Black Lives Matter, an activist group that wants to defund the Chicago Police Department, and a coalition of other anti-police community groups have won a seat at the table as the city of Chicago and the state attorney general's office hash out a consent decree that would guide police reforms.
The agreement comes on the heels of three lawsuits filed last year against the city, urging Mayor Rahm Emanuel to allow a federal judge to oversee an overhaul of the Police Department in the wake of an Obama administration U.S. Department of Justice report that slammed the department for “excessive force.”
The community groups, a coalition of legal firms and the ACLU of Illinois — all plaintiffs in the pending federal lawsuits — hailed the 10-page agreement, filed in federal court, as a major step in the fight for federal oversight of the Police Department.
Under the agreement, the community groups can provide input as the city and the attorney general’s office continue to negotiate the terms of the consent decree. And once the decree is in place, they can object if it is inadequate or push for enforcement if they believe the Police Department has failed to follow through on its commitments, the Chicago Tribune reports.