*Note: The following transcription is semi-verbatim. Check audio above for original sourcing.
Rev. Catherine Brown
So I just received this because nobody told me we need to stick to this. What I thought was, it said testify about something that happened to you which did not receive police accountability. So is that what we are testifying to?
Alderman: No ma’am, that is not what we are testifying to. We are testifying to your input as to how we can create an ordinance that holds police accountable.
Rev. Brown: Ok so in my opinion I think we should take the ordinance that was sent to the city council for CPAC, which is Civilian Police Accountability Council. We, the people of Chicago, a lot of them would prefer that our community have control over our police because in the past, in different situations, like my own, police have not been accountable and we want them to be accountable for their bad actions so that we can regain respect for officers that do want to be good officers and to protect and serve us, not disrespect and threaten us. So as you all are aldermen and we put you all in those seats, we expect you all to listen to us and respect what we are asking for and that is CPAC. CPAC would be an elected board which would – this is a question I have for all of us – have you all heard of the ordinance that was introduced to you all called CPAC?
Alderman: So this is a testimony, this is not question and answer, but I’m sure my colleagues have heard it, have read it. So would you like to continue?
Rev. Brown: So since there is no question and answers but how can people understand what you’re planning to do on our behalf if we do not ask you questions about your public and safety plans because we do not want plans that do not benefit us but that benefit the people that’s just in leadership. So it’s important for us as a community to stand a chance to the police as well as city council that we know that you are fighting for us. So you not going to let us ask questions so I’m going to continue to make statements. Thank you. Also, we would like to have some type of for you to tell us thoughts on different ones that have not become a part of endorsing CPAC that you would endorse CPAC because it’s important. There are quite a few people here that want CPAC. Is there anybody here who want CPAC? [People clap.] I’m gonna do a chant that says: when I say CPAC, you say now. CPAC. Now. CPAC. Now. When I say CPAC, you say now. CPAC. Now. CPAC. Now. Thank you. [More chants from crowd: justice for all. Send those killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell.]
[Alderman?] I would like to continue. In order to give everyone opportunity to testify, I want to remind people we have a three-minute limit on testimony and to refocus on two issues that were outlined before. With that I would like to turn it over to and introduce ___ who will speak briefly on the task force before we continue with the public commentary.
Thank you. I was on the board of the MacArthur Foundation, I served as a member on the police accountability task force. I want to apologize for being late this evening, I was caught in a bit of traffic. I was asked to start off my comments here today by giving a sense of what the task force did and give you a sense of what we recommended with regards to the oversight structure and maybe I should frame some questions we can talk about because the CPAC oversight bodies specifically might be able to inform what we do.
As I indicated, there are eight of us on the official task force who worked with 50 people in the community who were organized into five subject matter working groups: police-community relationships, oversight structures, video policy, early warning system and de-escalation. What we did in our process is actually ask a series of questions for each of the working groups to determine exactly what we wanted to learn and ask nationally what were best practices. Tonight’s topic is the oversight structure. So what we did is we attempted to look at the entirety of the oversight structure that is currently in place at the Chicago Police department, in IPRA – the body that we know, the Chicago Law Department and the Inspector General’s office. We interviewed over 45 national and local experts, including members of the Chicago Police Department, staff at the Bureau of Internal Affairs, as well as members of the Independent Police Review Authority. What we discovered in the course of our research of two months was a system, as many of you know, that demonstrates a striking lack of accountability, which only works for a minority of all citizens and officers. The structure is identified most likely by silence. That is that many parts of the system actually don’t know what other parts of the system are doing. None of the relationships are based on respect and trust. They are most likely based on fear. There is a lack of investment as we knew it. Poor technology, little training and lack of comparison in actual standards. One specific statistic I wanted to provide to this group is that you understand it’s not just the public that thinks it’s been structured like this, it’s also the police department itself. Over 2/3 of members of the public in the city of Chicago believe the code of silence is a significant problem. A strong majority of members of the city, believe police treat people unfairly. Only 25 percent of officers believe if they do a good job they will be promoted. 98% believe promotions are based on connections and not merit. 76% fear making an honest mistake and being punished for it. So we have a structure that functions neither for rank and file officers nor for the public. So we have made a series of recommendations about how to fix that structure.
You can look to our report, which is still available on our website and you can see a series of recommendations linked to a lot of topics. Tonight we recommend three main bodies. First, a new replacement for IPRA. IPRA’s functioning is broken so there needs to be a new system. Second, forming of a public safety inspector general: a body that can actually look at data and understand what’s happening from all parts of the system so it starts to function for both the public and police officers themselves. Third and importantly for tonight’s conversation: community safety oversight board. That board is something that will lead to a larger, longer comment process. We are specifically asking for input on two topics: the new IPRA and the new inspector general. They are topics that we ask the public for their responses. We knew as a task force, regardless of the expertise we ask of national experts, we needed to hear from the public before making the types of recommendations that would reflect what the City of Chicago needs for accountability. Some of those questions you might consider providing testimony tonight are:
What should the qualifications for investigators be for the new IPRA-type investigative body?
Should former law enforcement be allowed to be in that body?
What is the most convenient way to file a public complaint?
Once a complaint is filed, how should the organization keep you informed about the progress?
For the public safety inspector general, what kinds of data should they look at? What data should be reported to you, the public so you can have a better understanding of what’s going on in the system?
This is in fact your system. You are entitled to most transparent and effective oversight structure. That’s what we tried to do by providing this task force report and we look forward to hearing back from you this evening.
Alderman: Thank you very much for your testimony, we will continue now with witnesses. The next witness would be Frank Chapman.
Good evening. I wanted to inform you that we aren’t going to get far in this discussion, talking about reform. We need to talk about police being out of control and how we’re gonna deal with them. What’s missing in this proposal, this police accountability proposal that I’m looking at, is you, is me. The people are not in it. What they’re saying is that, what this is saying is that we gonna repeat the same mistakes but expect different results. If you keep doing the same thing, you get the same result. If you keep doing review and oversight, that’s what you’ll keep getting. We don’t need review and oversight of the police, we need control of them. We need a voice in the policy and voice in the process because we’re the ones who are dying. We are the ones who are dying. We are the ones who have been tortured and put in prison for crimes we did not commit. We are the ones whose children who suffer from autism are being murdered when parents call the police there to help. We are the ones who the police shoot through door and kill the grandmother because she came to the door because there was a ruckus going on in her building. That was the day after Christmas, wasn’t it? All we’re getting here is smoke and mirrors. If you want to change this situation fundamentally and take power out of hands of the mayor and city council and the police because they have failed at their job. Then what you need to do is support CPAC and they need to support it too because it’s about democracy. We have tyranny in our community in the police. The solution to tyranny is democracy. Democracy means means we have an all elected all civilian police accountability council. Thank you.
Unidentified woman after Frank Chapman
I’m with the gentleman. I don’t think it is necessary that it should be just about what’s on that paper because a lot of times we don’t give the opportunity to even see and meet with representatives that we need to discuss. My issue is the police, once they make a mistake, they do need to be accountable and I don’t see that. I think all the uproar now is because it’s on video. But a lot of times it’s on video but they’re still not doing what needs to be done. Now, when they decide still getting their paychecks. My taxes are constantly going up but I can’t even let my nephew play outside his house because I don’t feel safe. I call the police and I have situations where the police don’t show up because the situation is not somebody shooting guns. It shouldn’t have to be that way. You know we talk about overtime and all these guys can’t be on overtime because mentally they are not capable of focusing the way they need to be to help us. If you’re working 20 hours, how can you give and make good decisions. You know what I mean – you’re tired mentally and physically. There needs to be a change but at the end of the day it has to come from our community. Yes, I thank God that personally I haven’t been affected by somebody by someone in my family but I have friends. At the end of the day, we have to stop expecting everybody to come and save us. We don’t want nobody to say nothing to your children. We have to help each other. We have to lift each other up and encourage each other. Thank you.
Eric Russell (Tree of Life Justice League of Illinois)
Good evening, my name is Eric Russell and I’m just always amazed. They always want black people to follow protocols and procedures when it comes to framing questions. What we want is respectful engagement from Chicago police department. We have moved well beyond systemic corruption and institutional racism. The problem is that the Chicago police, they have no respect for our humanity, the Chicago police have no reverence for black lives. We don’t give a damn about tasers. How do you train away systemic racism? How can you? Bettie Jones for example, Bettie Jones did not deserve to die. I tell you all on the panel that are being kissed by the sun that Bettie Jones could have been your mother or my mother. These racist killer cops, I just watch the disdain on their faces when some just look at black people. The problem is this. They have no respect for us in life or death. Bettie Jones’ daughter was lying in a pool of blood holding her mother as the white officer shot a hole in Bettie Jones’ chest. Bettie Jones’ daughter cried out to the police officer: why did you do this to my mother and the police officer’s response was: your momma’s dead, get over it. What kind of monster is that? What kind of monster is that? And then on top of that, I get a call from the mayor. The mayor comes up with a ridiculous narrative about the accident. In a blood spattered apartment on their hands and knees, scrubbing up their mother’s blood only to be resaturated by their tears but the mayor did not bother to send anyone to clean up his accident of these officers because they have no respect for black people. Most black folks won’t tell you. Here’s the problem we have with superintendent Eddie Johnson. We don’t need a lot of (audio unclear). We just use common sensibilities: and our common sensibilities tell us this - if you are handpicked by the devil on the fifth floor, it’s just a matter of time before the devil requires your soul. He will then further the devil’s evil agenda before he (audio unclear). That’s the problem we have with Eddie Johnson. We don’t trust him. He handpicked Eddie Johnson. We know what the devil does. The devil rapes, pillages, steals. And they’re stealing the life from my children. We will not let the Chicago police kill our children. We defend the right of our children. We will not let police kill our children. If our children choose Lil Wayne and Drake over (audio unclear). Stop killing our children. We will not let them kill our children. Stop killing our children.
I am Adeline Gracie. I hail from the Englewood slash (audio unclear) community. I have been with the Chicago Police Department in the past as a 911 operator so I worked with them but I now stand here as grandmother and I am really appalled at what’s going on in this city. People here are hurting because of things happening to us. The relationship between the police and community need to improve. It desperately needs to improve because I’ll give you a case in point. My grandson was running from my home on cold December night in a denim jacket, running to a neighborhood gas station for snacks. A police officer grabbed him and said he had burglarized someone’s home. The child, a college student, now he needs to be medicated, he’s lost about 17 pounds. We’ve gone to court 10 times. The perpetrator who actually committed the crime saw my grandson in the police car and said to the officer, I don’t know that dude, he wasn’t with me. Yet the police still held my grandson up, held him in the county jail for one and a half days. This child, he has what we call Asperger’s, not autism, Asperger’s. He doesn’t process information the way a lot of us do. Right now, when it first happened to him, he never leaves the house after dark. He’s afraid to go to the garbage because the police arrested him in the past. Now he’s telling me he has to go back to court and (audio unclear), the Judge says I’m looking at 15 years for something I didn’t do, grandma. And as a grandmother I’m broken and torn. My whole family’s hurting because of the action of that police officer who grabbed him and falsely accused him, then listened to the perpetrator who said he wasn’t with him and then again there can’t be misconduct. The misconduct should involve both, police leadership and community members. When something goes wrong, invite the community to give input into it. We human beings. We live, we breathe. Don’t dictate our lives for us. Listen to us and like the person before me had said, we hired you all because you do get paid. So you are acting on behalf of other people. Whether it be IPRA or an independent auditor or a community board, this city has bad cops. We must have support of the people in our neighborhoods. I will repeat that and I will repeat that many times here tonight that decisions about bad police officers must have the support of people and the neighborhoods. We hope that mayor – [they cut the mic off]
Alderman responds: I’m making notes here.
Adeline: Can you turn my mic on please?
Alderman continues: “decisions about bad police officers, I’ve got that and you want to improve the relationship between police and the community.” Too many families have been hurt by police misconduct and violence and it is long overdue for a change. We must be involved. We must be involved. The community must be involved.
Audience member: “This is a public meeting, why are the mics turned off?”
Another audience member: “Can we get somebody to hold up a sign and say you have 30 seconds? Can we get that courtesy? Some kind of time notifier?”
Alderman responds: “yes”
Audience member: “You know, they’re treating us like children.”
Rev. Robert Biekman (United Methodist Church)
My name is Reverend Robert Biekman. Live in south shore community, I serve the church in west Pullman community. I also serve as a leader with an organization called community renewal society that represents more than 1500 faith based organizations across city. I do want to respond to a couple of the questions you identified here. First question: let me begin with this by simply saying I think we agree the bridge of trust has been broken between elected officials, between the police, and also the mayor’s office. For there to be a truly independent auditor, that independent auditor should be identified and appointed by a panel of people from the community. It also should be vetted through a process, through an organization that is used to doing this kind of work such as the police assessment resource center, also known as PARC. Everything I am sharing with you has already been introduced via the fair cops ordinance. It was introduced into the city council on April 13th. In fact the language you have here is exactly the language from the fair cops ordinance. For it to really work we’re talking about procedures, we’re talking about building trust. And the bridge of trust has been broken. To be able to rebuild that bridge of trust, the concern I have and I believe I share that concern with others that are here is that the very people who broke the bridge in first place are saying we want to rebuild it. We don’t trust those folks. We don’t trust the mayor and quite frankly with all due respect, we don’t trust our elected officials. But there is a way to get back to be able to build that trust amongst the citizens and residents of the people and residents of the city of Chicago. Acquiesce and let go of some of the power that you have by engaging the community, not just in hearings but in the process of identifying who the independent auditor will be. I surely hope you recorded my comments and one last thing I want to share with you: it is very important we continue to have open dialogue and conversation such as this and the agenda be not established just by the elected officials and the mayor’s office but establish the agenda with the community concerns as well so they can say the things that are on their heart. Thank you.
*Action Now (group) walks out
“We’re leaving. We don’t do disrespect.”
Alderman: “Thank you all for coming here, we appreciate it.”
Good evening. My name is Dr. Harrison. I would like to say very happy to be here tonight. I was born and raised here in Chicago. I’m an educator. I’ve taught school for over 36 years. I’m in ministry. I wear many hats. I want to say that I was very happy to get this agenda and the questions you have posed here because this is my first time being involved with this. Being an educator I would like to ask in terms of qualifications of investigator, what would be the qualifications and how could we get that information in terms of the educational qualifications? Would we be able to have that kind of information and also something else I wanted to ask – would there be guidelines we can look at in advance so we can study what proposals would be or look like. There would be those of us who would be willing to work as an ad hoc committee. We could share our input and our experiences and backgrounds with you. I did like the idea of what the pastor who preceded me stated when he said it would be nice if we could as a community be involved in the planning of the agenda itself, which would make it more inclusive for all of us coming together. Also I wanted to add that I think in terms of building trust, as a minister, my perspective might be different from others. Of course, we are here to express our beliefs and what we believe. I feel trust becomes with self and the person and what we believe in. I know there are some bad apples in every basket but there are good apples in the basket too. So it depends upon your personal relationships and your experiences you’ve had that we speak. So I would like to say on my part that I have taught many years about the friendly cop and for children to have positive attitude about our police. I still stand on that. I still believe there are those who would stand for that – that we have some police who are good and those who really are dedicated and want to bring safety to our communities. As a senior I just want to say that is very important to me and I speak for many seniors who feel the very same way. I commend you for the fact that you are here tonight. I think that over the years we did not even have these kinds of forums. I would like to say we are gradually moving forward, doing things in a more positive way so I just want to say thank you for having this beautiful place to dialogue with you. My prayer is that I hope we as a people will unite together for unity and the oneness of which we want to stand for.
34:45: chants of “CPAC now,” discussion about 3-minute time limit between alderman and crowd
From the very beginning we opened this meeting you suggested to us there would be no democratic process here. You made it very clear and that you were only gonna read and explain what the mayor’s choice is for police accountability. Everything you’re talking about is what he’s going to introduce in September. We find that to be quite ironic when you’re here talking about community input. Just like the task force went to various communities, you didn’t add anything about CPAC. You act like you didn’t hear it at all. You totally ignored it but now it’s here in your face. It’s an ordinance for city council. And this ordinance calls for community control of police through an elected civilian police accountability council that will be the first semblance of democratic process to hold police accountable in Chicago that has ever occurred before in the whole country. It is the most aggressive ordinance to hold the police accountable in the entire country and the entire country is watching how Chicago city council is going to handle this. Will they let the mayor dictate to you all how this all will happen or are you going to institute the people and use some sensible reasoning for supporting the involvement of community. Some of the things CPAC will do will have the power to appoint and fire the police superintendent and police officers who have committed crimes in our community. CPAC will rewrite the rules of conduct, the rules of the guideline for police behavior in our communities. CPAC will provide much more transparency, including police shootings and statistical analysis of demographic information of complaints and types. What we’re calling for is community control of the police. We are totally rejecting anything that involves appointments. No more appointments. We want CPAC. When I say CPAC, you say fight back. It’s the only solution.
Today I’m going to prove these alderman are not for people of city of Chicago. As I said, I will say this again, we have some good cops and we have some bad cops. There are a couple of cops who have worked federal to expose a drug ring within the police department. Yet none of these aldermen came to the defense of none of those officers. So this goes to show, they up here saying we were not gonna answer your questions because they were told by Rahm not to answer questions. This is no more than a dog and pony show. If you want have a discussion with someone, you answer questions. Also, these aldermen also have an ordinance that says it’s a hate crime (audio unclear). Ed Burke is one of 29 alderman who knows but yet we have these aldermen saying they are for people. Where were these aldermen when our schools were closed. They say we hear you but we don’t hear you. Look at their faces, they know who they are. I’m not scared of none of these alderman. They sit here saying we hear you. When election comes around, they gonna ask for your vote. Even the white are getting fed up with the aldermen who are not serving their people. The alderman don’t want to help people get jobs. They say they do but they don’t. Look at their background. Look how many times they voted for Rahm. All you have to do is go online and you will see the same aldermen who say they have your back but when it comes down to it, when crime is going on in the neighborhood, (audio unclear) they sit there and wait on some $100,000 check we pay for. They not gonna answer. These aldermen have authority to redo this police contract but none of them will stand up to do it. None of them. So what are we talking for? None of this is going to do it. It’s a waste of time. Next 30 days you will see.
Does any one of you on the panel feel police officers should be above the law? Your answer should be no. And so someone could you please make us understand why the city council approved the FOP contract with things on it like allowing 30 days before a police officer has to answer questions or police officer decides he wants to take a nap after he is asked those questions. This is not the first time the public has had a problem with a police investigation. Police cannot police themselves. Then it came up with OPS. Then they were police officers. Then they came up with the independent review board. There is nothing independent about them. They are police officers or former police officers. A police officer is a police officer whether he currently working or not. If the mayor chooses him, he is their boss and whatever the boss tells you to do on the job, that’s what you do. The bottom line is three things. We don’t want anyone affiliated in any way with the Chicago Police Department investigating or former police officers. We don’t want the mayor to have anything to do with or have any say about the people who will be conducting the investigation. In the FOP contract, there should be language in there that says if they break law like falsifying or lying on an official legal document, they will be treated like any other citizen because if there’s anybody that should take the fall it should be law enforcement officers.
Shanita Jones Howard
Good evening everyone. Thank you so much. I’m here, I am probably not as cynical about the democratic process as some of my fellow citizens here and maybe because I’m still young and naïve enough to believe how it works. I’m a professional currently living and working in Woodlawn, near the South Shore. Hello Aldermen. With that being said, qualifications. I think sister truth spoke to it: I think it’s important you understand that what we’re saying is we want a system and we want people investigating and then holding them accountable. Because investigation and auditing and data collection and collecting information is not necessarily going to ensure those officers who are acting with misconduct and disrespecting the community and committing crimes are going to be accountable. We can collect a lot of information as was the case with Laquan McDonald. There was information available but then there wasn’t any accountability. We’re not confident. We don’t have faith there will be accountability, especially when there are appointed board members. We do need elected council and I would ask you do consider the Civilian Police Accountability Council as an option. With that some of the things that are key and important to me that are in that has to do with community members being able to elect and identify other community members. We need people who are not in it for the politics but who are in it for the mission and the mission is protecting the community and making sure there is a balanced relationship between those officers who have the power and the citizens who also have the power. Alderman Leslie Hairston asks: how many board members per district? Shanita responds: I’m not sure about that dynamic but my thought process about it is for each police beat, there should be a community member represented. Man from crowd: in the ordinance from city council, there is one per district. Shanita continues: Also about the chief administrator of the agency, I want to make sure we are also considering they should also be elected. As far as the public safety inspector general and how they should communicate, there should be open communication. Anything that is reported, is audited should be immediately available for the public. There shouldn’t have a situation where these things are collected and stored somewhere until someone sees it.
How you doing? A bunch of you all know me as Chicago OG Bro making videos up on 71st street of your police harassing our community. We are tired. We are tired. You all saw what happened with Laquan McDonald and now you all in our face. We know you all saw the video before it got let out. We know you all saw the video before you got elected. We know. You saw the video of __ being shot in back and did nothing. Right down the street from you, your house. Bullet shot in the back. You did nothing. You didn’t even do nothing to say to the police about it. But you want to get elected as our state representative. How Leslie? How? Now, I have been working my whole life. I have medical conditions and I’m retired. I started standing up for my community. I have a record. Now the police hate me. They hate me because I’m standing up to them. You actually sent people at me. Why? Why do you send people at me? You get a call from Walgreens saying I’m over there making a disturbance and you call Walgreens and tell them, but that’s my community though. I live there.Where else am I supposed to go? I’m gonna stand up for my community until y’all kill me. You understand me? I will stand up for black people until you all kill me. Because you keep sending me to jail and I don’t care. You gonna send me to jail, I’m gonna stand up. You gonna make up lies on me and send me to jail until you kill me. Truth hurts. Truth hurts. You know who I am. You’ve seen all of my videos. You all know exactly how I feel. You know this is wrong. You all know this is wrong because you got cousins and nephews and stuff like that. No matter what you say, they subject to it. They subject to it. You can pretend like you’re not black if you want to. You can pretend like you’re not black if you want to. Understand? All your relatives is black. Understand? They all subject to this. Man from crowd chants: black target on your back.
Good evening Aldermen, more importantly friends, family, community. I see so many great faces committed to social justice. This is my son Elijah who I want safe (he is standing next to her). My boy should be safe in Woodlawn when he’s riding his bike, when he goes to see our family in Chatham or in the south shore having good time, when we’re close to the school, he should be able to run around and play and not be concerned if he doesn’t look a certain way. Keep them coming. So first, reform should start with relationships but relationships need to be determined to be valid. Considering a lot of you here are former criminal defense attorneys, your verticals and your relationships have already been established in law enforcement and sometimes work against you, eventually supporting hostile or aggressive actions towards citizens, really for decades. It’s an obstruction of justice. So I would want you to consider that as we move this conversation forward. Currently, a police department has been offered an opportunity to present or legalize (audio unclear). It would add a sense of urgency, it would validate our concerns. There should also be a sense of urgency like the young woman stated before. There should be a fully funded initiative. I’ve heard several times from the police department that there’s no money. There’s plenty of money. There’s plenty of money we can use for keeping our communities safe. We have money from the Department of Justice to hire police officers to further engage the community. We’ve had millions of dollars used in lawsuits for those who have been victimized. We could reinvest that money in the community relations and research. We should examine qualifications related to hiring practices. I’m very concerned about that because these relationships and verticals still breach. We want a transparent process that is fully inclusive. They need to be qualified. I’ve talked to a lot of police folk that were former police officers, that are now in data collection and retrieval which just seems ridiculous to me. There are also those that really consider investing in community and sometimes we just don’t see that. So as you’re considering these things please just remember my final words and I say this to my son at home: when you kill the mule, you gotta plough the field yourself. Thank you.
Good evening. I recognize, alderman harris, munoz. Former Chicago police officer. 33 years. In my 32 years I have never seen any police officer shoot someone in back. Been to three accountability meetings, one on South Shore, also north side. Hear pains and frustration of people in Chicago. All Chicagoans want to make our city a great city to live in. we got things happening, not in our control. I testified before. Also met with Lauren Lightfoot on police community matters. We had CAPS program. It broke down. If it broke down it means there was no trust with community. This last thing that happened – chasing a car – it’s uncalled for. Dispatchers should be trained to say officers we got a hot chase coming on. Remember it’s only property. Do not use deadly force. I have something from Virginia Beach. They can look at it. It’s called StarChase. This is something we need to deploy. I want to help out police department and city of Chicago.
Hello, my name is Matt Boris – I live in fifth ward. A lot of folks have said stuff more eloquently than I probably will here. What I see – I’ve run some meetings, I’ve done some policy stuff – what I see with questions is a way to frame matters very small. To look at this as a matter of – Isee these questions that look at getting rid of IPRA but creating a new IPRA, no real discussion about what that’s going to be. But the problem with IPRA is not a brand problem and it’s not even a personality problem. There are some questions posed here about who should be on it. In the case of Lorenzo Davis can remind us, who is on IPRA is not the main problem. The question is who this accountability board is accountable to and it’s structure? Right now, we have a board that is accountable to people who appoint it and they are up on the fifth floor and if we keep doing that, whether we call it IPRA or GIPRA or something else, it’s gonna be the same kind of problem. We need something like CPAC. I’m gonna make one other point, which is it seems very difficult to talk about wanting accountability and wanting to hear from the people of Chicago about the problems and distrust of police while at the same time saying, criticizing police can be considered a hate crime. There are some who on city council who have supported Ald. Burke’s proposal to make the police, unlike any other occupational group, covered under Chicago’s hate crime law. I know some Aldermen here haven’t declared their positions on that and I hope you will forcefully and strongly oppose and get rid of this absurd proposal from Ed Burke. We want to hear about problems of police while also protecting people from being charged with hate crime. It doesn’t make sense.
First got interested in this issue in 2003 when young man was shot around corner from me by off duty policeman. I saw what you are now seeing on youtube. I saw people tell me kid was running away and cop ran after him and went bang, bang, bang. We have to do something about it because it’s wrong and out of control. It’s not what you call it. We’ve had OPS, we’ve had IPRA. We can make new rules. First rule we have to make: when something happens, there has to be independent investigator immediately. Whole lot of things have to change, some may be in this ordinance. But what’s not in this ordinance is who is going to be in control. Encourage you to support citizen control. Doesn’t do good to change rules, people. As far as other thing about hate crimes, the police are already protected. You do something to officer, it’s a felony. They don’t need hate crime act so they can go after people for anything they say.
I have for last six or seven years been community organizer in sixth ward, working with police and never in my life have I been so embarrassed on behalf of Chicago police department. Primarily because it was our job to improve jobs of resident. Now we’re afraid of Officer Van Dyke’s and officers committing racist actions against people of color. I don’t even blame people of color. I blame you. You keep electing same individuals who whisper all these sweet nothings in your ear. When election time comes around you are gonna elect same people who have done nothing. I wanna address an issue with regards to how do you file a complaint. When a person is arrested they are read Miranda rights. When you get to a police station you should have someone who asks them have you been abused or mistreated. Go to home of individual and ask has their been infraction with police department? I’m listening to my landlord, the neighbors. Level of frustration in this city is ridiculous. We will show you how frustrated we are on election day.
Good evening. I think much of what people are saying here, many of us have a fear this hearing process is not dissimilar to former hearings around issue of school closings where we all came forward and expressed our hearts and opinions and frustrations and then council still voted to approve it. (correction) what we’re asking is can we be assured this will not be a repeat, that you will demonstrate courage to stand up to mayor and say hell no we are not going to continue in this frame. I think we all know as many times as we have heard people make reference to the training issue that this is not a matter of training, this is a mindset. We’ve had plenty a warning from FBI telling us the KKK has infiltrated the police across America. The grand dragon more than 30 years ago said while at that point KKK was suffering defeat and had been bankrupt and they would return, not just in white robes, but in black robes and in blue as a uniform. They gave us plenty of warning. Other issue here is even though I agree with what Eric Holder said when he first became attorney general – America is a nation of cowards – but reality is most of those powers are those people who pretended to be representing our interests. Had they done that we wouldn’t be here today. What we’re asking is for you to stand up and not follow that pattern.
Marcello Sigurs, 7th Ward
Good evening everybody. I’m actually social media director (audio unclear). I’m coming to hear tonight to speak to you as a resident born and raised in Englewood and an educated black man. So I hear everybody tonight. Honestly it has not been a lot of solutions. I’ve been going to these things for about six months now. One thing I will say and I’m not going to direct this to you guys – whatever legislation they are going to come up with, it’s gonna take months to implement. In the mean time we need to educate our young brothers on what’s expected of them. When you are on the traffic stop, that’s a case opened, you are constitutionally obligated to comply with whatever the officer tells you to do. All this sovereignty citizen stuff and delegation of authority is not existent. I’m out here in the streets every night and when I see a police car pull over, who do I see? I see young black men looking like me and I can’t get mad, why, because they breaking the law and killing each other. Can’t no one tell me this is not what’s going on in our neighborhoods. I’m not gonna blame the police. I understand there are 10 percent of racist cops. There are 10 percent of racist people in the fire department. I know that for a fact because I worked with fire department. I understand there is racism everywhere, in every facet of this nation. But how long are we gonna point the finger at them and start pointing the finger at what we are not doing to make sure our children understand their children understand their constitutional rights and what’s expected of them. (Member from crowd interrupts). Marcello continues: Excuse me, I’m talking. Excuse me, I’m talking. I’m not talking about what police are doing, I’m talking about what we are doing. I carry in my car a copy of the constitution and what’s expected of me. My kids won’t become victims. I want to know what else can we do to make sure our children are safe. We should protect our kids, not wait for the police to protect our kids.
Hi aldermen. It’s nice to see you all. My name is Nicole Johnson. I taught for Chicago schools for a few years before going back to school. I’m a longtime resident of Englewood. I’m Here today. My mom told me she said, she went to the DOJ hearings last month, and they were the same as these are where we pretty much are pouring out our hearts and sharing how we feel about these concerns, not just here in Chicago but all over the place. I’m really tired of having to log on to social media and hear about another incident. I came here and wanted to see what it’s gonna be like. Honestly I’m very offended by this limited range of framing questions. I just moved back a week or two ago. I’ve been in a cloud and didn’t even know this was happening. I told my mom. I was talking to someone else and they said these hearings weren’t even going to happen unless, because it was public unrest. So I was reading up on it and I was really concerned because one thing that’s not here is how evidence will be collected, which is a serious concern as there is too much reliance on Chicago Police Department. I won’t reiterate what’s been said previously about evidence collection and also the qualifications. I’m not able to give a good answer to these questions without seeing what this ordinance looks like. Whenever an actual bill goes through the house, it’s online and you can see it transferred from committee to committee, from house to senate and I can see a piece of what the bill looks like. I’m not sure why that’s not available for me to look at at any other point. Alderman replies: it will be once it’s created. Nicole continues: I understand that but I think if these are going to neglect that, I should be able to come and spend my time more efficiently and know exactly what to talk about and what’s going to be said. So the total reliance on Chicago Police Department is the thing that really concerns me the most. I like to see exactly how that would be teased out. About qualifications, I think investigators should have as much authority to go in and do some of the collection of data or evidence or whatever they do on a crime scene. I just really wish this was a little bit more open for us to actually say something and give an actual opinion.
Alderman says: to the young woman’s point, any ordinance that is introduced to the city council, and some of these are introduced in one form or another, they may be an iterated verison but you can go to the Chicago city clerk’s website and click on the bottom, it says legislation, and search through a keyword search for CPAC or police reform to find the ordinance or contact your alderman or one of us and we will get a copy.
Dr. Donovan Price
Good evening. When I listened to everything everybody said so far, I heard words like hurt, I hear words like loss of hope, I hear hurt words like racism, I hear systematic. I hear they were paid to protect us. I feel the pain. I cry when this happens but see I didn’t 100% put my faith in anybody I voted for. I didn’t 100% put my faith in anything I learned in school upto doctrine level because I represent God. I know that even though right now there is killing going on and hatred going on and there’s sick sick people out there wearing uniforms and getting paid by the little tax money I can afford to pay. I’m not gonna act like I don’t have hope. I’m not gonna act like even though there’s a storm right now the sun won’t come out tomorrow. See, today I put a window in a six-year-old’s family’s house because there were still gunshots from where she was shot two weeks ago. So my alderman is not here I don’t think but there are aldermen here so I believe in you all. Maybe until today you may not have done something that people want to hear or want to be a part of but I know you can because god can. I know every tear we had here can be dried. I know that every bullet that is going to fly, that has flown so far, can be justified, if not on this earth, then on some other place. I’m here because of the word I heard tonight a few times and that is healing. We can heal together. We need to be on the board. We need to be on the writing, on the planning. We need to understand and we need to step up and make sure we are there. I went to the first round of the department of justice hearings and there were four people there. We need to step up because we can. We need to move forward because we can. Sit down with them one on one. They will sit down with you. Sit down with superintendent Johnson one on one. He will sit down with you. We can. We must. Our kids are dying. Our brothers and sisters are dying but I still believe and I know that you still believe too because that’s why you are here. I’m tired of crying and I’m not gonna stand here and say who put the tears in my eyes. All I’m going to do is work from sun up to sun down to dry the tears in my eyes, in my heart and everybody here because we can, we will, we must.
Aldermen: I have three written comments I want to pass on for the record.
Melissa Joe Kelly:
Hello august body. You don’t have name plates so I don’t know to whom I am speaking. But I assume at least three or four of you are aldermen and you’re part of the city council. Well, this is an old sign for a different city council but isn’t it amazing how when you’re fighting for justice, if you keep the old signs, they become relevant in another context. It’s saying: do better city council. Do better than another iteration of a mayor controlled fake review board. Unless you have people in the community with the power to control Chicago’s totally and completely out of control corrupt bad bad police department, this police department. I lived here for the first time in the early 70s. Everyone was scared of the Chicago pigs back in the day just like now. I’m 65, I’m white, I have the privileges of my skin color, which helped me get the privileges of post secondary education. People like me get caught on the most ridiculous reasons. I once was arrested for disorderly conduct. I said to my lawyer: geez, can’t you get my charge reduced and he said I’m sorry that’s the lowest level of criminal charge there is. Any time a cop wants to he can arrest you or anybody and beat them and kill them and get away with it and I’m sick of it. For the love of god. Paul O Neal. God damn. Excuse my language. But for the love of god almighty shoot an 18-year- child because he was joyriding? He didn’t steal that car. He took that sports car, he drove it around town and just like one of the people interviewed in the newspaper said: you didn’t have to kill him, it wasn’t like he was leaving town. I don’t care if the pigs stop by him and ticket him, give him something other than a free paid vacation. This town, ever since the 70s has needed community control of the police and it’s rather funny because hate crimes were invented for protected classes of people in danger of being hated for their sex, their race, their religion, their nationality, their country of origin – not because they act so bad that everybody hates them for their behavior.
Good evening. I’m tired of the bull crap. Rahm Emanuel is arrogant. He is very disrespectful to the black community. You all know this. (Audio unclear) I think I’m qualified to be on that board. I want you to get behind it and push it too. Tell Rahm Emanuel, Brother Kumba told him … so my brothers in street can have some hope, so people in my community have some hope. Supposedly good police, stop doing the silence. They don’t snitch. Then we get a lot more done. I represent a lot of young brothers out here on the street who got X’s on their back. They want to change their life. But we can’t help them young brothers’ life when police riding up on them. You all know my background. I told the mayor about my background. (audio unclear) I got the paperwork, I got the credentials. Bring some professional people in on gang problem. I’ve got 50 years of experience. I got credentials. Only thing I haven’t achieved is my phd from street. Suggesting to you all, you know my work. I’m suggesting to you all, you know my work.
Regards to fellow who wanted to be on police board, with Chicago Alliance I want to say if you want to be on their board. Difference between their system and CPAC is we vote you in. you don’t have to beg for a position. Also here because I want to talk about blue lives matter ordinance. Louis. That has bang together to fight this blue lives matter ordinance that charge people with hate crime for speaking out against police. Cochran? Conflict of interest for you to put your name on there because you are both former cops and get money from the FOP. We’re tracking your dollars. We’re watching everything just like you’re watching us too. I’m almost at loss for words. We know this is false. You all are not doing anything. Someone asked question about CPAC, it seemed you didn’t even read the CPAC ordinance. Your people are crying out. Why have you not put out public comment about it. You have been silent on CPAC. You are sitting up here being cronies for mayor. Who elected you? Who do you serve? We’re doing our homework. Watching you closely and this election season we not playing. You can find our petition. We’ve been gathering signatures. We want Ald. Burke to halt. National legislation. The bluest lie.
where they are trying to push blue lives matter crap all over. That is repression. That is repression. Please support us.
(Let her speak)
Have been asking questions, when are we going to get answer for questions. When will they comment on things we have to say. They trying to push this through next month.