Chicago police use excessive force against African Americans: Report

April 17, 2016 12:10 pm

Demonstrators protesting the shooting death of 16-year-old Pierre Loury block traffic on the Eisenhower Expressway during a march on April 12, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (AFP Photo)

A scathing new report shows that the Chicago Police Department has a long history of racism and excessive force against people of color.
The harsh 190-page report by The Police Accountability Task Force has found that three in four people injured or killed by CPD police officers are African American.
Of the 404 people shot or killed by police officers from 2008 to 2015, 299 (74%) were African-American, the report found, adding in other shootings, 14% (55) were Hispanic; 8% (33) were white; and 0.25% were Asian.
Police have disproportionately used Tasers against blacks, the report showed. Between 2012 and 2015, CPD officers used Taser in 1,886 cases of which more than 1,400 were Black, 254 were Hispanic and 144 were white.

Chicago Police officers push a protester away from a bicycle barricade on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015, in Chicago. 

“The Chicago Police Department cannot begin to build trust, repair what is broken and tattered unless – from the top leadership on down – it faces these hard truths, acknowledges what it has done at the individual and institutional levels, and earnestly reaches out in respect,” Task Force Chair Lori E. Lightfoot said.
The report also found that there have been numerous occasions where police made some false arrests and convicted suspects wrongly.
“False arrests, coerced confessions and wrongful convictions are also a part of this history,” the report said. “Lives lost and countless more damaged. These events and others mark a long, sad history of death, false imprisonment, physical and verbal abuse and general discontent about police actions in neighborhoods of color.”

Lamon Reccord is taken into custody by Chicago police officers during a march calling for Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel to resign over handling of police misconduct.

According to the report, young people of color and African American children have been mistreated by rogue officers who often act with impunity.
“Children in some areas of the city are not only being raised in high-crime environments, but they are also being mistreated by those who have sworn to protect and serve them,” the report said.
Police also regard people of color as perps, whether they are men or women, young or middle aged, doctors or lawyers, students or city workers.
“The task force heard over and over again from a range of voices, particularly from African-Americans that some CPD officers are racist…and approach every encounter with people of color as if the person…is criminal,” the report noted.
Police shooting of African Americans is not unique to Chicago. Other cities have been plagued by massive police shootings, mainly targeting the African American community. Numerous protests have condemned the police for what they call brutality.
African Americans account for two percent of America’s total population. This is while, according to the Mapping Police Violence project, 40 percent of the police killings in the country’s 60 biggest police departments were black.
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