Legislation to Create CPAC

Oct 2, 2013

Summary of the Draft Legislation for an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council enabling prosecution of criminal police abuse of human rights

Download CPAC People’s Guide  (2-sided)


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The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, together with representatives of many community-based organizations, has drafted a proposal for establishing a democratic, elected, Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) in Chicago.  Attorneys working with the CAARPR Task Force on Police Crimes is perfecting this proposal.  It includes a strong prosecutorial component – CPAC may petition the Chief Judge of the U. S. District Court to allow criminal charges before a sitting Grand Jury when police commit a crime such as battery, unlawful arrest, racial profiling, torture, rape, and murder when committed by police officers.  Illinois has abolished the death penalty.  It should strive to abolish the arbitrary use of deadly force by police.

The draft legislation is a work in progress.  Highlights of the proposed legislation include:

  • Establish an elected CPAC over the Chicago Police Department.  It shall have the authority to
    • Appoint the Superintendent of Police.
    • Re-write the police rule book, including all use of force guidelines, Standard Operating Procedures, Rules, and General Orders.
    • Investigate police misconduct.
    • Investigate all police shootings, including all police involved shootings that kill unarmed people.
    • Provide increased transparency of all investigations, including police involved shootings, and greater statistical analysis of demographic information of complaints by type and victim.
    • Increase rates at which complaints are sustained based on thorough investigations of all allegations of police misconduct and violations of the US Constitution and Human Rights’ law.
    • Be the final authority regarding discipline in the Chicago Police Department.
    • Indict police officers for crimes they commit.
    • Establish its own budget
  • CPAC will replace the current rubber-stamp Police Board.
  • CPAC will take over the job of the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) and eliminate it.
  • CPAC will reduce bias and guarantee fair treatment of victims of police misconduct.
    • CPAC will be elected by Police District and will have racially and ethnically equitable and proportional representation from each district.

The bill creating CPAC may be strengthened by adding some additional measures:

  • CPAC should make simple complaint forms available to anyone, at City Hall, all public libraries, and all Police Department District Headquarters.
    • CPAC should Encourage UN Human Rights Commission to audit Chicago Police standards and their implementation.
    • CPAC can assign a Civilian to be Chief of the Internal Affairs division, as in New Orleans.
    • CPAC can create of a successor/ leadership program within the ranks for the Superintendent of police.
    • CPAC can increase community outreach and involvement in our police districts and departments.
  • CPAC can establish a democratically constituted  Police Pension Review Board