Illinois' attorney general has filed a lawsuit against the city of Chicago in an effort to force changes to the Chicago Police Department.

Joining state Attorney General Lisa Madigan in announcing the lawsuit, was Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, reversing his position on whether the city needs strict federal court oversight to make significant changes in the troubled police department.

The U.S. Department of Justice released a report in January outlining policing patterns and practices that it says often violated the civil rights of residents, including cases of excessive force.

"To combat violence and rebuild trust, we need true police reform and accountability," Madigan continued. "The only way to achieve real, lasting reform is through a consent decree that specifically addresses the problems identified in the Justice Department's report."

Under President Obama, the Justice Department negotiated consent decrees with Cleveland, Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., and other cities mandating police reform.

Since coming into office shortly after the Chicago report was released, the Trump administration has taken a more hands-off approach. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has expressed skepticism of such legally binding efforts to reform departments. Both Sessions and Trump himself have been sharply critical of Chicago's relatively high rate of shootings and homicides, as well as the city's lawsuit against the DOJ to protect its "sanctuary city" status, NPR.org reports.

0 Comments