Investigation of the Chicago Police Department
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
United States Attorneys Office
Northern District of Illinois
January 13, 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. Chicago, Illinois 16
B. Chicago Police Department
C. Chicagos Accountability Systems
D. Historical Background of Reform in Chicago
E. Federal Involvement in Chicago 20
F. Investigation of the Chicago Police Department
II. CPD ENGAGES IN A PATTERN OR PRACTICE OF UNCONSTITUTIONAL
USE OF FORCE
A. CPD Uses Deadly Force in Violation of the Fourth Amendment and Department Policy
B. CPD Uses Less-Lethal Force in Violation of the Fourth Amendment and
C. Video Evidence Suggests a Broader Pattern or Practice of Unconstitutional Use of
D. CPD Does Not Effectively Use Crisis Intervention Techniques to Reduce the Need for Force 37
E. CPDs Failure to Accurately Document and Meaningfully Review Officers Use of Force Perpetuates a Pattern of Unreasonable Force 41
F. CPDs New De-escalation Training and Proposed Policy Revisions Should be
Expanded and Sustained
III. CHICAGOS DEFICIENT ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS CONTRIBUTE TO
CPDS PATTERN OR PRACTICE OF UNCONSTITUTIONAL CONDUCT
A. Chicagos Systems for Investigating Police Conduct 48
B. The City Has Put in Place Policies and Practices that Impede the Investigation of Officer Misconduct
C. Investigations That CPD Does Conduct Are Neither Complete Nor Fair
D. Insufficient Staffing Contributes to IPRAs Investigative Deficiencies 71
E. Investigations Lack Timely Resolutions, Undermining the Quality of Investigations and Credibility of the Process
F. CPD and the City Do Not Take Sufficient Steps to Prevent Officers
from Deliberately Concealing Misconduct 74
G. The Citys Discipline System Lacks Integrity and Does Not Effectively Deter Misconduct 80
H. Chicagos Police Board 84
I. The Citys Police Accountability Ordinance and Similar Efforts to Correct the Problems Our Investigation Identified 92
IV. CPD DOES NOT PROVIDE OFFICERS WITH SUFFICIENT DIRECTION,
SUPERVISION, OR SUPPORT TO ENSURE LAWFUL AND EFFECTIVE
A. Training 93
C. Officer Wellness and Safety
D. Data Collection and Transparency 124
V. CPD MUST BETTER SUPPORT AND INCENTIVIZE POLICING THAT IS LAWFUL AND RESTORES TRUST AMONG CHICAGOS MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES
A. CPDs Move to Restore True Community Policing Will Be Difficult But Is
B. CPD Must Change Practices to Restore Trust and Ensure Lawful Policing
C. A Trust-Building, Community-Focused Approach to Policing Will Better Promote Lawful Policing and Public Safety
A. Use of Force 151
B. Accountability 154
C. Training 156
E. Officer Wellness and Safety
F. Data Collection and Transparency 158
H. Community Policing
On December 7, 2015, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section, and the United States Attorneys Office for the Northern District of Illinois, jointly initiated an investigation of the City of Chicagos Police Department (CPD) and the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA). This investigation was undertaken to determine whether the Chicago Police Department is engaging in a pattern or practice of unlawful conduct and, if so, what systemic deficiencies or practices within CPD, IPRA, and the City might be facilitating or causing this pattern or practice.
Our investigation assessed CPDs use of force, including deadly force, and addressed CPD policies, training, reporting, investigation, and review related to officer use of force. The investigation further addressed CPDs and IPRAs systems of accountability both as they relate to officer use of force and officer misconduct, including the intake, investigation, and review of allegations of officer misconduct, and the imposition of discipline or other corrective action. We also investigated racial, ethnic, or other disparities in CPDs force and accountability practices, and assessed how those disparities inform the breakdown in community trust.
We opened this investigation pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. 14141 (Section 14141), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d (Title VI), and the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 3789d (Safe Streets Act). Section 14141 prohibits law enforcement agencies from engaging in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution or laws of the United States. Title VI and its implementing regulations and the Safe Streets Act prohibit law enforcement practices that have a disparate impact based on protected status, such as race or ethnicity, unless these practices are necessary to achieve legitimate, non-discriminatory objectives.
This investigation was initiated as Chicago grappled with the aftermath of the release of a video showing a white police officer fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald. This aftermath included protests, murder charges for the involved officer, and the resignation of Chicagos police superintendent. The McDonald incident was widely viewed as a tipping pointigniting longstanding concerns about CPD officers use of force, and the Citys systems for detecting and correcting the unlawful use of force. Over the year-plus since release of that video, and while we have been conducting this investigation, Chicago experienced a surge in shootings and homicides. The reasons for this spike are broadly debated and inarguably complex. But on two points there is little debate. First, for decades, certain neighborhoods on Chicagos South and West Sides have been disproportionately ravaged by gun violence. Those same neighborhoods have borne the brunt of the recent surge of violence. And second, for Chicago to find solutionsshort- and long-term for making those neighborhoods safe, it is imperative that the City rebuild trust between CPD and the people it serves, particularly in these communities. The City and CPD acknowledge that this trust has been broken, despite the diligent efforts and brave actions of countless CPD officers. It has been broken by systems that have allowed CPD officers who violate the law to escape accountability. This breach in trust has in turn eroded CPDs ability to effectively
prevent crime; in other words, trust and effectiveness in combating violent crime are inextricably intertwined.
The aim of this investigation was to conduct a thorough, independent, and fair assessment of CPDs and IPRAs practices. To accomplish this goal, we relied on several sources of information.
First, we reviewed thousands of pages of documents provided to us by CPD, IPRA, and the City, including policies, procedures, training plans, Department orders and memos, internal and external reports, and more. We also obtained access to the Citys entire misconduct complaint database and data from all reports filled out following officers use of force. From there, we reviewed a randomized, representative sample of force reports and investigative files for incidents that occurred between January 2011 and April 2016, as well as additional incident reports and investigations. Overall, we reviewed over 170 officer-involved shooting investigations, and documents related to over 425 incidents of less-lethal force.
We also spent extensive time in Chicagoover 300 person-daysmeeting with community members and City officials, and interviewing current and former CPD officers and IPRA investigators. In addition to speaking with the Superintendent and other CPD leadership, we met with the command staff of several specialized units, divisions, and departments. We toured CPDs training facilities and observed training programs. We also visited each of Chicagos 22 police districts, where we addressed roll call, spoke with command staff and officers, and conducted over 60 ride-alongs with officers. We met several times with Chicagos officer union, Lodge No. 7 of the Fraternal Order of Police, as well as the sergeants, lieutenants, and captains unions. All told, we heard from over 340 individual CPD members, and 23 members of IPRAs staff. Our findings were also significantly informed by our conversations with members of the Chicago community. We met with over ninety community organizations, including non-profits, advocacy and legal organizations, and faith-based groups focused on a wide range of issues. We participated in several community forums in different neighborhoods throughout Chicago where we heard directly from the family members of individuals who were killed by CPD officers and others who shared their insights and experiences. We also met with several local researchers, academics, and lawyers who have studied CPD extensively for decades. Most importantly, however, we heard directly from individuals who live and work throughout the City about their interactions with CPD officers. Overall, we talked to approximately a thousand community members. We received nearly 600 phone calls, emails, and letters from individuals who were eager to provide their experiences and insights.
In addition to attorneys, paralegals, outreach specialists, and data analysts from the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice and the United States Attorneys Office for the Northern District of Illinois, 11 independent subject-matter experts assisted with this investigation. Most of these experts are current or former law enforcement officials from police departments across the country. Accordingly, these experts have decades of expertise in areas such as the use of force, accountability, training, supervision, community policing, officerinvolved domestic violence and sexual misconduct, officer wellness, and more. These experts
accompanied us on-site, reviewed documents and investigative files, and provided invaluable insights that informed both the course of this investigation and its conclusions.
During the year it took us to complete this investigation, the City of Chicago took action of its own. Following the release of dashboard-camera video capturing the death of Laquan McDonald, Mayor Rahm Emanuel established the Police Accountability Task Force (PATF).
The Mayor charged the PATF with assessing the Police Department and making recommendations for change in five areas: community relations; oversight and accountability; de-escalation; early intervention and personnel concerns; and video release protocols. In April 2016, the PATF issued a report with over a hundred recommendations for improving transparency and accountability. In December of 2016, the City issued a progress report outlining the steps it has taken since April to meet the recommendations made by the PATF. Perhaps most significantly, the City passed an ordinance creating the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), which is scheduled to replace IPRA in 2017. The ordinance also establishes a Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety, who is charged with auditing the entire police accountability system and identifying patterns that violate residents constitutional rights.
In June of 2016, the City issued a new transparency policy mandating the release of videos and other materials related to certain officer misconduct investigations. CPD also pledged to establish an anonymous hotline for CPD members to report misconduct; began an ambitious process to develop an early intervention system; and developed a draft disciplinary matrix to guide CPD in assigning appropriate discipline for various misconduct violations.
The City embarked on other initiatives during our investigation that are intended to improve policing in Chicago. In early 2016, the City began a pilot program for body-worn cameras, and reported recently that the expansion of the program will be accelerated so that all officers will be wearing these cameras by the end of 2017. In the last few months, CPD began an important force mitigation/de-escalation training course for officers, and revised several policies related to use of force. The City also committed to providing additional training on how officers and emergency dispatchers respond to individuals in mental health crisis, and to improving CPDs training more broadly. As part of its efforts to engage community members and improve police-community relations, the City established a Community Policing Advisory Panel that will help develop a new strategic plan for community policing.
The City is also undertaking recruitment efforts aimed at increasing CPDs diversity, and recently retained a consultant to complete a staffing analysis to inform deployment decisions Department-wide.
Many of these planned or implemented reforms are discussed in detail in this Report, alongside our assessment of their impact on the problems our investigation found, and whether CPD and the City need to go further. As noted, while our investigation was underway and the City moved forward with some reforms, Chicago experienced an unprecedented surge in shootings and homicides. In 2016, there were 762 homicides, nearly 300 more than the previous year and, according to the draft of a new study from the University of Chicago Crime Lab, the largest single-year homicide increase of the last 25 years among the five most populous United States cities.
Overall, there were 3,550 shootings, with 4,331 shooting victims, in Chicago in 2016, approximately 1,100 more than in 2015. While shootings and homicides occurred in all parts of the City, they were largely
concentrated in Chicagos South Side and West Side neighborhoods. Homicide clearance rates, the rate at which police identify the suspected killer, continued their years-long slide, with CPD clearing only 29% of all homicides, less than half the national clearance rate.
During our investigation, DOJ has enhanced its assistance with CPDs reform and violence-reduction efforts. DOJ has allocated additional funding to CPD to support its efforts, provided technical assistance, and continued and expanded its cooperation through DOJs Violence Reduction Network (VRN), an innovative approach to support and enhance local violence reduction efforts. Since December 2014, CPD and DOJ, through the United States Attorneys Office in Chicago, have hosted nine Community Trust Roundtables across Chicagos most violence-plagued neighborhoods. These recent efforts build on the foundation of DOJs longstanding collaborative initiatives with CPD.
It has never been more important to rebuild trust for the police within Chicagos neighborhoods most challenged by violence, poverty, and unemployment. As discussed below and throughout our Report, Chicago must undergo broad, fundamental reform to restore this trust. This will be difficult, but will benefit both the public and CPDs own officers. The increased trust these reforms will build is necessary to solve and prevent violent crime. And the conduct and practices that restore trust will also carry out an equally important public service: demonstrating to communities racked with violence that their police force cares about them and has not abandoned them, regardless of where they live or the color of their skin. That confidence is broken in many neighborhoods in Chicago.
At the same time, many CPD officers feel abandoned by the public and often by their own Department. We found profoundly low morale nearly every place we went within CPD.
Officers generally feel that they are insufficiently trained and supported to do their work effectively. Our investigation indicates that both CPDs lawfulness and effectiveness can be vastly improved if the City and CPD make the changes necessary to consistently incentivize and reward effective, ethical, and active policing. While it will take time and concerted focus to implement all of the necessary changes, a strong sign of a genuine and unalterable commitment to such change could increase officer morale more quickly, especially among the countless good officers within CPD who police diligently every day, and who disapprove of some officer conduct they seeand many of whom quietly told us how eager they are for the kind of change that can come only from an investigation like the one we have just completed. It is within this current climate, and with these challenges in mind, that we conducted our investigation and make the following findings.
Force We reviewed CPDs force practices mindful that officers routinely place themselves in harms way in order to uphold their commitment to serve and protect the people of the City of Chicago, and that officers regularly encounter individuals who may be armed and determined to avoid arrest. We likewise recognize that officers have not only a right, but an obligation, to protect themselves and others from threats of harm, including deadly harm, which may arise in an instant.
But even within this context, we, in consultation with several active law enforcement experts, found that CPD officers engage in a pattern or practice of using force, including deadly force, that is unreasonable. We found further that CPD officers force practices unnecessarily endanger themselves and others and result in unnecessary and avoidable shootings and other uses of force.
As discussed throughout this Report, this pattern is largely attributable to systemic deficiencies within CPD and the City. CPD has not provided officers with adequate guidance to understand how and when they may use force, or how to safely and effectively control and resolve encounters to reduce the need to use force. CPD also has failed to hold officers accountable when they use force contrary to CPD policy or otherwise commit misconduct. This failure to hold officers accountable results in some officers remaining with the Department when they should have been relieved of duty. These officers often continue their misconduct including, at times, again using unreasonable deadly force. More broadly, these failures result in officers not having the skills or tools necessary to use force wisely and lawfully, and they send a dangerous message to officers and the public that unreasonable force by CPD officers will be tolerated. We found further that CPDs failure to meaningfully and routinely review or investigate officer use of force is a significant factor in perpetuating the practices that result in the pattern of unlawful conduct we found. Each of these causal factors is discussed further in this Summary and the accompanying Report.
Our finding that CPD engages in a pattern or practice of force in violation of the Constitution is based on a comprehensive investigation of CPDs force practices and a close analysis of hundreds of individual force incidents. We reviewed CPDs policies related to the use, reporting, and investigation of force, including older versions of polices that were effective during our review period, and CPDs proposed revised policies. We spoke with officers at all ranks, including the Superintendent and the Chief and Deputy Chief of the Bureau of Patrol, to understand how officers are trained to use force, their view of when force is appropriate, and how the policies are interpreted in practice throughout CPD. We also did an in-depth review of officer reports of force, civilian complaints of force, and CPDs and IPRAs review of force, and investigations of allegations of excessive force. We reviewed all documents we were provided related to over 425 incidents of less-lethal force, including representative samples of officers own reports of force, and of investigations of civilian complaints about officer force between January 2011 and April 2016. We also reviewed over 170 files related to officer-involved shootings.
The pattern of unlawful force we found resulted from a collection of poor police practices that our investigation indicated are used routinely within CPD. We found that officers engage in tactically unsound and unnecessary foot pursuits, and that these foot pursuits too often end with officers unreasonably shooting someoneincluding unarmed individuals. We found that officers shoot at vehicles without justification and in contradiction to CPD policy. We found further that officers exhibit poor discipline when discharging their weapons and engage in tactics that endanger themselves and public safety, including failing to await backup when they safely could and should; using unsound tactics in approaching vehicles; and using their own vehicles in a manner that is dangerous. These are issues that can and must be better addressed through training, accountability and ultimately cultural change.
Among the most egregious uses of deadly force we reviewed were incidents in which CPD officers shot at suspects who presented no immediate threat. CPDs use of less-lethal force also contributes to the pattern of unlawful conduct we found. We reviewed instances of CPD using less-lethal force, often Tasers, including in drive-stun mode, against people who posed no threat, and using unreasonable retaliatory force and unreasonable force against children. We found also that CPD officers use force against people in mental health crisis where force might have been avoided. These issues are further discussed, along with specific examples, in the Force Section of this Report. CPD does not investigate or review these force incidents to determine whether its responses to these events were appropriate or lawful, or whether force could have been avoided. The City is currently taking steps to improve its response to persons in mental health or behavioral crisis, in part in response to the tragic shootings deaths of Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones. While we applaud the steps the City has taken, as discussed in our Report, there are important additional steps the City needs to take. The City must do more to ensure that effective, well-trained crisis intervention officers respond to these events, and that mentalhealth or similar crises are analyzed to determine whether changes to the program or CPDs crisis response are warranted.
We found many circumstances in which officers accounts of force incidents were later discredited, in whole or part, by video evidence. Given the numerous use-of-force incidents without video evidence, discussed further in Section II.C. of this Report, the pattern of unreasonable force is likely even more widespread than we were able to discern through our investigation.
In light of these incidents and many more like them, we support the Citys decision to accelerate its plan to ensure that all CPD officers have body cameras so that all officers have them by the end of this year. While we urge the City to go forward with this plan, we hope the City will also heed the concerns set out later in our Report that it work with police unions and community groups on policies and protocols for body-camera usage, and that it develop the supervisory and accountability supports necessary to ensure that body cameras are effective, both at preventing misconduct and exonerating officers where they are wrongfully accused.
Our review further determined that CPD and IPRA do not adequately respond to incidents in which officers used unreasonable or unnecessary forceincluding force that resulted in a persons death and the officers stated justification was at odds with the physical evidence. Although IPRAs deficienciesdiscussed in the Accountability Section of our Reporthave played a central role in allowing patterns of unconstitutional force to persist, IPRA cannot eliminate the pattern of misconduct we found unless CPDs force reporting and investigations change fundamentally as well. As an initial matter, formal and functional gaps in IPRAs jurisdiction mean that many incidents are inadequately investigated or not investigated at all. Where IPRA does act on its jurisdiction, we found that IPRAs ability to fairly investigate force pursuant to its mandate is compromised by deficiencies in how CPD reports force and gathers related evidence immediately after a force incident.
CPD policy requires officers to report force but, in practice, officers are not required to provide detail about the force they used that is sufficient for an adequate review, and most officer
force is not reviewed or investigated. Although shootings where a person is struck are investigated, as discussed in the Accountability Section, those investigations are inadequate. As a result of so few force incidents being even nominally investigated, and the low quality of the force investigations that do occur, there is no meaningful, systemic accountability for officers who use force in violation of the law or CPD policy. Nor is there any opportunity for meaningful assessment of whether policies, training, or equipment should be modified to improve force outcomes in the future for officers or civilians. The failure to review and investigate officer use of force has helped create a culture in which officers expect to use force and not be questioned about the need for or propriety of that use. In this way, CPDs failure to adequately review officer use of force on a regular basis has combined with CPDs failure to properly train and supervise officers to perpetuate a pattern of unlawful use of force within CPD.
The City has acknowledged and begun to correct a number of deficiencies related to how officers use and are held accountable for force. In March 2016, CPD began a review of its force policies in an effort to provide clearer direction to officers on the appropriate use of force. CPD released the draft force policies in October 2016 for public comment. The proposed revisions address core force principles such as the sanctity of life; ethical behavior; objective and proportional use of force; use of deadly force; de-escalation; and force mitigation. CPD is reviewing the public feedback and, at the time of this drafting, will in the very near future incorporate suggestions and improvements to prepare final versions of the policies. CPD also has begun providing all officers with force-mitigation training designed to better equip officers to de-escalate conflicts safely; recognize the signs of mental illness, trauma and crisis situations; and respond quickly and appropriately when force is necessary.
These steps are meaningful and important. But to fulfill their promise, this new approach to CPD use of force must be supported by leadership and enforced by supervisors. Moreover, they must be accompanied by changes to how force is reported and reviewed, not only so that officers can be held accountable when they misuse force, but so that CPD can learn from force incidents and make the policy, training, and equipment changes necessary to make officers and the public safer and more secure.
Police accountability systems are vital to lawful policing. In combination with effective supervision, a robust accountability system helps identify, correct and ultimately prevent unreasonable and unnecessary uses of force. We also investigated the Citys police accountability systems and their effectiveness in identifying police misconduct and holding officers responsible.
The City received over 30,000 complaints of police misconduct during the five years preceding our investigation, but fewer than 2% were sustained, resulting in no discipline in 98% of these complaints. This is a low sustained rate. In evaluating the Citys accountability structures, we looked beneath these and other disconcerting statistics and attempted to diagnose the cause of the low sustained rates by examining the systems in place, the resources, and leadership involved with the Citys accountability bodies, including CPDs Bureau of Internal Affairs (BIA), IPRA, and the Chicago Police Board. We reviewed their policies and practices, interviewed many current and former supervisors, investigators, and other members involved,
and we reviewed hundreds of force and misconduct investigative files from an accountability standpoint. We discovered numerous entrenched, systemic policies and practices that undermine police accountability, as described below. We also took into account that the City has taken many steps during our investigation to address many of these accountability deficiencies, including creating COPA, which will replace IPRA as the independent agency responsible for investigating serious police misconduct. Although we commend the City for these and other recent reforms, they do not sufficiently address many of problems we discovered in the Citys deeply flawed investigative system. The City does not investigate the majority of cases it is required by law to investigate.
Most of those cases are uninvestigated because they lack a supporting affidavit from the complaining party, but the City also fails to investigate anonymous and older misconduct complaints as well as those alleging lower level force and non-racial verbal abuse. Finally, and also contrary to legal mandates, IPRA does not investigate most Taser discharges and officerinvolved shootings where no one is hit. Some of these investigations are ignored based on procedural hurdles in City agreements with its unions, but some are unilateral decisions by the accountability agencies to reduce caseloads and manage resources. And many misconduct complaints that avoid these investigative barriers are still not fully investigated because they are resolved through a defective mediation process, which is actually a plea bargain system used to dispose of serious misconduct claims in exchange for modest discipline. Regardless of the reasons, this failure to fully investigate almost half of all police misconduct cases seriously undermines accountability. These are all lost opportunities to identify misconduct, training deficiencies, and problematic trends, and to hold officers and CPD accountable when misconduct occurs. In order to address these ignored cases, the City must modify its own policies, and work with the unions to address certain CBA provisions, and in the meantime, it must aggressively investigate all complaints to the extent authorized under these contracts.
Those cases that are investigated suffer from serious investigative flaws that obstruct objective fact finding. Civilian and officer witnesses, and even the accused officers, are frequently not interviewed during an investigation. The potential for inappropriate coordination of testimony, risk of collusion, and witness coaching during interviews is built into the system, occurs routinely, and is not considered by investigators in evaluating the case. The questioning of officers is often cursory and aimed at eliciting favorable statements justifying the officers actions rather than seeking truth. Questioning is often marked by a failure to challenge inconsistencies and illogical officer explanations, as well as leading questions favorable to the officer. Investigators routinely fail to review and incorporate probative evidence from parallel civil and criminal proceedings based on the same police incident. And consistent with these biased investigative techniques, the investigators summary reports are often drafted in a manner favorable to the officer by omitting conflicts in testimony or with physical evidence that undermine the officers justification or by exaggerating evidence favorable to the officer, all of which frustrates a reviewers ability to evaluate for investigative quality and thoroughness.
Investigative fact-finding into police misconduct and attempts to hold officers accountable are also frustrated by police officers code of silence. The City, police officers, and leadership within CPD and its police officer union acknowledge that a code of silence among Chicago police officers exists, extending to lying and affirmative efforts to conceal evidence. Officers who may be inclined to cover up misconduct will be deterred from doing so if they
understand that honesty is the most crucial component of their job and that the Department will aggressively seek to identify dishonest officers and appropriately discipline them. However, our investigation found that IPRA and BIA treat such efforts to hide evidence as ancillary and unexceptional misconduct, and often do not investigate it, causing officers to believe there is not much to lose if they lie to cover up misconduct. Investigators employ a higher standard to sustain claims against officers for making false statements under what is known as a Rule 14 charge and they rarely expand their investigations to charge accused and witness officers with lying to cover up misconduct. Nor, until recently, has the City focused much attention on officers efforts to conceal by mishandling video and audio equipment or by retaliating against civilians who witness misconduct. The Citys failure to prioritize Rule 14 investigations must change. When it is aware of information that an officer lied or otherwise covered up misconduct, the City must actively and aggressively investigate and consistently seek to discipline officers who do so.
We found that inadequate staffing contributes both to these investigative flaws and to the Citys decisions to forego or short-circuit so many of the investigations it should be handling.
The City has recently committed to providing more funding to IPRA when it becomes COPA, and the agency has already begun to hire additional staff. But COPAs range of responsibilities will also be much broader than IPRAs, and there has not been sufficient analysis to determine whether COPA will have the capacity to do any better than IPRA. We also found that poor training accounted for some of these investigative deficiencies.
Investigators and leadership at IPRA acknowledged investigative training was inadequate, and IPRA/COPA is developing plans to revamp and increase training for all staff, especially investigators.
While we commend IPRA for this reform, improved training is likewise necessary for BIA investigators as well. Such enhanced training is an important step towards improving the quality of misconduct investigations handled and changing the culture to one that is more determined to resolve investigations and reliably determine whether an officer committed misconduct. However, the depth and breadth of that training is unclear. It should not only cover general investigative techniques, but should include training to eliminate biased investigative techniques as well as training in specific areas, including unlawful entry and seizure, domestic violence and sexual assault, and false statement charges under Rule 14. In the rare instances when complaints of misconduct are sustained, we found that discipline is haphazard and unpredictable, and is meted out in a way that does little to deter misconduct. Officers are often disciplined for conduct far less serious than the conduct that prompted the investigation, and in many cases, a complaint may be sustained, but the officer is not disciplined at all. The police discipline system, including the Citys draft disciplinary matrix, fails to provide clear guidance on appropriate, fair, and consistent penalty ranges, thus undermining the legitimacy and deterrent effect of discipline within CPD.
Finally, we also found deficiencies with the Chicago Police Boards systems, which impair its ability to be an effective component of CPDs accountability structure. The Board should focus on improving its civil service commission function of providing due process to officers accused of misconduct and relinquish its role of providing community input into CPDs accountability system to the Community Oversight Board that the City has committed to creating. The fairness of Police Board hearings can be improved by modifying current rules that bar the officers negative disciplinary history but allow the officers complimentary history
as well as favorable character evidence offered by the accuseds supervisors. The City can further level the playing field by providing more experienced advocates to represent CPD before the Board and by offering better training for Board members. Allowing Board members to hear evidence directly, instead of a second-hand summary from the hearing officer, and increasing the Boards transparency will further instill community confidence in the Police Board.
Training and Supervision
CPDs pattern of unlawful conduct is due in part to deficiencies in CPDs training and supervision. CPD does not provide officers or supervisors with adequate training and does not encourage or facilitate adequate supervision of officers in the field. These shortcomings in training and supervision result in officers who are unprepared to police lawfully and effectively; supervisors who do not mentor or support constitutional policing by officers; and a systemic inability to proactively identify areas for improvement, including Department-wide training needs and interventions for officers engaging in misconduct. Both at the outset and through the duration of their careers, CPD officers do not receive the quality or quantity of training necessary for their jobs. Pre-service Academy training relies on outmoded teaching methods and materials, and does not equip recruits with the skills, knowledge, and confidence necessary to serve Chicago communities. For example, we observed an Academy training on deadly forcean important topic, given our findings regarding CPDs use of forcethat consisted of a video made decades ago, which was inconsistent with both current law and CPDs own policies. The impact of this poor training was apparent when we interviewed recruits who recently graduated from the Academy: only one in six recruits we spoke with came close to properly articulating the legal standard for use of force. Post-Academy field training is equally flawed. The Field Training Officer (FTO) Program, as currently structured, does not attract a sufficient number of qualified, effective leaders to train new probationary police officers (PPOs), has an insufficient number of FTOs to meet demand, and fails to provide PPOs with appropriate training, mentorship, and oversight. Finally, in-service training is not provided pursuant to any long-term training plan or strategy. Instead, CPD provides only sporadic in-service training, and does not think proactively about training needs Department-wide. Without a long-term training plan, CPD is often called upon to deliver ad-hoc trainings on tight timelines in response to crises. Consequently, in-service trainings are often incomplete and ineffective at teaching officers important skills and information. The recentlymandated Department-wide Taser training exemplifies CPDs problematic approach to in-service training. Large numbers of officers were cycled through this important training quickly in order to meet a deadline set by the City, without proper curriculum, staff, or equipment. This left many officers who completed the training uncomfortable with how to use Tasers effectively as a less-lethal force optionthe very skill the training was supposed to teach. The City recognizes the need for comprehensive reform of its training program. Its plans for reform are discussed in this Report. While laudable, these plans are still preliminary and amount to verbal commitments with uncertain dates for completion. Academy curriculum revisions, restructuring of the field training program, and development of a proactive, wellplanned in-service training program are all needed. CPD must also evaluate whether it has the staff, equipment, and physical space to meet the training demands of the Department, and if not, proactively plan for how to meet training needs going forward. CPD must identify the resources
necessary to make these changes, and obtain commitment from the City to provide what is needed.
We found that deficiencies in officer training are exacerbated by the lack of adequate supervision CPD provides to officers in the field, which further contributes to CPDs pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing. CPD does not sufficiently encourage or facilitate supervisors to provide meaningful supervision to officers. Overall, CPD does not hold supervisors accountable for performing certain basic supervisory tasks, including guiding officer behavior or reporting misconduct. Additionally, structural deficiencies in how CPD organizes supervision prevent effective oversight of officer activities. CPD requires supervisors to engage in non-supervisory tasks and manage too many officers at a time. CPD also structures its shift system in such a way that supervisors do not consistently work with the same groups of officers, which inhibits supervisors from learning the needs of officers under their watch. And, much like the deficiencies in CPDs officer training, CPD does not adequately train supervisors on how to provide appropriate supervision. Compounding its supervision problems, CPD does not have a meaningful early intervention system (EIS) to effectively assist supervisors in identifying and correcting problematic behavior. CPDs current behavior intervention systems are underused and inadequate, putting both officers and the public at risk.
Providing robust, meaningful supervision would not only better prevent officer misconduct, it would help CPD better prevent crime in the community. The City and CPD leadership must make the necessary reforms to supervision to protect public and officer safety.
Officer Wellness and Safety Policing is a high-stress profession. Law enforcement officers often are called upon to deal with violence or crises as problem solvers, and they often are witnesses to human tragedy. In Chicago, this stress is particularly acute, for several reasons.
Increasing levels of gun violence and neighborhood conditions take their toll on officers as well as residents. At the same time, the relationship between CPD officers and the communities they serve is strained; officers on the street are expected to prevent crime, yet they must also be the face of the Department in communities that have lost trust in the police. This makes it particularly difficult to police effectively. And these stresses animate the interactions officers have with the communities that they serveboth positively and negatively. As one CPD counselor explained, it is the stress of the job thats the precursor to the crisis.
Our investigation found that these stressors can, and do, play out in harmful ways for CPD officers. CPD deals with officer alcoholism, domestic violence, and suicide. And as explained elsewhere in this Report, CPD officers engage in a pattern or practice of using force that is unjustified, disproportionate, and otherwise excessive. Although the pressure CPD officers are under is by no means an excuse for violating the constitutional rights of the citizens they serve, high levels of unaddressed stress can compromise officer well-being and impact an officers demeanor and judgment, which in turn impacts how that officer interacts with the public. Some officers are able to manage the stress by shifting their focus to working even harder to do their jobs well. For others, it is more difficult. As these officers struggle with the stress of the job, they can close off and push away those they serve and those who want to help. As noted by the Presidents Task Force on 21st Century Policing, an officer whose capabilities,
judgment, and behavior are adversely affected by poor physical or psychological health not only may be of little use to the community he or she serves but also may be a danger to the community and to other officers. For precisely these reasons, law enforcement agencies can and should do everything they can to support officers physical and psychological well-being.
Because of how officer wellness can impact officer behavior, and the uniquely tense circumstances facing CPD officers each day, CPD officers need greater support from the City and CPD leadership. CPD and the City should think meaningfully about how to better address the stressors CPD officers face, and how to create an overarching operational plan that includes robust counseling programs, comprehensive training, functioning equipment, and other tools to ensure officers are successful and healthy. CPD should move away from traditional strategies that fail to fully address the issue of officer wellness and react to the changing nature of policing in Chicago and the demographic changes in CPDs police force. CPD needs to transform its officer support system so that officer wellness is an integral part of the Departments operations and reinforces the values of wellness and a culture that encourages officers to seek assistance when needed. CPD also should work to overcome officers concern that using officer wellness services will negatively impact their career, and to educate officers on the value of these services. In this way, CPD can better support its officers success, personally and professionally.
Data Collection and Transparency
A lack of transparency regarding CPDs and IPRAs activities has contributed to CPDs failure to identify and correct unlawful practices and to distrust between CPD and the public. Since the start of our investigation, the City and CPD have instituted steps aimed at increasing transparency regarding CPDs and IPRAs work. For example, the current IPRA Chief Administrator significantly improved IPRAs public reporting by expanding the amount of information regarding misconduct investigations that is regularly posted on IPRAs website.
And, following the PATFs recommendation, the City adopted a transparency policy, which created a portal on IPRAs website where video and other evidence of certain types of police misconduct investigations are posted. These steps go beyond the measures many other agencies put in place.
Our investigation found that additional steps are necessary to ensure the City is as transparent as possible and uses its data to adequately address the patterns and practices identified in this investigation. The City and CPD must improve the ways in which they collect, organize, analyze, track, and report on available data and data trends. Currently, CPDs data collection systems are siloed and do not allow for meaningful cross-system data collection, evaluation, and tracking. As a result, CPD is unable to easily use the data at its disposal to identify trends, including trends in misconduct complaints, training deficiencies, and more. Improving these systems will allow CPD to better understand its operations, and more easily report CPD activities to the public.
The data that is collected and publicly reported by the City is also incomplete, and at times, inaccurate. IPRA reports only on how investigations are resolved by that agency; but, as discussed in this Report, the findings of IPRA investigators can be set aside, and its discipline recommendations greatly reduced. IPRAs reporting, therefore, does not give a full picture of how misconduct investigations are ultimately resolved. Independent evaluation of IPRAs
publicly reported data regarding use of force found that the data was, at least historically, inaccurate. And, even though IPRAs public reporting is far more comprehensive now than it was before, CPD does not aggregate or publish the same information for investigations handled by BIA and the districts. Currently, very little information is published about those investigations, even though those entities handle roughly 70% of all misconduct complaints. Finally, the City should also release more information regarding settlements of officer misconduct lawsuits; publicly available data is, at present, limited to the general nature of the allegation (e.g., excessive force or false arrest) and the settlement amount.
Finally, the City should actively engage the public in crafting solutions in this area. Recent public engagement efforts, such as soliciting public feedback on the video release policy, COPA ordinance, and new use-of-force policies, were important steps toward increasing solicitation of public input into contemplated reforms. Improving and expanding upon these recent initiatives will ensure that the public understands and supports, to the greatest extent possible, the additional reforms currently being considered by the City.
Dedicated, highly qualified supervisors are vital to ensuring CPD officers are able to police safely while valuing and respecting the rights of all community members. Under CPDs current promotions system, officers can be promoted to detective, sergeant, or lieutenant based on test scores or evaluation of other merit-based criteria. The merit-based promotion track was created following several lawsuits challenging CPDs promotional exams as discriminatory. The merit promotions system was then later challenged, as part of larger litigation regarding City hiring practices, as unfairly promoting individuals based on political connections rather than true merit. All of these legal battles resulted in several important reforms, including the creation of a City Hiring Plan and corresponding policies intended to organize and structure the merit promotion process.
Despite these important reforms, however, officers we spoke with continue to express skepticism about CPDs promotions system. Much of this is because CPD does not effectively communicate the details of its promotions process to the rank-and-file, and does not provide sufficient transparency following promotional decisions to allay officer concerns. For example, officers are unaware of the metrics used to evaluate individuals who are nominated for merit promotions, or why the officers receiving those promotions were selected. By not sharing this information publicly, and not ensuring Department-wide understanding of the promotions system, CPD has perpetuated an atmosphere of doubt around the promotions process as a whole.
CPD can and should do several things to restore officer and public confidence in its promotions system, and to ensure that the best-qualified candidates are promoted in a fair, lawful, and transparent manner. Promotional exams must be reviewed regularly to ensure they are fair and lawful, and offered often enough to ensure well-qualified candidates have the opportunity to be promoted. Monitoring and oversight of compliance with
promotion policies are also necessary to ensure those systems are working as intended, and that merit promotion decisions are as transparent as possible. Without regular review and increased transparency, CPDs promotion processes will continue to be viewed as unfair and ineffective.
A contributing factor to CPDs unreasonable use of force is CPDs approach to policing. CPD as a whole needs to support and provide incentives to policing practices that are lawful and restore trust among the Citys marginalized communities. Within the past several months, CPD and the City have announced ambitious plans to revive community policing in Chicago. Superintendent Johnson has formed a Community Policing Advisory Panel to develop strategies for enhancing community policing within CPD. The Superintendent has pledged to remake the Departments Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS), and the Department recently issued a directive expanding community involvement programs in several districts. CPD has several additional community policing-related initiatives underway. We commend CPD for these efforts. This policing approach, when implemented with fidelity to all its tenets, has been shown to be effective at making communities safer while incentivizing a policing culture that builds confidence in law enforcement. Notwithstanding this recognition, community policing as a true CPD value and driving force fell away in Chicago many years ago, and past attempts to restore it have not been successful. To be successful this time, CPD must build up systems to support and bolster this community-focused approach to policing.
CPD has the officers it needs to make community policing work. During our investigation we observed many instances of diligent, thoughtful, and selfless policing, and we heard stories of officers who police this way every day. We know that there are many dedicated CPD officers who care deeply about the community, are affected by the violence they see, and work hard to build trust between the community and the Department. We heard about officers and command staff who are well-respected and beloved in the neighborhoods they patrol.
But for community policing to really take hold and succeed in Chicago, CPD must ensure that its supervision, training, promotions and accountability systems incentivize and support officers who police in a manner that conveys to community members that CPD officers can be a trusted partner in protecting them, their families, and their neighborhoods. Community policing must be a core philosophy that is infused throughout the Departments policing strategies and tactics.
In recent years, community policing in Chicago has been relegated, through CAPS, to a small group of police officers and civilians in each district. We were told by CAPS staff that CAPS offices were understaffed, and that CAPS officers receive little training on how to accomplish their mandate. Community policing efforts are also poorly funded and institutionally neglected.
In addition to infusing the tenets of community policing throughout the Department, and creating support for community policing beyond the CAPS program, CPD must also change its policing practices so that it can restore trust and ensure lawful policing. The Department has to do more to ensure that officers police fairly in neighborhoods with high rates of violent crime, and in vulnerable communities. A striking feature of our conversations with members from Chicagos challenged communities was the consistency with which they expressed concern about the lack of respect in their interactions with police, whether those interactions come when
they are targets of police activity or when they or their family members are the victims of crime. Advocates and members of the Latino, Muslim, and transgender communities each separately raised concerns with us about the Departments response to potential or apparent hate crimes against members of their communities. There was also a sense that CPD relies too heavily on specialized units, such as Tactical (TACT).
This may not be how CPD intends policing to be conducted or perceived in these neighborhoods, but these experiences impact individual dignity and residents willingness to work with law enforcement, and should not be ignored. CPD must ensure that it is creating incentives and rewarding policing where building community trust is central to all crimeprevention efforts, whether this policing is done by specialized units, beat officers, or CAPS staff.
Additionally, the City must address serious concerns about systemic deficiencies that disproportionately impact black and Latino communities. CPDs pattern or practice of unreasonable force and systemic deficiencies fall heaviest on the predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods on the South and West Sides of Chicago, which are also experiencing higher crime. Raw statistics show that CPD uses force almost ten times more often against blacks than against whites. As a result, residents in black neighborhoods suffer more of the harms caused by breakdowns in uses of force, training, supervision, accountability, and community policing.
Our investigation found also that CPD has tolerated racially discriminatory conduct that not only undermines police legitimacy, but also contributes to the pattern of unreasonable force.
The pattern or practice of unreasonable force, coupled with the recurrence of unaddressed racially discriminatory conduct by officers further erodes community trust and police effectiveness. Our review of complaints of racially discriminatory language found repeated instances where credible complaints were not adequately addressed. Moreover, we found that some Chicago police officers expressed discriminatory views and intolerance with regard to race, religion, gender, and national origin in public social media forums, and that CPD takes insufficient steps to prevent or appropriately respond to this animus. As CPD works to restore trust and ensure that policing is lawful and effective, it must recognize the extent to which this type of misconduct contributes to a culture that facilitates unreasonable force and corrodes community trust. We have serious concerns about the prevalence of racially discriminatory conduct by some CPD officers and the degree to which that conduct is tolerated and in some respects caused by deficiencies in CPD’s systems of training, supervision and accountability. In light of these concerns, combined with the fact that the impact of CPD’s pattern or practice of unreasonable force fall heaviest on predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods, restoring police-community trust will require remedies addressing both discriminatory conduct and the disproportionality of illegal and unconstitutional patterns of force on minority communities.
Finally, during our investigation, we heard allegations that CPD officers attempt to gain information about crime using methods that undermine CPD legitimacy and may also be unlawful. In some instances, we were told, CPD will attempt to glean information about gang activity or other crime by arresting or detaining individuals, and refusing to release the individual until he provides that information. In other instances, CPD will take a young person to a rival gang neighborhood, and either leave the person there, or display the youth to rival members, immediately putting the life of that young person in jeopardy by suggesting he has provided
information to the police. Our investigation indicates that these practices in fact exist and significantly jeopardize CPDs relationship with the community. CPD must root out these practices that harm CPDs interaction with the community.
Doing so will better support lawful policing, and allow CPD to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the public and more effectively address crime. With a community-focused approach that incentivizes and rewards officers for policing actively and in a manner that builds strong, positive community relationships, CPD will be better able to carry out its mission lawfully and effectively.
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Finally, we find that, notwithstanding the Citys recent efforts to address the broad problems within the Chicago Police Department, it is not likely to be successful in doing so without a consent decree with independent monitoring. Fixing the problems our investigation found will be neither easy nor quick. The root causes of these patterns of conduct and systemic deficiencies are complicated and entrenched, which is why they have persisted for so long despite repeated, concerted reform efforts by the City and community members from all walks.
As Chicagos Mayor said in stating his intention to cooperate with our investigation, We need a third party in this City because in the past instances . . . weve never, ever as a City measured up with the changes on a sustained basis to finally deal in whole cloth with that situation.
We applaud the City for this recognition and for agreeing to negotiate a set of comprehensive reforms that will be entered as a federal court order and assessed by a team of independent experts in policing and related fields. Through this commitment, the City has signaled its willingness to go further than any previous City administration to ensure that necessary reforms to the Chicago Police Department are made and take root.
We agree that such an approach is necessary. Our investigation found that the reforms the City already plans to implement, as well as the additional reforms our investigation found necessary, will likely not happen or be sustained without the reform tools of an independent monitoring team and a court order. An independent team of policing and other experts will be charged with assessing and publicly reporting on CPDs and the Citys progress implementing reforms. A court-ordered, over-arching plan for reform that is overseen by a federal judge will help ensure that unnecessary obstacles are removed, and that City and police officials stay focused on carrying out promised reforms. Together, an independent monitor and court decree will make it much more certain that Chicago is finally able to eliminate patterns of unconstitutional conduct, and can bolster community confidence to make policing in Chicago more effective and less dangerous.
A. Chicago, Illinois
Throughout this Report, we make several recommendations to the City and CPD related to our findings. These recommendations are gathered and offered in more detail below. Through the changes we have identified, CPD will be better poised to police constitutionally and effectively, and improve trust between officers and the communities they serve. We look forward to working cooperatively with the City and CPD on how to best craft and implement these recommendations.
A. Use of Force
CPD should re-orient officers approach to the use of force to avoid using force except when necessary, and should provide officers with the policy guidance and training to develop and maintain proficiency in de-escalation. CPD should also implement a system of force reporting and investigation to better detect and respond to instances of unreasonable or unnecessary force. Additionally, providing officers with the tools and training to better respond to persons in physical or mental health crisis and those with intellectual disabilities will help avoid injuries, increase community trust, and make officers safer. CPD should:
1. Adopt use of force practices that minimize the use of force.
a. CPD has begun the process of revising its force policies to better reflect the sanctity of human life, the need to avoid the use of force, and de-escalation and force mitigation consistent with officer safety. CPD should continue this process to ensure these concepts are incorporated throughout CPDs force policies, including its canine and Taser policies, and that policies provide sufficient guidance to officers;
b. CPD has begun training officers in safely using de-escalation methods so that force may be avoided. CPD should continue this process and should incorporate these concepts throughout CPD training;
c. Develop, train and implement a foot pursuit policy that makes clear that foot pursuits are dangerous and that sets forth guidelines for foot pursuits that balance the objective of apprehending the suspect with the risk of potential injury to the officer, the public, and the suspect. The policy also should address unsafe foot pursuit tactics to ensure the risks of foot pursuits are not increased;
d. Ensure that officers are trained in sound tactics to avoid unnecessarily exposing officers to situations in which deadly force may become necessary;
e. Revise and reinforce policies against shooting at or from a moving vehicle, and provide additional training on avoiding dangerous vehicle maneuvers;
f. Revise Taser policies consistent with best practices, including implementing restrictions on the use of Tasers in drive-stun mode; limitations on Taser use in situations that pose inordinate risk to the suspect; limitations on Taser use on vulnerable people (e.g., the elderly, pregnant women, people in mental health crisis); restrictions on Taser use to situations in which it is necessary and proportional to the threat or resistance of the subject; and discouragement of the use of Tasers in schools and on students, and requiring officers to factor into their decision to use a Taser a childs apparent age, size, and the threat presented for proportionality and appropriateness. CPD should emphasize in training that Tasers are weapons with inherent risks that inflict significant pain and should not be viewed as tools of convenience;
g. Prohibit the use of retaliatory force, force used as punishment, force used in response to the exercise of protected First Amendment activities (e.g., filming), and force used in response to speech only rather than in response to an immediate threat;
h. Equip officers with appropriate first-aid supplies, train them in their use, and require officers to render aid to injured persons consistent with the officers training;
i. Equip all patrol officers and supervisors, and officers who regularly interact with the public, including tactical officers, with body cameras, and develop a body camera policy delineating officers responsibilities regarding the consistent and appropriate use of body cameras and the retention and review of body camera footage.
2. Change the reporting and review of force to accurately capture the totality of the circumstances in force incidents.
a. Develop and implement use-of-force reporting requiring officers to complete a narrative force report that describes with particularity the force used and the circumstances necessitating that level of force, including the reason for the initial stop or other enforcement action. Witness officers should also complete reports for serious uses of force (e.g., firearms discharges and other forms of deadly force). Injuries to officers and persons against whom force was used should be photographed;
b. Develop and implement supervisory review of force that requires the supervisor to conduct a complete review of each use of force, including gathering and considering evidence necessary to understand the circumstances of the force incident and determine its consistency with law and policy, including statements from individuals against whom force is used and civilian witnesses;
c. Develop and implement a system for higher-level, inter-disciplinary review of incidents involving all types of firearms discharges, successful canine deployments, Taser uses, use of chemical weapons, and force resulting in injury to the person against whom force was used;
d. Discipline or otherwise hold accountable officers who fail to accurately report their own uses of force, officers who fail to accurately report another officers use of force when policy requires it, and supervisors who fail to conduct adequate force investigations;
e. Collect and analyze data on uses of force to identify racial and other disparities in officer uses of force.
3. Revise the initial response to officer-involved shootings to prevent collusion and the contamination of witnesses.
a. Adopt a policy requiring that IPRA investigators participate in the preliminary assessment during the immediate aftermath of an officer-involved shooting to the same extent as the CPD commander in charge and CPD investigators conducting administrative or criminal investigations;
b. Adopt policies and practices that preclude involved and witness officers from speaking with one another, or with civilian witnesses, about the shooting incident until after they have been interviewed by IPRA investigators, except to the extent necessary to ensure public safety. To that end, require that, where possible, involved officers, witness officers, and civilian witnesses be transported to the station
separately and their conversations be monitored to avoid contamination prior to interviews;
c. Except to the extent necessary to ensure public safety, prohibit involved officers and witness officers from using cell phones before they speak with the on-scene commander;
d. Consider prohibiting involved officers, witness officers, and civilians from viewing footage from dashboard cameras, body cameras, surveillance cameras, or cell phones before their interview with IPRA. In all cases, inquire of witnesses and officers whether they have viewed any recordings prior to the interview;
e. Require that interviews with involved officers and witness officers be recorded and IPRA investigators be present (except that an officer may speak with his or her attorney in private) and that interviews with civilian witnesses be recorded unless it would interfere with investigation. In cases where interviews are not recorded, the reason for failing to record the interview should be documented;
f. Revise CBA provisions or other restrictions on how soon officers may be interviewed following an officer-involved shooting; and
g. CPD and IPRA should develop appropriate protocols to conduct concurrent, bifurcated investigations with specific measures to ensure that the integrity of criminal investigations is not compromised.
4. Implement policies and develop training to improve interactions with people who are in crisis.
a. Devote appropriate resources to improve CPDs existing CIT program. Develop and implement policy and training to better identify and respond to individuals with known or suspected mental health conditions, including persons in mental health crisis and those with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) or other disabilities;
b. Screen and designate volunteer officers who have expressed an interest in becoming CIT specialists and are well-suited to this work. CPD should continue to offer CIT training for officers who wish to develop crisis intervention skills, but reserve participation in the CIT program to the selected officers;
c. Provide crisis intervention training to CIT-designated officers, who will respond to critical incidents involving persons in crisis. This training should include how to identify and respond to common medical emergencies that may at first appear to reflect a failure to comply with lawful orders (e.g., seizures, diabetic emergencies);
d. Ensure that there are enough CIT officers on duty throughout the City and throughout the day to help ensure a CIT officer is available to respond to calls involving an individual in crisis;
e. Require that, wherever possible, at least one CIT officer will respond to any situation concerning individuals in mental health crisis or with I/DD where force might be used;
f. Improve the quality of the current CIT 40-hour training program, which will in turn require obtaining sufficient CIT training staff and resources so that training can focus on requiring CIT candidates to demonstrate competency in the necessary skills;
g. Collect data on CIT calls to allow CPD to make informed decisions about staffing and deployment so that a CIT officer is available for all shifts in all districts to respond to every CIT call;
h. Develop a CIT reporting system (apart from the use-of-force reporting system) so that each deployment of a CIT officer is well documented. CIT officers should submit narrative reports of their interactions with persons in crisis so the appropriateness of the response can be evaluated in an after-action analysis; and
i. Implement an assessment program to evaluate the efficacy of the CIT program as a whole and the performance of individual CIT officers. A portion of a CIT officers performance review should address skill and effectiveness in CIT situations.
A well-functioning accountability system (in combination with effective supervision) is the keystone to lawful policing. The City and CPD must create impartial, transparent, and effective internal and external oversight systems that will hold officers accountable in a timely manner for violations of law, CPD policy, or CPD training. To that end, the City and CPD must:
1. Improve the City and CPDs accountability mechanisms for increased and more effective police oversight.
a. Work with police unions to modify practices and procedures for accepting complaints to make it easier for individuals to register formal complaints about police conduct;
b. Adopt practices to ensure the full and impartial investigation of all complaints, and assessment of patterns and trends related to those complaints;
c. Revise IPRA/COPA mediation policies and procedures to: 1) require complainant notification of and participation in mediation; 2) incorporate principles of restorative justice; 3) create clear, objective standards for referring cases to mediation; and 4) prohibit mediation for resolving certain categories of complaints, including use of force and domestic violence complaints;
d. Revise BIA policies and procedures to require that investigators record interviews and include transcripts of all interviews with victims, witnesses, or suspect officers in every file. CPD policy should dictate that summaries of interviews will be accepted only where obtaining a recorded or transcribed interview is not feasible;
e. Enforce CPD policies prohibiting officers from falsifying reports and providing false information or testimony during interviews by providing strict disciplinary penalties, up to and including termination, for those officers who violate them; and
f. Put systems in place that ensure administrative charges are fully and timely investigated, even where CPD and the States Attorneys Office are investigating
potential criminal charges, or have decided not to pursue criminal charges, for the same conduct.
2. Ensure investigative agencies have the appropriate resources, training, and structure necessary to conduct investigations thoroughly, efficiently, and fairly.
a. Conduct a staffing analysis, and create a staffing plan based on that analysis, to ensure that both BIA and IPRA/COPA have the staffing and resources to perform their responsibilities effectively;
b. Improve the timeliness and quality of BIA/IPRA/COPA investigations through the creation of case management protocols, including streamlined procedures and target deadlines for the completion of investigations; and
c. Develop and implement mandatory and comprehensive training for BIA/IPRA/COPA investigators, Police Board members, and hearing officers on police practices, civil rights law, evidence collection and assessment techniques, interview techniques, and other pertinent issues. The training for IPRA/COPA investigators should also include training on implicit bias and proper witness interviewing techniques. Investigators tasked with investigating domestic violence and sexual misconduct complaints should receive specialized training on the dynamics of those incidents and interview techniques for domestic violence and sexual misconduct victims.
3. Implement changes to the Citys discipline and discipline review systems, including the Chicago Police Board, to ensure disciplinary decisions are fair, timely, and transparent.
a. Revise how disciplinary decisions are made, including streamlining the number of disciplinary decision makers and the layers of review of disciplinary recommendations, to facilitate quicker final resolution of complaints;
b. Revise CPDs disciplinary matrix to ensure that it provides meaningful guidance to those making disciplinary recommendations and findings;
c. Consider moving the Police Boards police commission and civilian oversight duties to another entity (such as a Community Oversight Board), to allow the Police Board to focus on its critical function of reviewing Superintendent/IPRA misconduct and disciplinary findings;
d. Create a cadre of trained and experienced attorneys within IPRA/COPA to advocate before the Board;
e. Modify CPD and IPRA policy, and address related provisions in the CBAs, to ensure that the Board has access to the information necessary to make a fair and informed decisions;
f. Ensure selection criteria for Police Board members and hearing officers include requisite competence, impartiality, and expertise;
g. Post all Police Board materials, including video recordings of hearings, on the Boards website in a timely manner; and 156 h. Track and publish more detailed case-specific and aggregate data about Police Board decisions, and make this information available in a timely manner.
C. Training Training is the foundation for ensuring that officers are engaging in effective and constitutional policing. To that end, CPD should:
1. Provide training that is comprehensive, organized, based on adult-learning principles, and developed with national best police practices and community policing principles in mind.
a. Revise Academy curricula and lesson content to ensure consistency with CPD policy and current law, particularly with respect to the use of force, and revise lessondelivery methods to include lessons that are consistent with adult learning principles and include more scenario-based trainings;
b. Revise end-of-course Academy evaluations to ensure recruits graduate the Academy with sufficient knowledge and skill to police safely and lawfully;
c. Revitalize CPDs Field Training Program by increasing incentives provided to FTOs in order to ensure a sufficient number of high-quality FTOs; improving the training provided to FTOs and, in turn, the quality of supervision and guidance that FTOs provide; creating a standardized curriculum for each FTO to use when training PPOs; increasing the rigor of FTO evaluation of PPOs; creating better supervision of FTOs and regularly evaluating the Field Training Program to identify areas in need of improvement; and
d. Implement a mandatory in-service training program, based on a comprehensive evaluation of Department needs, that includes high quality training through live, scenario-based trainings; provides updates on law and Department policy; and presents officers and supervisors with opportunities to refresh important skills and tactics.
2. Take steps to ensure the creation of a well-planned, comprehensive training program that is carefully tailored to Department needs and is properly resourced.
a. Formalize CPDs creation of a training committee in CPD policies, including outlining the committees goals, membership, responsibilities, and deliverables;
b. Recruit, hire, and train additional instructors, and develop and implement rigorous testing, evaluation, and training of all instructors to ensure subject-matter competency and skill in instruction; and
c. Improve CPDs physical training facilities and equipment.
D. Supervision Patrol officers must receive proper supervision and guidance in order to ensure that they are engaging in constitutional and effective policing and that they are held accountable if they
engage in misconduct. This requires that patrol supervisors receive the tools, training, and support they need to perform their supervisory duties effectively. To that end, CPD should:
1. Reform CPDs supervisory structures and incentives to provide all officers with meaningful direction and oversight.
a. Develop and implement policies that establish clear requirements and provide specific guidance to ensure the appropriate supervision of all officers;
b. Ensure that supervisors closely monitor officers under their command, review officer uses of force, and direct and guide officers to use force only where necessary, in a manner that is safe, and that comports with the principles and values set forth in CPDs revised force policies;
c. Hold supervisors accountable if they fail to report misconduct that they observe, fail to accept and refer to IPRA a misconduct complaint, or otherwise fail to take appropriate steps to ensure officer accountability;
d. Implement appropriate span-of-control ratios in all districts and reform shift scheduling to allow for unity of command;
e. Re-examine the responsibilities of supervisory staff at districts to allow supervisors to maximize time spent providing mentorship, oversight, and accountability of officer activities;
f. Provide new supervisors with adequate training on supervisory skills, including leadership and management, and provide all supervisors with regular training on issues relevant to their supervisory responsibilities; and
g. Incentivize and reward supervisors who provide close and effective supervision.
2. Ensure CPD supervisors have the appropriate tools and information necessary to provide meaningful supervision.
a. Commit to putting in place a new and fully integrated EIS system that will allow for early identification of problematic behavior trends and appropriate interventions, and involve all relevant stakeholders in the process early on to ensure its ultimate success; and;
b. Ensure that data collection and tracking systems are adequate Department-wide to support this effort, and audit their use to ensure that these systems are used consistently and appropriately.
E. Officer Wellness and Safety Officers must receive the support they need from the Department to perform their policing responsibilities well and safely, and to address the stressors related to their work. To better support its officers, CPD should:
1. Evaluate and respond to the needs of CPD officers.
a. Conduct a needs assessment to determine what additional resources officers desire or need to reduce the stressors of their jobs;
b. Expand the Employee Assistance Program by hiring additional counselors, substance abuse specialists, and other staff with specialized training and skills in certain topics, including post-traumatic stress disorder, domestic violence, womens issues, and depression;
c. Coordinate a communication strategy to inform all CPD members of the services available through the Employee Assistance Program and ensure that references to the range of available counseling and support services are included in Academy trainings, including the stress management and wellness trainings;
d. Explore alternative methods for providing officer support, including anonymous support hotlines and group meetings; and
e. Revise and implement new protocols for evaluation and treatment of officers involved in, or who witness, traumatic events, not limited to officer-involved shootings.
2. Incorporate officer wellness principles into all facets of CPD operations.
a. Explore and evaluate other methods to increase officer access to employee supports and services, including how using those services can benefit CPD officers, and encourage officers to use these programs; and
b. Conduct a Department-wide technology and equipment audit to determine what equipment is outdated, broken, or otherwise in need of replacement, and develop a plan with timelines for repair or replacement of equipment as needed.
F. Data Collection and Transparency To increase transparency and community trust, it is critical that the City improve its data collection systems and publicly report and release information relevant to its policing and accountability efforts. Accordingly, the City, through CPD and IPRA/COPA, should:
1. Improve City data collection systems.
a. Examine and evaluate current data collection mechanisms and technology to determine where there are gaps and inefficiencies;
b. Create a plan to improve and synthesize City and CPD data collection systems by dates certain; and
c. Develop systems to ensure that data is appropriately and timely analyzed to identify trends or patterns in policing activities, including officer use of force and police misconduct complaints. The City and CPD should use data collection systems to track and identify patterns or practices of constitutional violations, so that corrective action can be taken where necessary.
2. Increase transparency regarding CPD and IPRA/COPA activities.
a. Seek input from community members regarding the type of data and information they believe is important for CPD and IPRA to disseminate;
b. Develop and implement policies mandating regular public reporting of crime trends and CPD policing activities;
c. Develop and implement policies mandating regular public reporting of misconduct investigations, including investigations handled not just by IPRA or COPA, but also BIA and the districts. These policies should cover regular reporting on complaint patterns and trends, investigation outcomes, and discipline (both recommended and imposed);
d. Finalize and formally adopt, as part of CPD and IPRA policy, the video release policy, with consideration of expanding the universe of complaints the policy covers; and
e. Develop and implement policies that would increase transparency related to City settlements of police misconduct complaints.
G. Promotions To ensure constitutional and effective policing, CPD must promote competent, capable leaders, and ensure confidence amongst officers that deserving, well-qualified candidates will be selected for promotions. CPD must review its promotions systems to ensure all qualified candidates have a chance to be promoted, and improve transparency around the promotions process to better inform officers of how promotional decisions are made. To that end, CPD should:
1. Ensure promotions are fair.
a. Continue to review promotional exams to ensure they are valid and fairly administered;
b. Schedule promotional exams with sufficient frequency to allow qualified candidates frequent opportunity for promotion throughout their careers; and
c. Review and revise, as necessary, the merit promotion process, to ensure that policies and procedures are followed, and that the system is working as intended.
2. Increase transparency around the promotions process.
a. Devise and implement mechanisms for teaching officers about the policies and procedures guiding the merit promotion process;
b. Develop mechanisms for improving transparency regarding those who receive merit promotions, and the reasons those candidates were selected; and
c. Continue, and potentially increase, oversight of the merit promotions process through the Chicago Office of the Inspector General, and ensure that the OIGs role in overseeing this process is communicated to both officers and the public.
H. Community Policing
CPD should adopt, and incorporate in its policing approaches, an ingrained and permanent community policing philosophy that humanizes officers and residents to each other and builds trust between the community and the police; incentivizes police-community partnerships; and effectively uses these partnerships to solve crime and address community concerns. To that end, CPD should:
1. Develop community policing as a core component of CPDs policing strategies, tactics, and training.
a. Develop and implement, with the help of community members from Chicagos diverse groups, comprehensive recruit and in-service training to officers on how to establish formal partnerships and actively engage with diverse communities, to include understanding and building trust with minority communities, Muslim communities, immigrant and limited English-proficiency communities, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities;
b. Incorporate community policing and problem-solving principles into Academy training, and require regular in-service training on topics such as procedural justice, de-escalation, bias-free policing, diversity and cultural sensitivity;
c. Create liaison officers in each district that will be responsive to, and specifically address, the concerns of minority communities, including LGBTQ individuals, Muslims and other religious or ethnic minorities, individuals with limited Englishproficiency, and individuals with disabilities. District liaison officers should have monthly meetings to coordinate Department-wide outreach efforts and strategies;
d. Develop systems that encourage and facilitate opportunities for officers to actively engage with communities while on patrol and gain more familiarity with residents through one-on-one interactions;
e. Increase opportunities for officers to have frequent, positive interactions with people outside of an enforcement context, especially groups and communities that have expressed a high level of distrust of police; and
f. Measure, evaluate, and reward individual, supervisory, and agency performance on community engagement, problem-oriented-policing projects, and crime prevention.
2. Ensure that officers police fairly and compassionately in all neighborhoods, including in those with high rates of violent crime and in minority communities.
a. Develop and implement a policy that specifically and comprehensively addresses and prohibits discriminatory policing and biased-based policing;
b. Provide initial and recurring training to all officers that sends a clear and consistent message that bias-based profiling and other forms of discriminatory policing are prohibited, and ensures that officers are capable of interacting with and providing services to all communities;
c. Provide training to supervisors and commanders on detecting and addressing biasbased profiling and other forms of discriminatory policing;
d. Provide safeguards for officers who report bias-based profiling and other forms of discriminatory policing;
e. Provide training to supervisors, detectives, and officers on how to detect and report potential hate crimes or hate incidents;
f. Work with community members from Chicagos diverse racial, religious, ethnic, gender, and disability groups to create and deliver cultural awareness training in partnership with CPD, and to inform and suggest the development of additional measures that may improve police-community relations;
g. Enforce Department rules regarding appropriate language, respect, and social media use; h. Collect and analyze enforcement data (including use of force data) to identify patterns of unequal enforcement on the basis of race or ethnicity, and devise and implement operational changes based on this analysis. Publish stop, search, arrest, and force data bi-annually with the analysis of trends, and the steps taken to correct problems and build on successes; and
i. Capture and track complaints alleging racial and other bias-based profiling or discrimination, along with characteristics of the complainants. Analyze this data to identify and correct any patterns of discrimination.
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