Report blasts Chicago PD's treatment of minorities

CHICAGO -- An independent review of the Chicago police has found disregard for African-Americans who, the report says, are often stopped without justification, physically abused and detained without counsel.

The investigation was ordered by the mayor.

CBS News has the report which is being called "a light shining into darkness."

The police accountability task force shed a harsh new light on an old problem.

"Many people said they believe that the police they encounter were fundamentally racist," said Lori Lightfoot who chaired the panel.

She said the department's own data validates the "widely held belief the police have no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color."

Between 2008 and 2015, 74 percent of people in Chicago shot or killed by the cops were black. Seventy-six percent of the time police used tasers, they used them on black people.

As protesters took to the streets over the shooting death of a black teenager by cops this week, the report was urging changes in police union contracts which it said encourages a code of silence that protects bad officers.

"The question isn't do we have racism? We do. The question is what are you going to do about it?" said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The mayor picked the panel after the 2014 death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, at the hands of a white policeman, who shot him 16 times and later claimed his life was in danger.

Among the report's 100 recommendations, a city-wide reconciliation process, beginning with an acknowledgment by the police of their history of bias, a hotline for police to report wrongdoing, and an expanded use of body cameras.

"The lack of accountability is staggering, and more staggering: why haven't we collectively done more about it up to now?" said Andy Shaw who is with the Better Government Association.

It's a costly problem too, in the last 12 years, Chicago has shelled out $650 million to settle cases of police brutality.

  • Dean Reynolds

    Dean Reynolds is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Chicago.