On March 19th, WWP partnered with City Bureau to host a town hall meeting to discuss police accountability on the West Side. The hands-on, data driven event was educational and engaging, providing an in-depth look at how police misconduct allegations are handled. The event included break out sessions to allow for smaller group discussion and to gather questions posed by those in attendance.
Some of the questions centered around the issue of ‘military policing’ verses ‘community policing’. Others wanted police officers involved in fatal shootings to submit to drug/alcohol testing immediately.
The event was well attended and attracted a very diverse crowd from long time West Side residents to current college students to former Chicago police officers and members of the founding African American Patrolmen’s League. Those in attendance were treated to an afternoon of data analysis and very enlightening discussion as City Bureau staff members gave a step-by-step walk through on how to access and analyze the database.
Pamela Hunt, founder of Hunt for Cultural Brilliance, came to the event prepared to research the data base and share information with others. “I was very impressed. The information was very informative and accessible and I’m so glad it was held on the West Side.”
According to the database, which looks at data from March 2011 through September 2015, the overwhelming majority of police misconduct allegations against Chicago police officers were deemed unsustained.
It is important to note that the agency that deemed these cases unsustained was none other than the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), the same agency that justified the LaQuan McDonald shooting and others prior to the tapes being made public.
For West Side communities the numbers were staggering:
||# of complaints
Richard Marion, long time WWP participant and current junior at Iowa Sate Univ., happened to be back in Chicago for spring break during the event. He added, “The event was very informative. I had no idea stats like these even existed. It was also really cool to see everyone in the audience engaged and participating in the discussion.”
Chaclyn Hunt, a civil rights attorney with the Invisible Institute, provided updates on current bills pending in the state legislature. She also explained how the Invisible Institute in a legal battle with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) to access misconduct allegations going back more than five years. Check back for more developments on this issue.