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In Report, Task Force Contends Police Union A Major Obstacle To Change

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Today Mayor Emanuel was briefed on a new task force report that finds the Chicago Police Department is plagued by systemic racism, reports WBBM's Bob Roberts.

Task Force Chair Lori Lightfoot says credibility is low because 74 percent of those killed or wounded by police over eight years were black and 72 percent of those stopped in 2014.

Lightfoot says community policing exists in name only and says officers don't know the communities they serve. She says efforts must be made to help good cops turn in those who are bad.

"It makes sense to create a hotline for police officers to be able to anonymously report misconduct," Lightfoot said.

The task force asserts the police union contract is a major obstacle to change, saying, it's "essentially turned the code of silence into official policy."

READ: Full Report By Chicago Police Accountability Task Force


The contract prohibits citizens from filing anonymous complaints and allows officers to amend their statements about police-involved shootings.

"There is a clause that indicates an officer has the ability to amend a statement with 24 hours of making that statement if they haven't been presented with the video. and we can't find a good reason for why that would actually exist," said Task Force member Maurice Classen.

Features the report says, "make it easy for the officers to lie if they're so-inclined."

"The whole code of silence is accentuated by the language in our contract, that's just so off base," FOP President Dean Angelo said.

Angelo contends the contract only allows police to make the most accurate statements possible about highly stressful events.


Angelo says rank and file police are very frustrated and tired of all the accusations that seem to be coming their way.

Regarding criticism that, because of the police contract, officers get to revise their official statements in misconduct cases after viewing any available video, Angelo explains, "It sounds ridiculous the way it's written but that's all we could get. We wanted the officers to be able to participate in viewing the videos first, and then give an accurate statement but again, it's the gotcha mentality."

He's urging caution until the U.S. Justice Department weighs in.

But it could be 12 to 18 months before the feds are done.

"Citizens can't wait that long and there's no reason for that to happen," Lightfoot said.

The report also calls for expanded crisis intervention and mental health, critical response, de-escalation teams and training in expanded facilities that is recurring and improved.

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