Federal officials have shown a profound reluctance to intervene by bringing criminal charges in police shootings in Chicago, reports the Chicago Tribune. Police there have shot 702 citizens — killing 215 — in the past 15 years. Not once have federal law enforcement officials brought criminal civil rights charges against an officer in those shootings. This is despite the fact that the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office are viewed by many as the law enforcement agencies of last resort when local authorities fail to respond. Unelected and largely immune to political pressure, they are seen as white knights of law enforcement.
Community activists and family members of those shot by police have urged federal officials to take a more active role, hoping they will be more aggressive than Chicago officials. Earlier this year, the families of two black Chicago teens killed in separate shootings in 2013 called upon federal authorities to take a fresh and independent look at what transpired. The office of U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon declined to answer questions about why the federal investigations have taken years, and why no Chicago cop involved in a police shooting has been charged.