A demonstration outside of the mayor’s office in Chicago this weekend included several political hard-hitters. Among them were the Rev. Jesse Jackson, US House Representative Danny Davis, and County commissioner Robert Steele. All three are noted supporters of mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.
The demonstration was focused on the Chicago Police, an institution that protesters believe is in dire need of reform. Specifically, the Office of Professional Standards was called into question, despite its recent revamping and independent status.
Protesters demanded reform of the “stop and frisk” policy, a measure that has shown high statistical instances of racial profiling. Furthermore, stricter rules relating to police body cameras were called for. In particular, protesters asked for “accountability and consequences” for violations resulting in police misconduct. Such violations would include turning off the camera while engaging with suspects. Consequences would include public disclosure of “flagged” recordings, which could involve instances such as inappropriate force.
The recordings caught by police body cameras should also be accessible to both the suspect and his or her attorney, according to the protestors.
The groups involved in the protest have been seeking an audience with current Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel, for months. While they did finally meet with the mayor last Saturday morning, none of the group’s demands were addressed to their satisfaction.
“He did not commit to any changes. He committed to continue talking. And we do not want to continue talking. We want to begin moving and taking action,” said Nora Gaines of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus to the Chicago Sun Times.
Regarding the stop and frisk laws specifically, protesters cited disturbing statistics of the racial discrimination. Citing 250,000 innocent stop-and-frisk victims, Rev. Jackson commented, “That matters. 250,000 people are stopped, but not arrested, meaning they were harassed.”
Of the 250,000 innocent people stopped by police, 72% were black.
The Law Offices of Michael Lamonsoff has over 20 years of experience fighting for the rights of victims who were subject to inappropriate police behavior. If you or a loved one has experienced police misconduct, whether it was a false arrest, a stop-and-frisk, or brutality, give us a call at (212) 962-1020 for a free personal consultation.