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Video: Mayor Acknowledges Racism in Chicago Police Department

April 14, 2016  | 

VIDEO: Mayor Acknowledges Racism in Chicago Police Department

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel left open the possibility Wednesday of dismantling the city's police oversight agency and acknowledged that racism is a problem within the police force and other City Hall departments, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Emanuel's remarks came shortly before his appointed Police Accountability Task Force released its recommendations for reforming the Chicago Police Department. The mayor was asked about portions of a draft executive summary of the task force's report the Tribune first reported on Tuesday, including a recommendation to put in place a citywide reconciliation process beginning with the "superintendent publicly acknowledging CPD's history of racial disparity and discrimination."

"I don't really think you need a task force to know we have racism in America, we have racism in Illinois or that there is racism that exists in the city of Chicago and obviously can be in our departments," Emanuel said. "The question isn't, 'Do we have racism?' We do. The question is, 'What are you going to do about it?'"

During the post-City Council meeting news conference, Emanuel walked the line of arguing progress had been made in some areas while acknowledging much more work had to be done in others.

He repeatedly said that he had yet to be briefed by the task force on its report and had not read its findings, but said he would remain open to any recommendations the panel makes. That would include its call for dismantling the Independent Police Review Authority, the civilian-run agency that investigates allegations of officer misconduct.

"People have to have confidence, whether it's IPRA or whatever the entity is that has oversight as it relates to police disciplinary action. That is an essential component to restoring the trust. It's not the only, but it's an essential ingredient," Emanuel said. "Whether it's IPRA or not, the function needs to be there and that's what we're going to strive and get right in that effort."

Comments (15)

Displaying 1 - 15 of 15

Percy @ 4/14/2016 3:13 PM

About 50 years too late.

jojo @ 4/14/2016 4:59 PM

And what exactly is The Mayor basing his comments on? The fake institutional racism they claim exists? The shooting of the guy walking away was unjustified but what proves it was based on race? Just the fact that the guy who got shot was black? So even the guy who died in Baltimore in the back of the booking van was killed because of race? I guess the black officer who they tried to convict just didn't realize he was a racist? Things happen that shouldn't but they are not always based on race. The race baiters and everyone who profits from dividing the country should go away.

OK then @ 4/14/2016 5:08 PM

I am not delusional enough to believe there is no racism but I highly doubt it is as rampant as they are trying to lead us to believe.

Percy @ 4/14/2016 5:22 PM

@ jojo says "And what exactly is The Mayor basing his comments on?"

Probably the fact that there is racism within the CPD.

Just a thought, you see I don't live a life of complete denial of facts.

kevCopAz @ 4/14/2016 5:51 PM

People need top grow up. There is Racism in the USA, yes, in the CPD yeas, in the streets of the minority community against Whites and other minorities YES!. Why is this fact never mentioned. People the world has racism, every country, throughout time has had "racism". This is part of the human existence and always will be. The USA is hands down the least racist country in the entire world and we need to stop those that say otherwise from promoting this lie. Minorities have it better here then any other place on earth. In particular Blacks have progressed here better then anywhere in Africa without a doubt. Hispanics have progressed here as well, otherwise they would be leaving here for Mexico or Canada rather then sneaking into the USA in huge numbers!. This is so much B.S., Blacks, Hispanics, Whites and Asians all have stereotypes and some racism for other "colors", there is no more racism in the White community then in the various minority communities. Grow up folks, see the facts

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 4/14/2016 7:13 PM

Mayor Emanuel is bowing to political pressure from "black thugs matter" and other radical groups. Racism does exist, always will. But for them to say that the Chicago PD has a "history of institutionalized racism" is idiocy.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 4/14/2016 11:02 PM

I feel for all the CPD Officers. People the world over are now going to believe all this crap. It might be worthwhile to look for another LE job in another state.

Leonard @ 4/15/2016 7:43 AM

This seem to be the same story repeated in almost every major police department. CPD, NYPD, San Francisco and others. While I firmly believe that not every individual officer is a racist, they police the communities they serve in a racist manner and statistics show it unequivocally. It's undeniable and no matter what statistic or crime, black and brown are overwhelmingly targeted, or shot or beaten. The institution of policing wants trust....time you started earning it.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 4/15/2016 8:32 AM

The reason that more black folks are arrested and shot is because in these major cities the black folks are committing the majority of the crime. There's no other intelligent way of looking at it.

Chiraq @ 4/15/2016 11:43 AM

When a handpicked group by the mayor creates a report with pre-determined findings, and then the mayor uses these findings to placate a specific group it is no surprise. The problem I have is the talking points were nearly exact between the new superintendent and the mayor at separate press conferences. I would imagine I could hire a handpicked group of experts to say the opposite of this report and sound plausible based on their surveys and research. Black and Brown as Leornard put it, are possibly being targeted due to the crime in the black and brown neighborhoods being conducted by black and brown individuals in their own neighborhoods. White drug addicts going to black and brown neighborhoods are also being targeted as well. Police go where the crime is. I am very concerned with this country if we continue to believe the hype being spewed.

Robert @ 4/15/2016 1:13 PM

This board seems to lose the distinction between racism and public service.
A citizen can be is basically legal, unless you serve the public; however, even then your 1st amendment rights to march around in white pointed hats is fully protected.
However, once you accept the taxpayers are in a different class. You have to play by different rules....and you are open to criticism when you don't meet the standard.
As stated on this board, are the majority of the CPD
Here is an example, which should be the standard.
IF a single CPD officer in a room of 12 CPD officers makes a racist joke or comment; I as a taxpayer expect that the other 11 admonish that person on his views / speech.
IF that does not happen, either because the other 11 hold similar views OR just another example of the "blue line of silence"...there is a problem with all 12 LEOs.
You can substitute religion, sex, ethnic origin or other in the above example!

Percy @ 4/15/2016 2:59 PM

Delivered like a well-placed baton blow, the report states that the Chicago Police Department'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."

Now boys and girls even though the reporter on this story is Ray Sanchez and this is CNN the stats do come directly from the CPD. I think I know how many of you will bother to read the article now that a story here from the FOP disputes the whole thing.

Main takeaways

1. Blacks are shot at alarming rates.

2. City has a sad history of false arrests and wrongful convictions.

3. Those sworn to protect instead often mistreat.

4. Many cops view people of color as perps.

5. Combating racial bias is not a department priority.

6. There is no accountability.

7. Police stops make matters worse.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 4/15/2016 10:44 PM

Percy, so you're against traffic stops of blacks?

Percy @ 4/15/2016 11:36 PM

@SES says "Percy, so you're against traffic stops of blacks?"

So that and only that is all you took from my comments and the story on CNN?

Looks like you're #1 of those who couldn't be bothered to read the story.
Maybe you should wait and see if it comes out in cartoon form.

OK then @ 4/16/2016 6:58 AM

The belief that people of color are targets merely for their shade is a popular myth. Statistical speaking neighborhood that are dicer (for a lack of a better PC word) tend to have higher concerntrations of people of color. Neighborhoods w/ higher crime rates are targeted more for obvious reasons and as a result it appears that the cops are "hunting" minorities.

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