Chicago police have shot at fleeing suspects who were not an immediate threat, used force to retaliate against people, failed to address racially discriminatory behavior in the police department, and put their own officers at risk, says a U.S. Justice Department probe of the police department that was issued today, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The report was released this morning by Attorney General Loretta Lynch. DOJ found that the city’s Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) used biased techniques to investigate officers and that police received poor training at all levels.
A federal review of more than 100 IPRA files revealed a consistent unwillingness to probe or dispute officers’ narratives. The report pointed to specific use-of-force cases that revealed insufficient training in de-escalation techniques. The Justice Department and City Hall have hammered out a “statement of agreement” that will detail remedies the city has already taken, or will take to address problems that have ruptured relations between police and the people they serve, particularly minority communities. The conclusion of the DOJ’s sweeping 13-month investigation comes as President Obama prepares to leave office and the more police-friendly, but unpredictable, administration of President-elect Donald Trump is set to begin. Before Lynch could announce the investigation, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said a Police Accountability Task Force would begin a “top-to-bottom review of the system of oversight and accountability training and transparency” at the police department.