PRESS STATEMENT DOWNLOAD PDF
Ted Pearson 312-927-2689 email: [email protected]
Community Control of the Police is the Answer
Frank Chapman, Field Organizer, CAARPR
The City Council Black Caucus has called for Mayor Emanuel to fire Police Chief Garry McCarthy. The establishment media describes their move as historically unprecedented. In other words, as a caucus they have always gone along with the Mayor on all questions. And if you pay close attention to the content and substance of their statement, they are still going along with the Mayor.
They want him to fire McCarthy because, according to Caucus Chair Roderick Sawyer, “Supt. McCarthy’s leadership has failed our communities, and it’s time for a substantial change. The crime and violence in our communities have grabbed headlines across the country. And while the root causes of that violence cannot be solved by policing alone, it is clear that the current approach has been ineffective.”
The Caucus and Sawyer fail to mention police crimes, however. They fail to mention that the police are torturing and murdering people, overwhelmingly Black people, and that McCarthy and the Mayor have defended their actions down the line. McCarthy refused to fire Commander Glen Evans, even though the Mayor’s handpicked “Independent” Police Review Authority recommended firing him for torturing suspects. So far he has also refused to fire Dante Servin, the police murderer of Rekia Boyd, even though IPRA has recommended that.
The fact is that reducing crime will be impossible as long as the police chief tolerates police crime, and refuses to investigate charges from the community that the police are often in league with criminals.
The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression has drafted and proposed model legislation creating an all-elected, all-Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) with the power to fire, and hire, the chief of police and to initiate the prosecution of officers who have committed crimes against the people. Three thousand people marched on City Hall demanding passage of this proposal on August 29 this year, but not a single member of the City Council was there to greet them and embrace this proposal.
The Alliance calls on Ald. Sawyer and all the members of the Black Caucus, and all the members of the City Council to get on board the movement for community control of police. If they are serious about reducing crime they must start by ending police crime. Until that’s done by the Council, everything else is just empty talk.
By the way, IPRA is no less part of the problem than McCarthy himself. Their two recent recommendations came only after massive protests against police crimes, including torture and murder. Of almost 400 police shootings in Chicago they have not disciplined a single officer yet. The whole system – IPRA, Police Board and the Internal Affairs Department of CPD – must be replaced with an elected CPAC – true community control. Chicago’s City Council Black caucus needs to do something that is truly historically unprecedented like leading the fight to enact CPAC so that our communities are empowered to decide all policies regarding how we are policed. This is the democratic solution to the problem of police crimes in our communities.
Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
Stop Police Crimes Campaign