Justice Department to oppose Chicago police consent agreement

A consent decree negotiated by Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and state attorney general Lisa Madigan that will severely limit the Chicago police in proactive policing will be opposed by the U.S. Justice Department.

The decree, with substantial input from Black Lives Matter and the ACLU, will bury police in paperwork and, like other consent decrees, hamstring police in using proactive measures to prevent crime.

Chicago Sun-Times:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement, "Chicago's agreement with the ACLU in late 2015 dramatically undercut proactive policing in the city and kicked off perhaps the greatest surge in murder ever suffered by a major American city, with homicides increasing more than 57 percent the very next year.

"Now the city's leaders are seeking to enter into another agreement. It is imperative that the city not repeat the mistakes of the past – the safety of Chicago depends on it.  Accordingly, at the end of this week, the Justice Department will file a statement of interest opposing the proposed consent decree.  It is critical that Chicago get this right."

What happened after the 2015 agreement went into effect?

The  ACLU agreement was made in 2015, and the next year murders in Chicago spiked.  In 2016, there were 750 people murdered in Chicago compared with 480 in the previous year, a 57 percent increase and the most since 1997 when 761 people were slain.

But there is more to the story than what is reflected in the Sessions statement.  Murders so far this year in Chicago are down about 19 percent compared with the same period of 2017 and 24 percent compared with the same period of 2016.

The numbers can't help but go down after the bloodletting of 2016.  It's hardly something to be proud of.

Many police in the city do not oppose some administrative reforms that would hold officers more accountable.  But there are elements of the consent decree that are strenuously opposed by all police because they would make their jobs far more dangerous.

The DoJ's intervention probably won't stop the judge from ruling the consent decree valid.  Its role is advisory only.  So a Black Lives Matter- and ACLU-approved agreement will probably go into effect.  The city's residents will almost certainly be less safe as a result.

A consent decree negotiated by Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and state attorney general Lisa Madigan that will severely limit the Chicago police in proactive policing will be opposed by the U.S. Justice Department.

The decree, with substantial input from Black Lives Matter and the ACLU, will bury police in paperwork and, like other consent decrees, hamstring police in using proactive measures to prevent crime.

Chicago Sun-Times:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement, "Chicago's agreement with the ACLU in late 2015 dramatically undercut proactive policing in the city and kicked off perhaps the greatest surge in murder ever suffered by a major American city, with homicides increasing more than 57 percent the very next year.

"Now the city's leaders are seeking to enter into another agreement. It is imperative that the city not repeat the mistakes of the past – the safety of Chicago depends on it.  Accordingly, at the end of this week, the Justice Department will file a statement of interest opposing the proposed consent decree.  It is critical that Chicago get this right."

What happened after the 2015 agreement went into effect?

The  ACLU agreement was made in 2015, and the next year murders in Chicago spiked.  In 2016, there were 750 people murdered in Chicago compared with 480 in the previous year, a 57 percent increase and the most since 1997 when 761 people were slain.

But there is more to the story than what is reflected in the Sessions statement.  Murders so far this year in Chicago are down about 19 percent compared with the same period of 2017 and 24 percent compared with the same period of 2016.

The numbers can't help but go down after the bloodletting of 2016.  It's hardly something to be proud of.

Many police in the city do not oppose some administrative reforms that would hold officers more accountable.  But there are elements of the consent decree that are strenuously opposed by all police because they would make their jobs far more dangerous.

The DoJ's intervention probably won't stop the judge from ruling the consent decree valid.  Its role is advisory only.  So a Black Lives Matter- and ACLU-approved agreement will probably go into effect.  The city's residents will almost certainly be less safe as a result.