President Trump says he will send feds into Chicago
Chicago has already seen 50 homicides this year
On January 13, 2017 the Department of Justice released the results of a year long audit of the Chicago Police Department
On ABC News Trump stated that he would send in “what we have to send in”
It is no secret that there is a long list of serious issues in the heart of Chicago, but after a recent investigation into the Chicago Police Department conducted by the Department of Justice, things may be much worse than we have realized.
We have not even made it through January, and there have already been 286 shootings with 48 of those being homicides in the Windy City. An additional two non-gunshot related homicides brought the total to 50 homicides by January 26.
Feds To Chicago
On Monday, President Trump announced that he would send the feds to Chicago to assist the CPD through his Twitter account. Trump’s announcement is a little on the confusing side seeing that Chicago already receives aid from almost every federal agency in existence to combat their war on drugs and guns.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not go into further detail at a press conference on Wednesday, saying that Trump was getting upset “turning on the television and seeing people killed in shootings.”
In an interview with ABC News on Wednesday night, Trump still did not go into further details, saying that he would send in “what we have to send in.”
Chicago’s History Of Violence
Last year was the most violent year Chicago had seen since 1996, with 762 homicides, up 270 from 2015. In 1996 the city had 796 homicides, which is still short of the city’s record in 1974 of 970 homicides.
While the violence on the streets is one of the worst in the country, according to a year-long investigation by the DOJ, there are serious problems with the Chicago Police Department as well, which only makes the situation that much more volatile.
DOJ Audit Of CPD
The results of the investigation were terrifying. The four biggest problem areas the DOJ pointed out were “CPD engages in a pattern or practice or unconstitutional use of force,” “Chicago’s deficient accountability systems contribute to CPD’s pattern or practice of unconstitutional conduct,” “CPD does not provide officers with sufficient direction, supervision, or support to ensure lawful and effective policing,” and “CPD must better support and incentivize policing that is lawful and restores trust among Chicago’s marginalized communities.”
The DOJ found that the CPD frequently partakes in an “unconstitutional use force.” The audit stated that the CPD’s training, supervision, accountability, and other systems contributed to officers exhibiting a pattern of breaking suspect’s Fourth Amendment right when using force.
CPD was said to use deadly force in “Violation of the Fourth Amendment and Department Policy.” The DOJ was able to identify several trends in CPD’s use of deadly force, including, taking part in unnecessary foot pursuits, and unnecessary shootings at vehicles.
A Pattern Of Shooting At People Who Were Fleeing
The audit found that CPD has a pattern of shooting at people who are fleeing without them posing an immediate threat. In some instances, officers initiated a foot pursuit for believing the suspect had committed a serious crime. In these scenarios, fleeing alone was enough for officers to feel warranted to end many of these foot pursuits in gunfire.
During a subsequent review, the officer reports of these scenarios were accepted without question. Even if there was evidence showing a story that differed from the officer’s report. The audit points out one specific incident where a man decided to flee from police. Officers chased the man and fired 45 rounds as they ran after him, 28 of which were rifle rounds.
Several of the bullets struck the man and killed him. Officers claimed the man was shooting at them during the foot pursuit. A gun was found a block away from the man’s body, but was still fully loaded and not able to fire. The autopsy found no gunpowder on the man’s fingers. Still, the CPD declared the shooting as justified.
In various CPD shootings officers reported the suspect was pointing a gun at them, even though the suspect’s wounds were from the backside showing that officers were shooting people as they attempted to run away.
CPD Officers Exhibit Poor Discipline in Regards To Discharging Their Weapons
CPD also has a pattern of shooting unnecessarily at vehicles, mainly from to shooting at a fleeing vehicle, or officers recklessly placing themselves in the path of a vehicle and then opening fire.
CPD officers were found to exhibit poor discipline in regards to discharging their weapons. The department was found to make tactical decisions that unnecessarily increase the risk of deadly encounters. In many cases, CPD officers were found to escalate the situation to the point of turning into a shooting when it was not necessary.
The audit went on to say that officers often would not wait for backup. Without backup, the officers placed themselves into high-risk situations that would often escalate to the point of unconstitutional force.
The audit showed a very long list of problems with the CPD. Out of the homicides this month, only four have been investigated. With such a damaging audit against the CPD, it makes one wonder if more of these shootings are not coming from the CPD than what is being reported.