University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name DOJ Investigation of Chicago Police Department PN-IL-0020
Docket / Court docket unknown ( No Court )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
In the aftermath of the November 2015 release of a police video showing a white Chicago police officer shooting a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, sixteen times first as he walked away and later as he lay in the middle of the road, citizens called for a federal investigation into the Chicago Police ... read more >
In the aftermath of the November 2015 release of a police video showing a white Chicago police officer shooting a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, sixteen times first as he walked away and later as he lay in the middle of the road, citizens called for a federal investigation into the Chicago Police Department (CPD). On December 7, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it was opening an investigation into CPD under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The DOJ aimed to identify any constitutional or federal law violations carried out by CPD and focused on CPD’s use of force and accountability standards.

The investigation’s findings were released on January 13, 2017. The report highlighted many incidents of unjustified force that violated the Fourth Amendment, such as shooting at individuals who did not pose immediate threats to CPD officers, used by CPD and concluded that this pattern was attributed to “a collection of poor policies.” These policies included inadequate training and supervision, a lack of accountability, poor data collection techniques, and procedures that eroded trust between CPD and the community. DOJ outlined how CPD had begun to take steps to ameliorate CPD’s unlawful behavior. Tactics adopted by CPD prior to the findings’ release include implementing a body camera program, providing a force mitigation training course for CPD officers, and revisiting old CPD policies connected to use of force.

The report indicated that even though CPD had taken commendable steps to improving its practices, reform will likely not continue without an independent monitor and consent decree. The City of Chicago pledged to negotiate with the DOJ after the findings were released in order to solve the issues outlined in the report.

Amelia Huckins - 02/12/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Excessive force
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 14141
Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.
Defendant(s) Chicago PD
Plaintiff Description U.S. Department of Justice.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Links An Interactive Guide to the Civil Rights Division’s Police Reforms
https://www.justice.gov/
Written: Jan. 04, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program )
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  New York City to Pay Up to $75 Million Over Dismissed Summonses
New York Times
Written: Jan. 23, 2017
By: Benjamin Weiser (New York Times)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Panopticism for Police: Structural Reform Bargaining and Police Regulation by Data-Driven Surveillance
By: Mary D. Fan (University of Washington)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Civil Rights Division’s Pattern and Practice Police Reform Work: 1994-Present
https://www.justice.gov/
Written: Jan. 04, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Written: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Press Release
PN-IL-0020-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/07/2015
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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