Chicago Families Have New Hope for Police Shooting Reviews

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AP News Guide: Feds begin work on Chicago police probe.

CHICAGO (AP) — Janet Lindsey Ferguson has carried a poster bearing a photograph of her teenage son, Rickey Childs, ever since he was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer in 2012.CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel was meeting with officials from the Justice Department on Thursday, as federal authorities continue a civil rights probe of the Chicago Police Department’s use of force.According to a copy of the indictment posted Wednesday on the Chicago Tribune’s website, Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is white, was indicted Tuesday on six counts of first-degree murder and one count of official misconduct.

Interim Police Superintendent John Escalante told a City Council hearing Tuesday about a planned sit-down between investigators and police brass Wednesday, adding, “We have not been through anything like this before.” Meanwhile Wednesday night, the Chicago Tribune reported that the officer charged in the 2014 shooting death of a black teenager that set off the investigation was indicted by a Cook County grand jury. Now, after the release of the video of a Chicago officer firing 16 bullets into the body of another black teen, Laquan McDonald, she has hope that McDonald’s death — and the murder charge against the white officer, the first in decades to be charged with a crime for an on-duty shooting — will prompt someone to take another look at her son’s case. Near the end of the event, when students were told to stand up to recite the Urban Prep creed, several students began chanting “16 shots,” a common slogan among protesters who want the mayor to resign over the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez acknowledged at the time that she announced the charge earlier than planned out of concern for “public safety” knowing the intense public anger that the “chilling” video would generate. Today, the clout-heavy Thornton Township Democratic Committee is expected to formally endorse Kim Foxx, former chief of staff to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Critics have slammed Alvarez for taking more than a year to indict Van Dyke and she has strenuously defended her role, saying she was working closely with federal authorities all along. They’re pressuring the city’s beleaguered Independent Police Review Authority, or IPRA, to reopen inquiries into their family members’ deaths, and see the federal Department of Justice’s investigation of the Police Department as a chance — maybe the last one they will get — to be heard. Early this morning, the Chicago Sun-Times posted a story based on emails it says the state’s attorney’s office released as part of a public records request by independent journalist Brandon Smith.

The emails were sent to a county prosecutor from Chicago FBI agent Vick Lombardo, well regarded within the agency and tapped for high-profile cases, including that of former gov. A protest is planned for Christmas Eve on the city’s Magnificent Mile, its most prestigious shopping district, according to the political group “Coalition for a New Chicago.” A Nov. 27 protest on the strip drew thousands of demonstrators, who prevented shoppers from entering some stores. “We’re going to do prayer and demonstration,” said Gregory Livingston, Coalition founder. While the money is going toward Calvin’s small child, she remains dissatisfied that none of the officers paid with their jobs for what they did. “I have been trying to figure out what to do, who can I talk to and how I can get my story heard but I was just tired,” she said. “Then when the Laquan McDonald case came up, it gave me the push I needed.” Since the McDonald video and others, including one of a police officer fatally shooting a man in the back, have been released, authorities are getting calls to investigate cases that have been closed for years or barely noted by anyone but the families of those who died. And it is in our self-interest as a city that they’re here because the problems and the challenges we have in the sense of police and community relations and the changes that we need are deep-seeded. IPRA has already opened one investigation after a video showed a man being dragged by police from a jail cell and the agency’s new head has asked the city’s inspector general to again look at the McDonald case.

Attorney’s Office with a written demand for investigations into several shootings by police and alleged police torture cases — handing over pretty much the same document they said the same office ignored last year. She already has some satisfaction: Earlier this year, Chicago Public Radio reported that tests showed the gun police said Cross fired at them was inoperable, that IPRA had determined the gun had not been fired and that there was no gun residue on Cross’ hands. “Those officers are working now and they shouldn’t be,” she said. A key component is also community outreach – talking with families of Chicago residents shot by officers, likely setting up a hotline and email for tips, and holding town hall meetings to get direct feedback from the public. Daley’s former patronage chief, Streets and Sanitation commissioner and others convicted of rigging city hiring to benefit the Hispanic Democratic Organization and other pro-Daley armies of political workers.

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