Justice Department report on Chicago police an exercise in damage control
17 January 2017
A report released Friday by the US Justice Department details systematic police brutality and unconstitutional practices by the Chicago Police Department (CPD).
While the 161-page report outlines a broad array of horrific practices and crimes committed by the police force, it is an exercise in political damage control and cover-up. Not a single high-level political figure is held to account or charged for crimes by the investigation.
The city of Chicago has been controlled by the Democratic Party for decades with a long history of police violence and torture. The findings of the report, following a 13-month investigation, were announced at a press conference last week with US Attorney General Loretta Lynch alongside Chicago’s Democratic mayor, Rahm Emanuel.
The Justice Department began its investigation of the CPD in December 2015 after the city released a video of a police officer shooting Laquan McDonald 16 times, which triggered widespread unrest and created a political crisis for the Democratic Party. The release of the video of McDonald’s murder was stonewalled by the Emanuel administration for over a year until a court order forced its release, following a Freedom of Information Act request by an independent journalist.
The report’s investigation spans a period from January 2011 to April 2016. It concludes that the CPD engaged in a series of “pattern or practices” that violate the US Constitution. The practices detailed in the report—following similar reports about cities such as Baltimore, Cleveland, Ferguson and New Orleans—are an indictment of the crimes of American capitalism and the state of class relations in the United States.
Some of the…