laid at the feet of the man in charge of the IL legislative process for decades, Democrat House Speaker Mike Madigan. Along with his daughter, who quickly found herself state attorney general "naturally" enough, there is a undertow of "don't ask, don't tell" when it comes to abusive police practices. That is why it took the feds to get the first bit of change, very sad.

  65. Leadership starts at the top. The troops take their cues from their leaders/commanders. When our presidents, including and especially Bush/Obama can illegally invade countries, drone-bomb individuals, accept & encourage torture, imprison millions, what are the police going to do? Follow their lead. Accept it, the United States is an extremely violent culture awash in arms at every turn, so how can anyone be surprised when routine violence and the reactions to it is lawless? Until we have more compassionate & lawful leadership at the top we're going to continue down this path of unchecked state oppression.

  66. They don't need more compassion....they need to be in jail.

  67. The Lynch DOJ concluded that the Chicago Police Department has systemically violated civil rights.

    I fear that the Sessions DOJ will take these findings and say "Good job! The Chicago Police Department is a model of how this administration believes law enforcement all over the country should act.

  68. The Chicago Police Department is a model of how this administration believes law enforcement all over the country should act.
    Well, certainly for cities overrun by criminal gangs and their enablers.

  69. A large part of the problem is Emanuel, who fought against releasing the MacDonald video and other records that document police misconduct even as the city shelled out more than a half-billion dollars in a ten years to settle police brutality cases. Absent a brain transplant, it's difficult to see how this can be fixed while he's still in office. He should resign.

  70. Chicago always has been the most racially segregated of any major U.S. city. It still is, and attitudes among the police and the public are swayed by the address where you live. Yes, gang violence especially on the south and west sides is rampant, and there is rampant police abuse and racial prejudice as well. But anyone who thinks this problem is solely driven by race is missing a more important point: these also are the lowest-income neighborhoods in the city and, indeed, in among the poorest urban areas nationwide. They have abysmally low school test scores and among lowest high school graduation rates nationwide. Hope is buried in many of these urban areas as much as it is for the rural folks who voted for Trump. How do you get out? Call me cynical, but somehow I doubt a Trump administration with Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos is going to do much constructive to address those underlying issues. whether in Chicago or in Appalachia!

  71. Little Rahm has much to answer for. He spent enormous energy and political capital on the cover up of the most recent high-profile shooting of an unarmed African American young man last winter. His hedge fund/venture capitalist fueled zeal for privatizing public assets such as education have been lucrative for his pals, catastrophic for the public. Give the man a few more years in office and he will make the city who was glad to see Little Rich Daley say goodbye, feel like they were the good old days. They weren't.

  72. Let's remember something that was revealed after the horrible attack last Summer in which five Dallas police officers were killed terror style by a sniper.

    The chief of police said on several occasions in the aftermath that the Dallas force had benefited from the more modern, community oriented police practices that he helped install with guidance from the Obama justice department. He was grateful for the guidance and help from the feds in shaping a better, more effective style of policing which was evolving in Dallas.

    Police have the hardest job in America.
    They are asked to clean up the mess of bad public policy and the effects of poverty and other social ills that we see in society. I won't get into my opinion on how to solve those ills.
    But suffice it to say the police are asked to step in and make them right somehow. Not doable in many cases because the problems run deep into people's lives for many reasons.

    But shouldn't we support both the police and the often harsh reality of communities they patrol by giving both a framework for maximum trust and helpfulness?
    The police can be a welcome presence if we do better.
    I always welcome them in my community - it's possible.

    Doctors don't put leeches on patients anymore.
    We progress right?

    So, let's progress in how to build strong communities with great cops who bravely serve them. We know from Dallas it can work.

    Best practices are the goal. Jeff Sessions and his 1957 mentality not withstanding!

  73. "Police have the hardest job in America."

    Balderdash. Not even remotely close. They have a relatively safe and easy job. They have a massive lobby that helps them to literally get away with murder. They have very little accountability for any of their actions. They steal money and property for their personal gain via the unconstitutional asset forfeiture laws. And they have millions of people in this country supporting their illegal, immoral and unethical actions because "crime".

  74. Please tell me what improved in Dallas? The police chief said: "the Dallas force had benefited from the more modern, community oriented police practices that he helped install with guidance from the Obama justice department. He was grateful for the guidance and help from the feds in shaping a better, more effective style of policing . . . " This sounds like a sound bite for re-election or a raise or promotion. What is more "efficient"? Is this based on citizen survey? Crime reduction? Crime cases solved? Five offices killed isn't better, but that may be a one time violent act and anomaly - so what is better? They have a "certificate" of compliance from the feds? Oooh - the citizens must gather around every year to admire that certificate of compliance? Seriously please define what improved - I don't follow news in Dallas closely.

  75. It is hard to know what the answers are. Police behavior has, at times, been atrocious. I don't know how anyone watching the Mc Donald tape could see anything other than cold blooded murder as the young man wove down the street, but did not move toward the officers. That said, there are certainly many good cops doing a difficult job day in and day with dedication and commitment.

    Certainly relations with the black and Hispanic communities must be improved. Distrust only aggravates the problem, yet the distrust, based on the behavior of some cops, is certainly understandable - and very hard to turn around.

    While not caused by police behavior, the current uptick in violence on the south and west sides, is certainly made more difficult to work with when citizens are both afraid of gang retaliation and distrustful of law enforcement. My hope is that the CPD leadership will learn from places where improvements have paid off. Each city has its own makeup and unique set of issues, but certainly a better way is out there.

  76. Somehow, this is striking comedy, what with the body count mounting and the police are at fault for that? I mean, homicides are important in police work, (their solving), right? Or, has pandering to paper gods become de rigueur at this moment in time?

  77. Whether deliberately or through ignorance, you are conflating two very different issues chapkoski. One is systemic, institutional police abuse toward citizens that they are sworn to serve and protect. The other is the larger issue of crime in general. And in fact, police misconduct serves to undermine trust in the community toward the police, which is the primary tool in reducing crime in the community.

  78. Really! As opposed to anywhere else? Perhaps the Times should print a special section just listing the names of all the Police Departments in the country that do this.

  79. I fear, nay know, this will be the last of these vital, life-saving police overhauls for the immediate and indefinite future. I weep to think how the Black Lives Matter, civil-rights movement will die on silent streets and against uncaring government failing the appointment of a true justice advocate. Sessions will represent a stunted shadow of the previous officeholders.

  80. why should Washington DC be on the hook for solving Chicago's inner city crime and police problems when the people of Illinois appear not to be concerned by it? not trying to be obtuse but why have Illinois voters not held city leaders accountable?

  81. Numerous other police departments in the country and the world show us that you can have both, crime control and a well disciplined police force. These conditions are not mutually exclusive. Those who complain that the DOJ should have done nothing, should try for two seconds to imagine a day when their loved one is shot in the back while running away from a cop, unarmed. Yes, there have been incidents where police were improperly accused. There were also plenty of incidents where they where plainly wrong and got away with manslaughter. Both are true, there are no absolutes. Camera's and better training protect the community and good cops. Chicago definitely does require a larger police force, it also desperately needs a better one. Maybe now both dreams can begin to be realized.

  82. why are they running away from the cop?

  83. why are they running away from the cop?
    Because the leftist maniacs have hamstrung police to the point that they no longer pursue.

  84. Nothing stops anyone from pursuing anyone. If some unarmed person has some crack on him and tries to run away, you do not get to shoot him in the back. That's not leftist, it's American and it is the law. On the other hand, if the suspect points a deadly weapon at the cop, the officer can certainly do what ever he or she feels they need to. When a criminal has a gun, they then assume the risk of being shot dead. Then it is totally on them. Cameras can help provide investigative and training clarity in many situations, especially as technology improves. Training in de-escalation techniques is good for everyone involved. Officers and specialists trained in these techniques prove that time and time again. Arguing for the status quo is a non- starter. Why would anyone not want to make a reasonable effort to improve the situation and lower the physical and financial risks for everyone?

  85. How is this decision to persecute the police department going to affect the high murder rate in Chicago?
    It will make it worse.

  86. This is unfortunately going to fall on deaf ears
    It affects mostly minorities. Minorities are basically viewed as democrats and the GOP doesn't view them as constituents. Yes there is a racist component to it as well but let's just ignore that for now to keep the arguement simple.

    At this point voters are consciously or subconsciously electing conservatives that protect or embolden policies and people that allow this to happen. I don't think anyone is really uniformed on this issue

    When videos of misconduct arose conservatives replied with blue lives matter refusing to address misconduct. As a result policing has become politicized. Intentional or not they have become a part of this divided American phenomena. The overall trend: abortion/race/religion/gays/taxes: worrisome

    It's sad to watch almost every facet of America become polarized and partisan. Now even out intelligence reports.
    When that happens it's legitimacy loses broad appeal and dysfunction ensues

    At this point I almost willing to just have one party: forcing an end to political divide and conquer

    I view this police report as a reflection of our divided government and nation. If the police were doing this to religious conservatives or some key republican voter block then the GOP would literally defund the police and privatize policing: the behavior would end. Democrats would probably look the other way.
    It's pathetic.
    The race component makes it even deadlier

  87. Rahm Emanuel is the worst.mayor in history. Not only are people being murdered at a horrendous rate but he has done nothing to stop the corruption in the police department. He should resign

  88. This is so frightening. These horrible out-of-control police cultures exist in many cities. I'm afraid of the police after being beaten up by the police in Washington D.C. years ago. I know many many people who are scared of the police.

    Politicians who offer knee-jerk support and compliments of sketchy police departments and officers who are under investigation or suspected of harming or killing people are part of the problem. Horrendous some politicians use pro-police dogwhistling to signal they're happy when people of color are abused or killed.

    Until everyone takes this seriously, including politicians, citizens and local and federal authorities, this isn't going to change.

    This is a pox on this country.

  89. Let me note that the last time that the party now in the White House did not rule Chicago was when Herbert Hoover was in office. (The last time the current WH party did not run Baltimore, another focus in the current "legacy" building, was under Eisenhower). So, if anybody is to blame for what the Chicago or Baltimore police do, see the nearest mirror. BTW, the civil rights issue for me is 762 dead Americans -- and I don't care whether they are white, black, or polka dot -- on the streets of Chicago. My guess is a good number of them are African-Americans afraid to walk the streets of their city. It would be worthwhile if DOJ gets involved in investigating THAT civil rights violation. (Well, it probably will, in about a week).

  90. It is 95% black on black crime. In a neighborhood with corrupt pastors always asking for more money. How's that working?

  91. 600+ murders in Chicago and the DOJ thinks POLICE are the problem? Laughable. The report is pure politics (i.e., "Ignore the 60 years of Democratic policies that created this situation- it's the cops!"). Total head-fake.

    I'm not a big Trump guy, but it's nonsense like this that the middle class is done with.

  92. It's not just the police my friend. It's the entire system of oppression that creates these conditions. Those in power create the environment in which these people live and then wonder why they don't succeed. The DOJ merely pointed one of many interconnected institutions that routinely and systematically destroy your fellow citizens and you could obviously care less.

  93. Yes and what gets people to vote against all of their other self interests.

  94. Rev. William Barber made an observation regarding AG nominee Jeff Sessions a few nights ago while being interviewed on Democracy Now:

    Sessons believes that police abuse of African Americans and other minorities is wholly attributable to individual "bad apples" in these departments. In other words, the incoming AG does not believe in "systemic" discrimination by the police.

    This despite the thorough findings of the Justice Department -- which he will soon be leading -- that in many cases there is systemic discrimination of minorities.

  95. Please explain why these racist police departments seem to be found in cities managed by democratic mayors with African-American police chiefs (well I believe Anthony Batts was African American - I don't think his replacement is). You should welcome a republican administration to hold these democratic strongholds accountable.

  96. drm: Assuming what you say is true, then I would venture a guess that cities that have large minority populations tend to have Democratic mayors because African Americans and other minorities tend to be Democrats. And cities with large minority populations would tend to draw the most attention to police misconduct.

    Your statement regarding "accountability" is unintelligible. The Democratic mayor of Chicago is agreeing with the Justice Department -- currently headed by a Democratic Administration -- to take these measures. Sessions as AG will likely prevent the Justice Department from participating in such efforts.

    Finally, I've taken the liberty of assuming that you mean "Democratic" as in the Democratic party and not "democratic" which refers to the concept of democracy.

  97. Well, that report is a surprise! The culture of silence and violence in the Chicago police department is as old as the department itself. It has never been accountable to citizens and has always operated as a mercenary force in the service of special interests. Any of the "good" recruits are quickly defeated by the culture which ignores all attempts to make it into the modern force for justice that serves all the citizens that taxpayers deserve.

    Perhaps the department is too large and needs to be broken up so the "leaders" of the old culture are less powerful. Perhaps the whole force needs to be exchanged with the force of some other city so individuals have to learn how to be real peace officers in places that aren't so comfortable and accepting of violence. The problems in Chicago are serious, deeply entrenched and not easily solved. Sending the whole department to some kind of "boot camp" or special forces training that shakes up their value systems and re-makes them into officers that can "serve and protect" is about the last resort. Everything about the department needs to change but expecting it to do so with the current leadership and most of the long-serving officers is useless.

  98. So this means the Justice Dept. will pursue charges against Obama friend & Democrat Mayor Rahm Emanuel for civil rights violations, right?

  99. I guess blacks will stop committing violent crimes against other blacks if the police stop enforcing the law. Funny how this is packaged as a boon to blacks when they'll be the main victims of this liberal pander.

  100. systematic discrimination meet systematic obtuseness.

  101. Tell me Dr. Krune, how is systemic police discrimination against minorities, which all parties to this issue have now agreed has been occurring, an instance of police "enforcing the law?"

  102. Here's a clue- It's not just Chicago police.

  103. More Obama Justice Department nonsense. He has basically had BLM in Justice for the last 8 years. Released the same scathing report on the Baltimore police force. Essentially every police force in areas with with major black gangs and violence will be chided for racism and harassing black people. You know, the violence is all their fault. Meanwhile the young black male bodies pile up and up and up and up.... in record increasing numbers. Good riddance to the race hustlers administration.

  104. Hopefully this will be the last gasp from Obama's pro-criminal DO "J". With an incoming DOJ that will at least have some respect of LEOs, we can hopefully turn the tide on the recent rise in urban crime. Of course Chicago is free to follow Obama's lead and maybe break 1000 murders next year.

  105. The more I read about police operations in the US the more it troubles me that how come in a developed country this sort of stuff happens.

    To an outsider this behavior evidences that the police are an armed gang who are only interested in their self-preservation at any cost. Why do there have to be any negotiations? The offending police persons need to be strictly disciplined and adherence to the laws and respect for the public should be demanded... not negotiations that police with make changes etc. The changes have to he IMMEDIATE and former offenders IMMEDIATELY punished.

  106. We need to immediately replace all of the Republicans that have been managing the affairs in Chicago for decades and replace them with Democrats. Only then will we see any progress in this long-standing issue.

  107. The police in Chicago are not perfect. They also have a hard job. They must treat everyone with respect while defending themselves against often disrespectful and sometimes violent criminals.

    The police were found to have targeted Blacks and Hispanics, who together committ 95% of the rapidly rising number of murders in Chicago.

    Not an easy spot to be in.

  108. And where's the report on the 762 homicides Chicago had in 2016? The DOJ is going to release a 161-page report on the 762 homicides as well, right?

  109. Right? Somehow that isn't part of the problem that needs to be addressed. I don't like when the Feds do this. Look at everything. Not the easy target. Half the force must have ptsd in dealing in these "communities" that the likes of Jessie Jackson and others claim to have been helping for the last 40 years. They are worse.

  110. And all of this progress toward police reform will soon hit a brick wall when Sessions becomes AG. Police departments across the country will return to stomping on civil rights with no accountability. Prepare for the iron fist of law enforcement to come back with a vengeance.

  111. Perhaps "progress" wouldn't be so necessary if this historically Democrat run city managed properly in the first place? Don't go blaming an incoming administration for something that hasn't happened yet while giving credit for progress on an issue Democrats in Chicago have neglected for decades.

  112. Actually, you don't know what you're talking about. Just more low information left wing rant.
    In fact, Sessions's actual track record certainly doesn't suggest he's a racist. Quite the opposite, in fact. As a U.S. Attorney he filed several cases to desegregate schools in Alabama. And he also prosecuted Klansman Henry Francis Hays, son of Alabama Klan leader Bennie Hays, for abducting and killing Michael Donald, a black teenager selected at random. Sessions insisted on the death penalty for Hays. When he was later elected the state Attorney General, Sessions followed through and made sure Hays was executed. The successful prosecution of Hays also led to a $7 million civil judgment against the Klan, effectively breaking the back of the KKK in Alabama.

  113. "Crook County," the well researched book chronicles 10 years of the overtly prejudiced "justice" system in Chicago. The problem lies not only with the police, but with prosecutors, public defenders and even judges themselves, who make a mockery of the right to justice of all American citizens. While the Justice Department's moves are welcome, they represent the tip of the iceberg. ALL of the participants in that system should be under scrutiny--and punished for their abandonment of the ideals they supposedly represent.

  114. 40 plus years overdue, welcome, but without an enforced consent decree, religiously monitored, it will be for naught.

    Chicago has the patent on corruption in its Police Department, and City government; its been so for 60 of my nearly 70 years on the planet.

    Until empathy and genuine concern for the welfare and wellbeing of communities, and a reasonable national social program, across America occurs, militarized police departments will be the norm, and we will see a general descent into a kind of policing anarchy.

    America has become an Oligarchy, divided as never before, along class lines, the wealthy raping and pillaging at will, steadily eroding the subsistence like existence of the poor and the middle-class.

  115. Clearly, Mayor Emanuel must step down.

  116. A bastion of the DNC and this? I thought the DNC was all about protecting the down trodden, blah, blah, blah. The same with Baltimore. Looks like the elites really were ignoring those they claim to be protecting.

  117. I am of the opinion that much of this behavior is rationalized by the notion that the streets are full of guns and therefore brutality is justified in order to protect the 'good guys'. Here's a hypothesis I dare America to test:

    If you remove the guns from the streets the police behavior will improve.

  118. So why do the cops oppose gun control laws and support a man like Trump? They seem to like having an excuse to shoot people.

  119. Um...Chicago has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. See how it's reduced their crime rate?

  120. Yes but the guns come in from Indiana (no guns laws), whose border is not far from the south side. Look at a map. It's easy to figure how the guns get in.

  121. Nothing else is possible. Democratic mayors see eliminating rights as being their most important duty. The body count in Chiraq clearly points out how that is working. Disarm the law abiding and wonder why more victims are dying? All part of Rahm's master plan. He's got to be the most incompetent mayor ever. I can hardly wait to see what has been done when his corruption is exposed.

  122. It's a start and likely won't go far. Such a shame. Humans, black, brown, white and all in-between are worth so much more than this small effort.

  123. Obama's interest in criminal justice is one of his best legacies. Its too bad that everything he pursued as president will be relentlessly rooted out by the Republicans.

  124. We need to take guns away from the police. Make them fill out reports for everything they plan to do. They need to respect the criminals to build self-esteem.
    Consequently this will reinforce positive behavior while eliminating bad feelings which cause the crimes in the firs place,

    The thugs and gang-bangers will then kiss and embrace everyone in a huge love-fest to the rythem of snoop-dog puff-daddy.

  125. "With this announcement, we are laying the groundwork for the difficult but necessary work of building a stronger, safer, and more united Chicago for all who call it home,” Ms. Lynch said.

    I've lived in Chicago my entire life, and anyone who views the situation here honestly has to recognize the BIGGEST problem in Chicago is gangs. It's amazing that Obama and his administration has completely ignored this reality, and instead is pretending as if to achieve a safer Chicago all we need is to fix the Police Department. What happened to the notion of personal responsibility?

  126. Both police and gangs. It is astonishing that less than 1% of the complaints to the Chicago Police Board find the officer guilty. Get rid of the bottom 5% and you will see instant improvement in the force.

    Gangs are rampant but that is a separate problem. Police misconduct can be dwelt with internally.

  127. personal responsibility begins with the police, and the government, and that is what appears to be the goal of this investigation; for Chicago PD to take responsibility for its systemic abuse. this personal responsibility argument is based on the faulty premise that the police are only engaging in these abusive tactics as a response to the communities disrespect for law and order. However, it was these aggressive policies and blatant disrespect from police officers that caused individuals to feel disdain for the police. how would you feel if you were strategically stopped everyday on your walk from school and harassed by police officers who you were taught were supposed to be your friends and there to protect you? I really do not see how anyone would not become angry, and distrustful.

  128. Why must it be an either-or proposition? The implication is that until gangs go away or clean up their act police shouldn't be expected to clean up any of their practices.

  129. Everyone shall follow the law, regardless of their position in the community.

    The blue wall culture mixed with white privilege and racism has created an environment where some believe they are above the law.

    Investigate and hold people accountable, wherever the task force investigation may lead. People in the community are watching and waiting to see if their lives matter. ( no matter what their skin color may be )

    The demands are indeed black and white.

  130. Final 2016 Totals
    Shot & Killed: 714
    Shot & Wounded: 3665
    Total Shot: 4379
    Total Homicides: 796

    Chicago is a warzone. The police would be safer in Afghanistan or Iraq.

  131. "police would be safer in Afghanistan"? What a bizarre thing to suggest.
    how many police die in Chicago versus Afghanistan? I guarantee you they would not want to be a police officer in Afghanistan.

  132. Chicago certainly had more than its share of violence.

    But, according to United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq date, in just a six month period in 2015, Baghdad governorate (population of approximately 7 million, or twice that of Chicago) had 6,168 civilian casualties (1,875 killed and 4,293 wounded).

    Thus, even making all assumptions in favor of your argument, Chicago's rate of violent deaths is well less than 45% that of Baghdad's.

    Hyperbole helps nobody.

  133. Police act like they are an occupying army. That's part of the problem.

  134. I am not at all surprised. I lived in Chicago twice, for a total of three years. I went to journalism school there and also worked in Chicago. On different occasions, while covering entertainment events, I saw: (1) Police throw to the ground a young, white male with long blond hair, on the suspicion this male might have had drugs (pot) on him - but he was not searched; (2) One young white woman was tossed out of a Chicago bar without proof (no searching) on the suspicion that she might have had pot on her, because she was dressed like a hippie, so they said. She was an artist, and dressed in artistic clothes. I witnessed both incidents and heard what was saw, saw what was done and not done. Both people were judged and dealt with without any proof whatsoever. I even checked the police log afterwards. No proof. This was in 1982.

    This is how police had dealt with white people who dressed 'like a 'hippie' or an 'artist' or a young male whose hair was mid-back length.

    This is how unconventionally dressed white people were treated. I shuddered to think how minorities were treated. Then and now.

    At the time -- and ever since that time -- every time I read a news story about Chicago involving police action and a minority person, my feeling was this:

    Something is truly rotten in Chicago. We need to fix all this NOW. We are way past time to fix things. But we need to fix it NOW.

  135. And, of course, the Windy City [such an apt name for the city's political issues] has a lurid history of corruption, with many recent examples, and, of course, the Stevenson/Thompson 1982 voting scandal ranking high.

    I was in Evanston at the exit polls: The word on TV that night was that the 'votes got wet.' The 'votes got wet' issue is not in current Google searches about the Thompson/Stevenson election, but I was there, and that was what I heard and saw on TV that night.

    From the Chicago Tribune archives:

  136. Something has been rotten in Chicago for a long time. Remember - this is the city where even the dead vote.

  137. Oh yes, I remember. I was in Chicago in the early 70s and from 1982-1983. We were well-schooled on the Daley Machine.

  138. We need to be very careful here.

    There's little doubt that the Chicago Police Department is sometimes overly aggressive. On a few occasions this has had tragic, even fatal, consequences. Many citizens do not trust the police. This needs to be corrected.

    But there are major problems in Chicago with violent crime, especially gang related. The police are often in danger themselves, and frequently find themselves in untenable positions - between the proverbial rocks and hard places. Officers often have to make life-or-death split second decisions.

    Over 750 people died from violent crime in Chicago in 2016, a 58% increase over the year before. It's likely that some or all of the increase in deaths resulted from police who were afraid to act, since they are now under a spotlight, and since police officers can lose their jobs or face criminal charges if they are retrospectively judged to have erred. Yes, the police must be held accountable, both individually and collectively. But we can't err the other way either, or even more people, many of them innocent, may be victims of violent crime.

    The DOJ and the media should continue to do their jobs. But both must not over do it, and they must not let the hysteria of the mob, whether from the left or the right, take hold. This has very much happened in the recent past, including on the pages of the Times.

  139. The Chicago police are broadly threatening (e.g. they handcuffed my white son and marched him around the block in cuffs, simply because they saw him noting the badge number of an officer whom he felt was using excessive force on a white male friend.) While this was somewhat scary to my son, he knew they really couldn't do anything to him because he has money and connections (including a very large number of lawyers and journalists). That is much of the issue -- the Chicago police have long acted inappropriately to many, but those in privileged positions understand that the threat is minimal because they too hold power. Targets of police action who are less well situated cannot view the situation with the same confidence.

  140. The implications here are that it's the police who are responsible for the outrageous violence that is Chicago.

    It's not the police. It's the residents.

    The Police are doing what they must and I support them

  141. Not at all. The implications are that the police are responsible when the police violate citizens' civil rights, abusing and sometimes killing them.

    When a police officer commits violence against a citizen, are they not responsible for it?

  142. If you think that shooting people in the back as they are running away without a weapon, or tasering a 65 year old woman who is mentally unbalanced is justified, you are part of the problem. I'm not even sure you understand the implications of how the mistreatment of a few vastly affects the greater population, we've been dealing with these effects for centuries- and here we are.

  143. 800 homicides this year ,700 black on black. Street stops down 80% want to bet next year will be close to 1000.Black superintendant with no degree who never passed a promotional exam. was triple merit promoted. same for most of the other big bosses in the city pd. Keep throwin money at em that will do it,

  144. Donald Trump has targeted Chicago for its crime rate and I seriously doubt he has in mind protecting the civil rights of either innocent black and brown residents trapped in the inner city or criminal gangs and drug pushers. Most Americans, but especially those who voted for Trump, would rather hear about safe streets, even in the poorest neighborhoods they may never visit, than more reports about police profiling, brutality and shootings of unarmed citizens of color. Therefore, Trump and his Attorney General will be able to do whatever they think it takes to stop the carnage and get the credit. They will find legal workarounds, we can be sure. In short, Mayor Emanuel will not be asked for his consent to their decrees.

  145. 48% of the Chicago police force is minority. Sounds to more like more black-on-black crime. As much as the NYT wants you to equate police = white, it simply is not true.

  146. Imagine having the audacity to sue the family of a teenager that you have murdered.


  147. There are a couple of maxims in policing within communities. One - you can only police as much as the local citizens will tolerate. Two - you cannot police successfully without the cooperation of the public. In other words, you need some level of compliance by citizens and some level of citizen involvement when compliance is breached in order to police. If you have neither of these, policing is futile or even detrimental. So, in highly disparate cities what can you do? Police have no power to fix disparity. By all reports, relief from disparity is not forthcoming anytime soon. Maybe police should just draw back and perhaps Black Lives Matter could help get out the vote to help work on that disparity.

  148. Policing is a two way street. Imagine yourself to be a police officer in the gangland - where you are shot at, facing Third World levels of criminality, routinely harrassed by the residents and facing total omerta - everyone knows the killers and no one is willing to talk.

    How would you deal with it, if you were a blue collar (white, black) cop?

  149. If police feel that they can't do their jobs lawfully or they are afraid, they can find new jobs. They are not slaves. They are free to leave at any time.

  150. Meanwhile I am living in the actual Third World in China and crime like Chicago is unimaginable here - and I grew up in another Third World city Calcutta for which much the same can be said.

  151. Another keyboard tough guy!

  152. Given the reality of this report (that focuses specifically on Chicago), It is fair to say that some subset of the bad policing policies and police violence exists in large, medium and small cities, towns and communities across the United States (as we all have witnessed).

    Given that the Trump administration has said that they will be rolling-out nationwide the "Stop and Frisk" policing policy that was rejected from use in New York City (because of the racial profiling, disrespect and violence inherent in the method), what expectations should American citizens have going forward? What expectations should the victims of the racial profiling tactic inherent in "Stop and Frisk" have going forward?

    What is this leading to?

  153. So very scary that the police that we rely on can be the the enemy... The local police in my home town not only respond immediately but with compassion and understanding .

  154. Would you expect, the ideological radicals of the Lynch, Obama Justice Department to come to any other findings. They know nothing about policing but are going to write the rules police have to follow. God help Chicago!

  155. So a bunch of pencil pushers in D.C. using their calculators and statistics decided that, based on some numbers, the Chicago police department "TRAMPLED" on Civil Rights?

    How about one of those pencil pushers go for a ride along in Chicago's South Side and tell us about their experience. Maybe then they'll have a new appreciation for the job instead of their stats.

  156. The 13-month investigation did not involve merely use of "calculators and statistics."

    As Attorney General Lynch explained in her statement today, the investigators "conducted hundreds of interviews with citizens, officials, and officers; reviewed thousands of pages of documents; and observed CPD officers on the job."

    In other words, it appears that they did indeed "go for a ride along in Chicago's South Side."

  157. The only way to change things is to vote out the racist democrats who have run the city for decades. This one's on you Rahm and Barak.

  158. Maybe that could happen someday, if the other side ever decided its answer for every police problem wasn't to have them crack down harder on minorities.

  159. JamesT, point taken, perhaps, but if more minorities - for whatever reason - are committing crimes, especially violent crimes, how do you avoid more attention to that segment of the population?

  160. Something different from the 'segment of the population' approach, for starters? As a white male, my 'segment of the population' doesn't seem to be subject to increased stop-and-frisk policies every time a white person commits a violent crime.

    Stop treating our fellow citizens differently because of the color of their skin, and who knows, maybe some mutual respect and cooperation will be allowed to develop over time, which would allow for more effective crime fighting.

  161. My grandfather was a Chicago policeman in the early years of the 20th century. He was tough as nails, but my father said he had nothing but contempt for police who were abusive or dishonest.

  162. Well, let*s get real.

    Police corruption, thuggery and the investigations thereof have been the unending cycle of life for as long as I can remember, and I*m now a woman of mature years and an ex-Noo Yawkuh. We grew up on those movies, and the millions spent by commissions, and as Yogi Berra said so deathlessly, it*s deja vu all over again.

    As far as Chicago goes--what quality of officers do you think want to work in a place like that? The unironically finest don't last long. Where police are respected, you tend to get more respect-worthy cops.

    In the real world, where justice is mostly a tantasy and not an outcome, everyone knows that doing everything by the book often results in the most vulnerable being lost and the worst of the worst doing their worst until they kill each other or get killed by cops, good ones or bad ones. Sometimes--and especially where funds are tight and badly allocated--you get the bad guys by doing bad things yourself.

    You want things to change? Everyone needs to do their part. Not just government and cops and schools. Raise kids badly and bad things will happen, to you, to them, to your community and to your future. That goes for the people who become cops, too, as well as the people they police.

  163. Police all over the world generically abuse rights in the same fashion that many a four year-old toddler will abuse a pet cat or little brother. The tendency for power over others and things to be abused is universal. It is the notion that cops are presumed good fellas always acting in your interests that is the big alarming lie. As a white middle class college educated person from a white New England state I have been seriously abused when interacting with the police, and they got away with it absolutely scot free. The prospects for people in rougher situations are in mind and always have been proportionally more dire. Maybe Hollywood could put out a fresh version of The Grapes of Wrath to perk up the public perception of what's going down when cops deal with citizens.

  164. I don't get it.

    America is already great, the economy is better than its ever been, but crime is caused by a bad economy.

    Black lives matter because having a police officer not brought to justice for killing blacks is egregious. But it's okay that most black on black murders are not solved.

    I don't love Donald Trump's policies but we spend too much time skating around issues to make sure no one's feelings get hurt.

    Parenting has a huge influence on crime. Many people, their fault or not, are unable to provide effective parenting. Let's increase early childhood education to mitigate this from the start.

    I would love for Obama to come back to Chicago and lead a larger effort like My Brother's Keeper to bring a sense of hope and community to these people in need.

  165. Why is this called "breaking news." It is old news confirmed (again). The police uphold (even enforce) the law. Here is Robert Bolt on the sacred importance of the law: "And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned around on you--where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast--man's laws, not God's--and if you cut them down...d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.”
    We need the law and we need purposeful men and women enforcing it as it stands, not as they wish to "flatten" it. A police force, properly trained, can do this. Training police officers is genuine evidence that they are being supported. Most police officers would tell us they are meeting the expectations of their superiors or that those expectations have not been clear. We are asking people to give DJT a chance. Let's also presume that our police officers want to do the right thing. With proper training, they could.

  166. *Lynch has got to go!!

  167. I'm guessing most of those 762 dead, along with all the gun crimes, involve perpetrators and victims who are black, hispanic, and probably gang members.

    I saw the "60 Minutes" episode about this too. It appears that a former 'pro-active' policing model has been abandoned.

    A tendency for the public to either unconditionally praise or demonize the police isn't helping matters. It ensures that both police and civilians feel empowered. Both sides feel entirely justified in their entrenched positions.

    Call in the National Guard and clean house. Both the police departments and the politicians involved with them need an overhaul.

    The new model is to either retreat, and watch everyone shoot each other and innocent bystanders to death, or haphazardly pursue and shoot.

  168. The problem folks is the presence of guns and dire, inter-generational poverty. When you the tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The police are scared for their lives because of the presence of guns, they arm themselves like they are in Iraq on a hostile mission, the fact that they are armed to the hilt gives them a bully complex which they take out on the citizenry.

  169. it is painful to think that Chicago had banned handguns but in 2010 the right-wingers in the Supreme Court decided that "states rights" don't apply when it comes to handguns. The wild west towns of Tombstone, Deadwood, and Dodge City could ban guns but not present-day Chicago. How much less violence would there be in Chicago if possessing a handgun were a punishable crime?

  170. Zero.

  171. Since many of the people possessing handguns already do so illegally (stolen weapon, being on probation, prohibited possessor, etc.) it is quite likely that the actions of the "right-wingers" on SCOTUS as you term them has had negligible effect.

  172. @George S
    Not necessarily, if someone with criminal intent is found to be in possession of a weapon and they are removed from the public and incarcerated, then they are no longer able to commit violent crime. If it worked for Wyatt Earp why wouldn't it work now?

  173. Chicago is the Democratic party running government at its finest. I am glad the Democrats, for the time being, will not be running the country.

  174. The usual mantra about the "vast majority" of good cops versus the "few bad apples" is part of the continuing problem with police behavior. On the force, the so-regarded "good cops" know and tolerate, if they do not condone the actions of, the "bad cops." So how good are the "good cops"? The code of silence makes the "good cops" complicit in the misconduct of the "bad cops." Reform that.

  175. There are just under one million sworn law enforcement officers in the nation, and yet you feel it is acceptable to stereotype an entire profession based on anecdotal evidence of wrongdoing. We'll take that into account when stereotyping who is committing all the violent crime in America (or Chicago).

  176. Apparently, you do not know what the word "stereotyping" means or what is the difference between "anecdotal" and demonstrated "evidence." Now, when you and your supporters down your homework and have more to offer than ideologically driven defenses of the indefensible, perhaps you will be able to make a substantial contribution to this discussion.

  177. You know what I find indefensible? I find mobs dragging people from their cars and beating them, for appearing to be (white) Trump voters indefensible. I find kidnapping and beating a disabled student indefensible. I find brutally beating someone to death indefensible. I guess we just have different values.

  178. The problem in Chicago is the police. Not the gangs, not drugs, its the police.

    How about a little common sense?

  179. Gangs are not a problem??? Recently a gansta thug was videotaped bludgeoning someone to death, and he got away with it. But you don't see that type of behavior as a problem??? People like YOU are the problem.

  180. Policing in today's world is antiquated. Every aspect of policing needs to be revamped.

    Just listen to Broadcastify, Chicago metro. It links to live conversations among CPD officers and dispatchers.

    Based on what I have listened to, a vast majority of the issues today's officers face, and are called upon to resolve include: domestic disputes, individuals with mental health issues, and people who have no qualms about breaking the law.

    Our police have become de facto social workers, arbitrators, negotiators, etc.

    Whenever I have listened to Chicago Police Officers and Dispatchers conversing, I have been struck by their extremely positive and cooperative interactions, even under extreme duress.

    One has to put oneself in the officers footsteps and ponder what it would be like to be a police officer in a city mired by violence.

  181. Color me confused.

    Is this really the priority Chicago residents want to proceed on?

    Is it not common sense that one should be thinking a lot harder about how to deal with a huge spike in homicides and shootings? Instead the police as a group are attacked by the justice department. This makes no sense.

    The outcome of this is very likely counterproductive. Attacks on police have doubled this year. The police will continue to pullback when an army of tut-tutters are wagging their finger at them for any perceived action that might be interpreted as racism or mistreatment. The criminals will likely continue to sense they have free reign and crime will continue to rise.

    Everyone is for more effective training, better accountability, and getting rid of rouge cops. If I was an honest Chicago cop I would feel I am under siege by a group who have highly unrealistic expectations of how policing works.

    If I lived in Chicago I would care a lot more about getting hit by random bullets. This isn't an either/or situation, but if you tie the hands of police so much that they can't be effective, you are making the more serious problem worse.

    If this is what the residents of Chicago want, fine. I just wonder if it really is what they want.

  182. It’s a reminder that law and order applies to the police, too. Every law enforcement agency in a cycle of about every 20 years needs review and reform. Things don’t stand still: as society and our standards changes, policing must change with it.

  183. The usual screaming about black on black crime and how horrible Chicago is.
    According to the FBI, the deadliest city in America is St. Louis, MO. Chicago is No. 24.
    Sheer numbers give Chicago the "wow" factor. It is, after all, the third largest city in America.
    But the police in Chicago in effect walked off the job when their heavy-handed
    enforcement efforts — really, secret torture facilities? — are slammed.
    Police forces rely on the tolerance of their citizenry. A lawless police force breeds contempt. It appears CPD is to blame for much of this sad situation.

  184. WRONG!

    Not sure if you intended to deceive but what the data says is with regard to per capita numbers. A tiny city with 50 murders would rank higher than a city of 1 million with 1,000 murders.

    Do you get that?

  185. St. Louis is a tiny city? Who knew? New Orleans? Kansas City?
    And what problem do you have with the word "rate"?
    And the word "cities"?

  186. And the village of Oak Park, immediately next to one of the most violent Chicago areas, voted in a nonbinding resolution to overturn the second amendment (64% in favor of overturning). What about the rights to not have guns nearby?

  187. Where is it stated that we have the right to prevent our neighbors from owning guns?
    Pretty sure that's not in the constitution.

  188. Please explain why law abiding Americans should sacrifice their constitutional rights, just because a bunch of gang bangers have no respect for the law. It's also worth noting that attempts to impose harsh sentences for criminal possession of a firearm in Chicago/Illinois were met with howls of protest over "mass incarceration".

  189. @ Honeybee: then how do you suggest we control gun violence?

  190. Broken windows approach to policing worked in New York City and elsewhere. Same approach to policing should reduce crime rates in Chicago.

  191. I think everybody is missing the point. When you have big pockets of poverty and a feeling of hopelessness that things will get better, and the only thing you can rely on for protection is a gun, what do you expect. These communities need help to get out of poverty, not more or better policing. My fear is that Trump will see this as an opportunity to declare inner cities like Chicago as war zones and will authorize curfews and military action to keep the peace. Sound familiar?

  192. At least he won't set race relations back 50 years like Obama.

  193. Plentiful poverty im Appalachia, various Chinatowns minus the murders.

  194. You know who comprises poorest and most discriminated against demographic in the US? Seniors. Are seniors mugging, murdering, looting, knifing, and beating others? No. So why is it excusable when others, with MORE opportunities do those things. And US cities are already turning into war zones, so I don't see any problem in "military action" to ensure public safety.

  195. Probably a good thing that we are going to get a new Justice department, one that is not so politically correct. In the mean time we can expect the murder rate in Chicago to continue to skyrocket.

  196. Chicago wins the prize for having the most murders in this country.......obviously this is a city run by crooked politicians and a crooked police force that has to answer to crooked politicians......what a mess.

  197. Look forward to Chicago Police taking yet another step back from intervention. Chicago's socio-political atmosphere is not just toxic, it's a stage three cancer.

  198. Disband the police; violent crime can't get much worse.

  199. There's a bunch of kids riding their bikes on MY lawn. Um,,,could I get that officer's name?

  200. Police misconduct can be found nation-wide and is most prevalent where local authorities are disengaged from or ambivalent about it. When community leaders organize and when the situation becomes most egregious is when calls for change are loudest. Short term reform can be achieved through protests and investigations but enduring change can only be obtained when everyone stays involved and committed to it.

  201. I'm a white male that lives in Chicago. I can't say that I've had any encounters with CPD but one cannot assume that all members of CPD are inherently evil. The problem with Chicago is gang violence and the repercussions that it creates. Gang membership is a necessity for the most impoverished members of the community as they lack economic investment. Shootings are also rampant in these communities and CPD has the impossible task of policing these war zones. I can't possibly fathom maintaining order in these particular areas (the hyper-segregated Hispanic and black communities of the south and west sides). I'm sure this immersion changes the overall dynamic of policing.

    The city needs more investment in these most vulnerable neighborhoods. I also firmly believe that residents need to shoulder some of the responsibility and intervene with susceptible youth.

  202. I had a dear friend who was a police officer in a police force investigated by the Feds for civil rights violations. He and his family said that policing had changed him. He was not as kind or patient. He looked at everyone with suspicion, he bossed his wife and children around, and it enraged him if they didn't do what he said immediately. He also saw some of the worst types of people and situations, day in and day out, with no therapeutic support to help him process and move beyond those moments--constant domestic violence calls, people high on PCP bleeding all over him. I think police abuse is at least partly rooted in the fact that their jobs often have them witnessing the worst in people day after day, so that they no longer see suspects as human. It is critical that they receive better training, mandatory and ongoing therapeutic support, and that violations are swiftly met with expulsion and jail. My heart hurts to see so many black men and women literally, unequivocally murdered and abused by the police with no real justice.

  203. Although it's important to hold our law enforcement agencies to the highest standards, it is equally important to recognize that the agencies and officers of Chicago and many major metropolitan jurisdictions are dealing with criminal activity that can't be dealt with by throwing chocolate chip cookies at perpetrators and suspects. Many of these officers are operating in environments that can be broadly described as war zones.

  204. There's nothing going on here that isn't going on there, too.

    Last week I watched a "First 48" episode that documented a senseless gun battle in a poor Black Atlanta suburb that accidentally killed an 80 year-old grandmother. Two groups of 20-somethings -- wannabee punk gangstas -- argued over drug-dealing turf, and one group started throwing shots at the other. Nobody targeted got hit except an old woman inside her house almost a hundred yards away. She was a pillar of her local community but that did not save her because those groups of wannabee gangsta's didn't care about her or anybody else.

    The root causes are the same: gangsta-rap culture that dehumanizes its denizens and glorifies gun violence; bad schools that produce dropouts or uneducated graduates with no job prospects who join local gangs to survive; and easily available cheap handguns. But it's no different here -- only, here, our cheap handguns come from permissive 2nd Amendment Red states like Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and your Georgia.

    You seem to think that your handguns are a passport to freedom and a guarantor of personal safety. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you couldn't be more wrong. But hang onto your delusions that they are both, and that facilitating criminals easy acquisition of firearms makes you morally superior to the rest of us. It doesn't. But you're oblivious to the actual situation and seem to need that crutch, so by all means keep it.

  205. Fine comment, Steve. But the concept of "bad schools that produce dropouts or uneducated graduates with no job prospects" puzzles me when in fact lots of "bad schools" produce good kids who go on to some vocational training or college and who become solid citizens.

    If hanging out on street corners, selling dope, and toting a gun are what you're interested in beginning at age 13 or so, that's what you'll be doing, and not trying to understand math, write a correct sentence, learn a little history, and practice patience so that you can master whatever you need to.

    Blame the schools if you want -- but both lousy parenting and allowing a gangsta culture to rule a neighborhood and attract young admirers (and even elevating such viciousness as the real black culture) are far more responsible for what is going on.

    Our New York's Senator Moynihan was right when he predicted that no good could come from the having of babies by people too feckless to rear them responsibility or to stop having them. And subsidizing such people's procreating is the height of folly -- generation after generation.

  206. Too many commenters (here and elsewhere) present a false choice:

    (A) Accept police brutality and civil rights abuses; or
    (B) Accept high rates of violent crime.

    But, the two are not mutually exclusive.

    I wish that folks would actually listen to what BLM protesters and supporters have to say. Because, as a listener, the message I am hearing boils down to:

    "Police, we don't want you to disappear or not protect us. To the contrary, we want you to do your jobs and keep and make us feel safe. So,stop the instances of brutality and trampling of civil rights. That way, people will indeed feel and be safe."

  207. It depends on what is trampling civil rights. I live in Chicago. My neighbor hood is mostly white and hispanic. We had 1 homicide in 2016. Are you saying that the police should "stop and frisk" as many people in my neighborhood as they do in an all black neighborhood where they have had 400 homicides because otherwise it's not fair?

  208. I don't think that most view it as an either or proportion. There are activists, however, which one might reasonably includes the DOJ, who refuse to also examine and address criminality and black on black violence. That is as relevant as police misconduct but the Obama administration has persisted in pretending that the two are unrelated and that the latter is either nonexistent or must be ignored,

  209. Is it fair to demand that anti-police brutality activists also 'address criminality and black on black violence,' without also demanding that those advocating for the police to crack down harder on minorities also address police brutality? Why does all the burden have to be on the anti-police brutality activists?

  210. All killings are tragedies, but do we notice that big city cops aren't killing at a greater rate than the national average? This is much needed context I've not read about these past few years. We should be.

    Police in Chicago the last two years have shot and killed roughly 1 person per 300,000 residents. (10 per year with slightly less than 3 million residents.)

    Police nationally the last two years have shot and killed about 1 person per 300,000 residents. (1000 per year with slightly more than 310 million U.S. residents.)

    Chicago police also face 4 to 6 times greater levels of homicidal violence than the national average of 4-5 killings per 100,000.

    Police last year received twice as much gun fire than in 2015, but shot LESS people themselves. 60 Minutes reported last week that Chicago stopped 80% less people in August 2016 than the year before, but homicides increased nearly 60%. There is evidence that police are shooting 4 times less in Chicago (more than 100 shootings in 1974) than today.

    Thus, how can the task force say, “C.P.D’s own data gives validity to the widely held belief the police have no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color.”

  211. How? Because it's politics and designed to fit the false narrative of BLM and others who assert there is a campaign of wholesale murder (by the police) of black males. No matter that the number of blacks killed by the police is a mere fraction of those killed by other blacks - that inconvenient fact must be ignored (ever hear Obama or Lynch or Holder rail against that?) in order to keep the narrative alive.

    No doubt CPD needs improvements - the same likely can be said for ALL of Chicago governance from its corrupt top to bottom. But this "no regard for the sanctity of life" - whatever that may mean in a law enforcement context - is over the top.

  212. Tough town, Chicago. But then, again, so was Manhattan's Lower East Side back-in-the-day.

    Chicago has always been decidedly immigrant but now it's unusually Slavic and East European. Walking the streets, one hears fluent Serbo-Croatian, Polish, Russian. Neighborhoods are named "Greektown", "Ukrainian Village", "Little Village" because Chicago and Chicagoland are an agglomeration of ethnic enclaves cheek-by-jowl. Probably 40% of West Chicagoland's population is Latino, probably more than half undocumented. How did they get here? They motored up from Texas on I-55.

    All these disparate groups arrived from parts of the world already burdened with authoritarian mindsets and they self-segregate. Although "America" is often described as a "melting pot" our little corner is decidedly icy. Not much melts here unlike, say, in Seattle or LA. Add to that social stasis the infamously corrupt "machine" that still dominates local politics, a legacy of "Big Jim" Thompson carried on by the Daley family to the city's utter ruin; dysfunctional city and county governments; "The Outfit" -- Big Al's creature, still very much alive despite Elliot Ness and his successors' efforts to exterminate it root and branch; and a long history of local police complicity and involvement with all of it -- unsurprisingly, "the Chicago Way" often reduces the Constitution to a footnote when not a dead letter.

    That will change only after Chicago itself changes. I don't see that happening anytime soon.

  213. Yeah, police brutality is the number 1 issue in Chicago. The fact that Chicago has more homicides than NYC and LA combined and experienced the largest increase of any municipality in homicides in the nation in 2016, almost 1000 people dead, is not as important.

    In fact, to the liberal, the reason almost 1000 people died last year was 100% due to police brutality, but not due to gang violence, to a culture of killing.

    The NYT really opened my eyes this year with their deep focus on Chicago. I believe the police need to be reformed, but I know now that even with perfect police hundreds of people a year in Chicago will be shot. Until gang violence can be defeated, everything else will be mostly window dressing.

  214. Indiana is the state that's arming the gangs. Get it to change it's gun laws.

  215. Why is this shocking, it is hardly news. This is the same PD that brought us Haymarket and the murder of Fred Hampton in his bed while he was fast asleep.
    This is the long "proud" tradition & legacy of the CPD.

  216. the video says it all. One suggestion - the police involved should deliberately stay in the Camara view. if innocent of wrong doing, it will make it clear who is NOT involved.
    Just like our football players dancing after a touch down, looking directly at the three camara views at 100 yards , knowing exactly where their field of view is, the police officers as well know exactly where the field of view is for their "car cams." like the baller, look into the Camara when you murder people. just don't show us your dance moves. no dancing.

  217. Cops are only the enemy when the victims of crime are limited to being people of color. Once white liberals start becoming victimized we'll see calls for broken window policing, more cops, and stiffer sentencing. But not until then.

    So Chicago needs to burn a little more. Right now the lives being lost don't matter.

  218. Interesting point. If the 70,000 gang members in Chicago (yes, you read that right), brought their business and marched north and west into the Loop and down the Mag-Mile, things would be very different. As it is, most white Chicago residents don't have to care about the gang violence because it takes place "elsewhere."

  219. Over the past year, Chicago police has significantly reduced "excessive force" after the scandal and DOJ investigation.

    Over the past year, the murder rate also skyrocketed in Chicago.

    I understand association doesn't prove causality. But this outcome is as close to a natural experiment as one can get. If it is indeed true that such "excessive force" has been vastly effective in reducing murder rate, do we ask the police to sit back and relax? Or should we ask them to work harder to make the city safer?

  220. Avi,

    I am a resident of the cities far west side. My father is a retired police officer in the suburbs of Chicago and I frequently drive through areas on the West side of Chicago that are prone to gun violence.

    My wheels have been stolen off of my car, parked on a busy-ish road overnight directly in front of my house, and my home has been burglarized. This is all within the slightly over 2 years I've owned my home. I also have multiple friends that work in the CPD, so I'm a firm supporter of police.

    Now that I've gotten my "credentials" out of the way. I think your point is extremely valid. However, the part that you're missing is that the gun violence in Chicago isn't necessarily tied to police practices at all. It has much more to do with the way the gangs in Chicago are organized, or for that matter, are no longer organized in the way that they operate.

    Where in the past, the gangs were tight knit and had leadership, when the housing projects were torn down here, the city spread gang members out to different areas of the city and locked up the leadership. Now, there are few respected individuals to negotiate cease fires and peace between the gangs.

    What used to be a few large gangs are broken down into individual sets that have no real ties to each other. I know this isn't tied to this article per se, but it's important to not encourage police to work harder in a way that the public doesn't lose trust in the officers that serve them.

  221. Avi, you do realize that "excessive force" is in itself a crime, no? So you advocate trading one crime for another, except the crimes you approve of would have the government's imprimatur. You have just made the same argument that many dictators have made when sanctioning death squads to fight gangs and crime -- not to mention their political enemies.

  222. See commentor from Chicago who argues that the Chicago police are effectively on a work stoppage right now. In other words, feeling put upon/criticized/undervalued, they are already sitting back and relaxing. Result: "Over the past year, the murder rate has also skyrocketed in Chicago."

    Do I know whether his hypothesis is correct and yours is not? Nope. But both are equally plausible. And I can think of a couple more that would probably get likes from both sides of the aisle in a newspaper comments section.

    So "as close to a natural experiment as one can get?" Nope. It's messy.

  223. “The systems and policies that fail ordinary citizens also fail the vast majority of Chicago Police Department officers who risk their lives every day to serve and protect the people of Chicago,” said Ms. Lynch, who had raced to complete the investigation before the end of President Obama’s term.

    -- 8 years are not enough. and it happens in his backyard. these are never priority issues.

  224. The good people of the great city of Chicago could have told us this 30 years ago. Back in those days, and until just recently, detainees were tortured and abused by the score. I grew up in the suburbs during the 1960s and had a healthy fear of falling into their hands.

    I personally watched the police riot in Grant Park in 1968, when the cops cracked heads as soon as look at you. I escaped unharmed, but lots of my friends were injured. Messrs. Daley, Emmanuel, and the FOP allowed the police run of the city, and ran interference for them for decades.

    I hope something comes of this, but I doubt it will.

  225. So who wrote this report? O.W. Wilson? Dan Walker? Ask any real Chicagoan who those folks were.

  226. Wow! Who would have guessed? It's good that the Justice Dept. clued us in. Otherwise we would never have known. Of course, in seven days this will all be called "enforcing law and order."

  227. The Chicago police superintendent needs to read a federal report to find out what his police officers are doing? It seems the police have problems and the citizens are busy killing each as homicides continue to increase. Maybe they should start at the top to fix things? Didn't Emanuel choose the police chief? I hope the feds can help. It seems the problem it too big for Rahm.

  228. All the top brass in the CPD are MERIT appointees. If you are friends with an Alderman, you get a merit promotion regardless of your ability to be a police officer or to lead anything.