CBA Record January-February 2022

What’s Going On: Policing in Chicago Under the Consent Decree By Ann Glynn, CBA Public Affairs Director W hi le the City of Chicago continues to grapple with the arduous process of implement-

ing police reform, the CBA and the Union League Club of Chicago recently hosted a conversation on the history of the Chicago Police Consent Decree, police use of force, community, and police engagement and first amendment issues. Presented jointly by the CBA Public Affairs Committee and the ULCC’s Administration of Justice subcommittee, the event featured a panel of legal and civil rights experts offering analysis and observations on the progress of the imple- mentation process. The consent decree, a court order mandating broad police reform, went into effect March 1, 2019, to reform police training and policies and support officers in implementing safe, constitutional polic- ing practices. An independent monitor was appointed to oversee compliance with the decree. Robert Kreisman, Chair of the CBA Public Affairs committee and the ULCC Administration of Justice subcommittee, moderated the discussion and explained its timing: “Two years after the Consent Decree was first implemented, we wanted to reconvene to review the progress that has been made and what still needs to be done.” Featured panelists included Cara Hen- drickson, Executive Director, BPI-Chicago; Amy Meek, Civil Rights Bureau Chief at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office; and Ed Yohnka, Director of Communications, American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. The discussion began with an overview of the Consent Decree, highlighting the stages of compliance of the Chicago Police

Pictured from left: Cara Hendrickson, Executive Director, BPI-Chicago; EdYohnka, Direc- tor of Communications, American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois; and Amy Meek, Civil Rights Bureau Chief, Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

Department. “Although CPD has made a lot of progress in some important areas, there is still much work to be done,” said Meek. “For close to half of the require- ments in the Decree, the CPD has not completed the first steps towards reform, which is that preliminary compliance includes developing required policies and procedures.” Yohnka added, “From the ACLU’s per- spective, what we’ve seen so far is a lack of full commitment by the CPD and the City of Chicago to really engage in implement- ing the decree.” The discussion covered a wide range of topics including police accountability, the SAFE-T Act, excessive use of force, racial profiling, data quality, officer wellness, first amendment issues, and community engagement. “I’d like to end on a note of optimism,” Hendrickson concluded. “I want to paint

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Members who missed this event can watch it on-demand at

12 January/February 2022

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