The U.S. Attorney General has launched an investigation into the practices of the Chicago PD. They will be looking at patterns of potential abuse as well as their uses of deadly force.
The United States Justice Department has launched an investigation into the actions and operations of the Chicago police department. The Justice Department probe was ordered by Loretta Lynch, the United States Attorney General. The investigation is in response to the tremendous outrage over the shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer back in 2014. The Justice Department probe was announced on Monday.
Attorney General Lynch has ordered the investigation to focus on the practices of the Chicago police department as well as their uses of deadly force and what measures may or may not be in place to hold officers accountable for their actions, according to The Chicago Tribune. The Justice Department will be looking for regular patterns where there is abuse and whether the Chicago police have been in direct violation of citizens’ constitutional rights.
The Justice Department admitted that it will be a tough investigation as their already is a mistrust of the police in place in Chicago. They also know that police departments that are abusive and turn to violence first usually face protests and civil unrest at some point. Such was the case in Chicago following the release of a video showing 17 year old Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times and killed by white officer Jason Van Dyke.
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel said that he was pleased that the Justice Department was conducting an investigation though he was hesitant to welcome it initially. In a statement, Emanuel said he hopes “to create a better police department that keeps the community safe while respecting the civil rights of every Chicagoan.”
The investigation will be conducted by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division under the authority of federal civil rights laws. The Justice Department is currently investigating former police officer Van Dyke and to also see if there was a cover up going on among members of the Chicago police department regarding the McDonald murder. Van Dyke is under arrest and has been charged with first degree murder.