A federal investigation into the Chicago police found that officers engage “in a pattern or practice of use of excessive force,” part of larger, ingrained failures in how the department trains officers and reviews misconduct, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced Friday.
The Justice Department released a 164-page report elaborating on how police officers in the country’s third-biggest city use force.
The report is the culmination of a 13-month investigation into the Chicago PD.
Federal investigators excoriated the department and city officials alike for what they called “systemic deficiencies.” They said their inquiry found that the Chicago police force did not provide officers with proper guidance for using force, did not properly investigate improper uses of force and did not hold officers accountable for such incidents. Investigators also faulted the city’s methods of handling officer discipline, saying that process “lacks integrity,” the Washington Post reports.
Vanita Gupta, head of the department’s Civil Rights Division, said that Chicago officers were found to have shot people who posed no immediate threat and shocked people with Tasers simply for not following verbal commands.
Gupta faulted the department for inadequate training, saying it used decades-old videos that provided guidance inconsistent with current law and even the department’s own policies. She also described Chicago’s accountability system as “broken,” with officers rarely being held accountable for their misdeeds.