Backers of a long-shot proposal to give an elected board power to investigate and fire Chicago police officers threatened last week to force a vote on their idea, resurfacing a third option into an ongoing debate about civilian oversight of city police.
The Civilian Police Accountability Commission ordinance has been languishing in a City Council committee since summer 2016, and it almost certainly lacks the aldermanic support to approach the 26 votes needed to pass the 50-member body.
Still, Northwest Side Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, 35th, said Thursday he intends to use a parliamentary procedure to bring it to aldermen for an up-or-down vote. He said he was prompted to act when the mayor’s hand-picked Public Safety Committee chairman, Northwest Side Ald. Ariel Reboyras, 30th, introduced his own police oversight ordinances. Ramirez-Rosa called them inadequate.
Members of the Civilian Police Accountability Commission that Ramirez-Rosa supports would be elected from each of the city’s 22 police districts. They’d have their own staffs and the power to investigate police misconduct. Findings could be referred to federal grand juries for possible criminal indictments against police officers, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The full board could fire officers and would hire the Police Department superintendent. It would replace most of the city bureaucracy currently in place to oversee the Police Department.