CHICAGO (CBS) — Concerned citizens, aldermen, and other leaders tackled police misconduct during a virtual town hall on Saturday. The group is calling for new Chicago Police Department reforms, including civilian oversight of the department, saying past reforms don’t go far enough.
“It always comes after a major misstep in terms of the police. The community gets outraged. The mayor says I’m sorry, and then there’s a change, but there is no systemic change,” said political consultant Delmarie Cobb.
The town hall was put on by Concerned Women of Illinois, a group that formed following the botched police raid at the home of Anjanette Young. CBS 2 exposed how Young was handcuffed naked as officers raided the wrong home.
The group is pushing for a new city ordinance that would create a civilian commission with oversight of CPD. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has voiced opposition to that ordinance, in part over a dispute about whether the board or the mayor would have the final say in policy disputes between the board and the department.
If that ordinance were to pass, voters also would be asked to approve a binding referendum in 2022 to empower a civilian police oversight board to hire and fire the police superintendent, negotiate contracts with unions representing officers, and set the department’s budget.
The mayor has said, because she “wears the jacket” for crime in Chicago, she’s not willing to essentially hand over control of CPD to a civilian oversight board.
Lightfoot has said she still believes a civilian oversight board should have a say on CPD policy, and she plans to introduce her own citizen oversight plan soon.