Coalition of Community and Civil Rights Groups Call on the City, Attorney General, State’s Attorney to Address Escalating Police Violence
CHICAGO – In light of recent fatal police encounters, the coalition of individuals and community groups that led the charge for a consent decree (Campbell v City of Chicago) held a press conference on Thursday June 13th to call on the Mayor of Chicago and the Illinois Attorney General to provide greater transparency and take action to address the increase in police violence.
In the first six months of 2019, six individuals have been killed by police violence, which is already 50% higher than the previous year total.
The Campbell coalition argued the on-going police violence shows that the implementation of the consent decree is still falling short. They also emphasized the need for greater transparency, diversion and accountability as well as reducing the need for force. The group emphasized, in particular, the need to eliminate the reliance on police officers as first responders for those in suffering from psycho-social disabilities, as in the case of 22-year old Myles Frazier who was shot and killed after his father called police for assistance.
The Campbell coalition also raised concerns with the new Mayor’s continual focus on increasing police presence rather than improving police performance and accountability.
They urged the Mayor and City Council to implement the Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) as the only way to create meaningful community-based accountability and ensure those most impacted by police violence have the necessary role to transform the Chicago Police Department
“If the City is serious about transforming its police department, it has to be accountable to the communities most affected by police violence, racism and corruption,” said Sheila Bedi of the MacArthur Justice Center, co-lead counsel for the Campbell plaintiffs. “The Lightfoot Administration must acknowledge the tragedy of these police killings and provide our communities with a full, transparent accounting of what went wrong—and how this admin will finally put a stop to police abuse in our Black and Brown communities.”
The Campbell coalition have a legal agreement with the City of Chicago and Illinois Attorney General that allows them monitor and enforce the current consent decree. As part of this effort, the coalition is hosting a teach-in on June 19th. The People’s Hearing on Police Violence aims to allow community members to come and testify about their encounters with police as well as learn more about the People’s Consent Decree and what actions they can take. The hearing will take place at 6 PM at the KLEO Center (119 E Garfield) and be open to press.
The organizations included in this coalition are all deeply rooted in communities that have been most impacted by police corruption and violence. TheCampbell plaintiffs include four individuals and 10 community-based organizations: Black Lives Matter Chicago, Chicago Urban League, Blocks Together, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Justice for Families—Black Lives Matter Chicago, Network 49, Women’s All Points Bulletin, 411 Movement for Pierre Loury, and the West Side Branch and Illinois State Conference of the NAACP.
Counsel for the Campbell Plaintiffs also include Craig Futterman of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School Randolph Stone, Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School, Alexa Van Brunt and Vanessa del Valle of the MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Brendan Shiller of Shiller Preyar LLC, Jeanette S. Samuels, Samuels & Associates, Ltd., Cannon Lambert, Sr., Karchmar & Lambert, P.C Andrew Stroth of Action Injury, as well as the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton of New York.