Nearly 75 Percent of People Shot by Chicago Police are Black, Report Says
(ABC News) – A task force is recommending that the Chicago Police Department acknowledge its history of racism after a report found that 74 percent of people shot by police between 2008 and 2015 were black.
The Police Accountability Task Force released a report Wednesday, detailing “racist or biased policing” of the CPD at an “alarming rate.” The task force was created by Mayor Rahm Emanuel late last year following the controversy caused by the shooting death of Laquan McDonald in 2014.
The report, by 46 people from diverse backgrounds, found that out of the 404 people shot by police between 2008 and 2015, 299 of them were black. In that same time frame, 55 Hispanics, 33 whites and one Asian were shot by police. The numbers for disproportionate use of tasers against African-Americans are similar, according to the report.
The city of Chicago is almost evenly split by race among whites (31.7 percent), blacks (32.9 percent) and Hispanics (28.9 percent), according to the report.
“The linkage between racism and CPD did not just bubble up in the aftermath of the release of the McDonald video,” a summary of the report read. “Racism and maltreatment at the hands of the police have been consistent complaints from communities of color for decades.”
The task force’s report also found that 72 percent of people stopped by Chicago police in 2014 were black, while 17 percent were Hispanic.
The CPD “lacks a culture of accountability” and has “a long, sad history of death, false imprisonment, physical and verbal abuse and general discontent about police actions in neighborhoods of color,” the report said.
People of color “do not feel safe in any encounter with the police,” said the report, which listed dozens of recommendations, including creating a community oversight board, implementing a reconciliation process and expanding the department’s body camera program.
The CPD did not offer a comment to ABC News in response to the report.
On the same day the report was released, city officials unanimously approved Emanuel’s choice for a new police chief, police veteran Eddie Johnson.
Johnson, who was appointed interim chief last month, is a black CPD veteran with 27 years of experience on the police force. He had to get special approval for the permanent position by city council because he bypassed the usual vetting process and was not among the candidates selected by the city’s police board.
The new police chief’s to-do list is a lengthy one, considering the recent shooting death of 16-year-old Pierre Loury on the city’s West Side after a foot chase with police Monday night. A weapon was recovered on the scene, police said, but did not elaborate on the nature of that weapon.
The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on 30-day desk duty.
About 100 protesters gathered Tuesday night demanding justice for the slain teen following a vigil for his death, which was sponsored by Black Lives Matter Chicago.
“if chicago police can see you, you are a damn target.” #Justice4Pierre pic.twitter.com/vEUjDAMjVa
— rebekah frumkin (@jeansvaljeans) April 13, 2016
In December, Emanuel announced that the city will overhaul police tactics and training to mitigate tension between residents and officers, following the outrage caused by the deadly police shootings of Bettie Jones and Quintonio LeGrier earlier that month and McDonald in 2014.