May 15, 2018

Community Groups Finalize CPD Consent Decree Demands

CHICAGO –The fight for meaningful community-based federal oversight of the Chicago Police Department (CPD), came closer to reality today as community groups in the Campbell v. City of Chicago litigation made public their consent decree demands.  These demands take the form of an over 125-page consent decree addressing almost every aspect of CPD operations—with a focus on how CPD interacts with Black and Brown communities, people with disabilities, young people, women and LGBTQI individuals. The proposed decree also overhauls the accountability and disciplinary systems and describes new performance metrics for the evaluation of officers. Some of the specific provisions in the decree include:

Use of Force

  • A mandate that officers resolve incidents without force whenever possible, requiring trauma-informed and tactical de-escalation techniques;
  • A specific prohibition of officer behavior that escalates incidents and a prohibition on the use of force as retaliation for speech or as a form of punishment;
  • The development of supportive services for police violence survivors and their families;


  • The creation of programs that will ensure a least-intrusive policing model including a pre-arrest diversion program that will allow officers to address incidents without arrest, a community based mediation/restorative justice program that will allow communities to diffuse conflict and maintain peace, and a citation program for minor offenses;
  • Crisis intervention teams to support people with behavioral health issues or who are in crisis;
  • The elimination of financial incentives officers have to arrest, ticket and escalate encounters with community members;

Racism and Gender Bias

  • Numerous provisions aimed at eradicating racism and bias, including ensuring that officers are trained about CPD scandals like Jon Burge;
  • The mandatory collection, analysis, and reporting of data tracking various kinds of profiling and selective enforcement and, with community input, the development and implementation of corrective action plans based on the data;
  • Prohibiting the selection of particular communities to police based to any degree on the racial or ethnic composition of the community;
  • Prohibitions on officer sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and on-duty sexual activity and the creation of an affirmative duty for officers to treat all civilians, including LGBTQI and gender nonconforming individuals, with respect, professionalism, and courtesy;


  • An accountability system comprised of an elected council that has the power to hold police accountable, hire the superintendent and that is wholly independent from City Hall and the CPD;
  • Independent civilian investigations into all serious uses of force and all police misconduct complaints involving the abuse of community members, including sexual abuse and assault. Provisions that guarantee the resources, powers, robust transparency, and community oversight to ensure independent, rigorous, high quality, and unbiased investigations into police misconduct;
  • Provisions that prevent and root out officer collusion, protect officers who report police abuse, require officers to report misconduct, and fire officers who lie and retaliate against witnesses in misconduct investigations;
  • Procedures to identify, investigate, and fire individual and groups of police officers who are engaged in patterns of abuse;

Hiring and Retention

  • Hiring, retention and supervision practices ensuring that the CPD force reflects the diversity of Chicago and implements non-biased and least intrusive policing;
  • Implementation of hiring and promotion practices that ensure that CPD hires and promotes officers who demonstrate a commitment to upholding the sanctity of life, implementing the least restrictive police response necessary in any given situation, and engaging in non-biased policing;


  • The creation of a public database that reports in real time critical public information about police misconduct complaints and major uses of force; and

Monitoring and Enforcement

  • Provisions ensuring that the people most affected by police violence will monitor and enforce the decree.

The Plaintiffs in the Campbell v. City of Chicago lawsuit have presented these demands through a process established by an agreement between the City of Chicago, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Plaintiffs in two lawsuits, Campbell v. City of Chicago and Communities United v. Chicago. Pursuant to the terms of that agreement, once the City and the Attorney General have reviewed the demands, each must respond and, “where feasible and appropriate,” provide alternative terms for consideration. That same agreement anticipates that the City and Attorney General will file a consent decree with the Court on or before September 1, 2018.

For more information about the Campbell efforts and recommendations to the City and the State of Illinois, including the Chicago Community Consent Decree, visit

The Campbell Plaintiffs include four individuals and 10 community-based organizational plaintiffs: Black Lives Matter Chicago, the Chicago Urban League, Blocks Together, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Justice for Families—Black Lives Matter Chicago, Network 49, Women’s All Points Bulletin, the 411 Movement for Pierre Loury, and the West Side Branch and Illinois State Conference of the NAACP.

The attorneys for the Plaintiffs in Campbell v. City of Chicago include lead attorneys Craig Futterman of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School and Sheila Bedi of the MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. The Plaintiffs legal team includes Alexa Van Brunt and Vanessa del Valle of the MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Randolph Stone, Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School, Brendan Shiller of Shiller Preyar LLC, Jeanette S. Samuels of Samuels & Associates, Ltd., Cannon Lambert, Sr. of Karchmar & Lambert, P.C, Andrew Stroth of Action Injury, as well as the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton of New York.


« 1 of 2 »