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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Community, activists meet with AG's staff on policing issues
by Matt Simonette
2018-04-11

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Representatives from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office met April 6 with advocates, service providers and community members to discuss difficulties between some LGBT Chicagoans and the Chicago Police Department ( CPD ).

The meeting was held at Center on Halsted, and was the first small-scale gathering officials are holding to formulate a consent decree for reform of CPD. It was facilitated by advocate Lisa Gilmore of Morten Group, in association with University of Illinois at Chicago.

The consent decree—a court order putting into place "reforms that govern police training and policies and provide officers the support they need to implement safe and constitutional policing practices," according to a website established by Madigan's office—comes after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions pulled the plug on federal efforts to hold CPD accountable in the wake of the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald and myriad other incidents. Madigan wants to get the matter before a judge prior to her departing office early next year. The city will likely not contest the matter.

Madigan's website, and the community meetings, are being used to garner feedback as the decree is composed.

The April 6 meeting was closed to media to foster open conversation, but a few participants discussed the issues that inspired then to get involved.

Activist Gloria Allen said, "The police department have their good points and their bad points, but the bad policemen get off so easily with a slap on the wrist. They'll say, 'They're suspended until further notice with pay.' They need to cut that out completely. … If you give someone who holds a city or official job just a slap on the wrist, they are going to continue to do what they do."

Activist Donald Bell added that he appreciated the initiative "especially because I feel we've been abandoned by the current federal administration, especially since the current attorney general has not followed through from the findings of the [Obama-era] Justice Department. The state attorney general has stepped into the breach and I appreciate that."

Activist Yordana Adedokun said that "the police department appropriates certain acts of discrimination and racial bias in our community. … I'm a firm believer that, with the proper frameworks of community building and relationship building, we should [ultimately] not have to need police. I believe in a society where we can govern ourselves as a community—I know that that's a long path, and there's a road we can take to get there."

To read about and offer feedback for the police consent decree, visit ChicagoPoliceConsentDecree.com .


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