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Activists Demand Elected Civilian Police Accountability Board

By aaroncynic in News on Jun 22, 2016 9:28PM

Activists with the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression at a press conference on the second floor of City Hall (photo via @NAARPR)

Activists demanding a civilian elected police accountability board rallied at City Hall Wednesday morning.

Emanuel was originally scheduled to present his plan to scrap the Independent Police Review Authority in favor of an oversight board at the City Council meeting. But late last week the mayor decided to slow the process at the behest of Police Board President Lori Lightfoot and others in the City Council who wanted a series of public hearings on the matter first, according to the Sun-Times.

Activists say that Emanuel’s proposals can’t be trusted, and any body appointed by the mayor would be like “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.”

"As long as the police are accountable only to the mayor nothing will change," said Frank Champan of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. "He has never acknowledged the existence of this proposal supported by the broadest coalition of forces ever assembled in any city for community control of the police. People are outraged over the killings and shootings that go unabated and the mayor has done nothing but try to cover up the crimes and his own responsibility for them.”

The proposal by CAARPR would not only replace IPRA, which for years has failed to little in holding officers accused of excessive force or worse for their actions, but it would also replace the Police Board. Additionally, CAARPR’s proposal would give an elected civilian accountability board the authority to appoint a Police Superintendent, investigate misconduct and shootings, and “be the final authority regarding discipline in the Chicago Police Department.”

The group says it has at least 35,000 signatures in support of the measure.

There will be two more hearings on July 6 and 7 on Emanuel’s proposal, which he then plans to introduce to City Council on July 20.