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Black Lawmakers Want Federal Probe Of CPD To Include State's Attorney, IPRA

CHICAGO (CBS) -- African-American state lawmakers have asked the Justice Department to expand its civil rights investigation of the Chicago Police Department.

Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), who chairs the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, said the federal probe of the Police Department's policies and practices regarding the use of force should also include the Independent Police Review Authority and the Cook County State's Attorney's office.

"In order to restore the trust of all Chicagoans – particularly communities of color – in law enforcement, it is necessary to examine and address not only the Police Department itself, but the entire chain of response through which public complaints against law enforcement pass through," she said.

Lightford said an investigation into whether there is a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing in Chicago should also include the two agencies tasked with investigating and prosecuting police misconduct.

"Despite internal investigations, and the work of the Independent Police Review Authority, officers within the Chicago Police Department rarely face consequences – criminal or disciplinary," she said.

Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) said lawmakers already have passed legislation that would establish guidelines for police body cameras and in-vehicle cameras, and collect data aimed at eliminating discriminatory stops of citizens.

State Rep. Elgie Sims Jr. said a new law taking effect in January will require increased training for police officers, "focused on implicit bias, cultural competency, procedural justice, and use of force."

In response to the press conference, a spokeswoman for Anita Alvarez released a statement that said in part, "A better question would be why these elected officials all sat on their hands while the city of Chicago approved a $5 million civil settlement in the Laquan McDonald case without any public accountability. While they remained silent on the sidelines, Anita Alvarez was building a strong and thorough case to ensure that the murderer of Laquan McDonald would be held accountable."

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