Community Groups Push To Have Lightfoot Administration Move Forward With Civilian Oversight Of CPD

Craig Dellimore
November 20, 2019 - 9:56 am
Rev. Saeed Richardson

WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Some community groups seem to be losing patience with the Lightfoot Administration when it comes to civilian oversight of the Chicago Police Department.

The law, which established the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, had provisions for a board of civilians to help shape policy and review police reform. As a candidate even before, Mayor Lightfoot supported a plan by the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability.

But, Rev. Saeed Richardson, who’s with GAPA, said they are disappointed the plan hasn’t been approved.

"We get that there has been a strike. We get that there has been city budget issues. We get that there has been hold ups and hiccups. But people's lives are still being devastated by a system of policing that is desperately in need of change," Rev. Richardson said.

Dakota Burnett, a youth from Communities United in Austin, said reform is needed.

"I am tired of keeping a low profile, so I don't get harassed by police. I can't even put my hoodie on during the wintertime because I am afraid that police might target and harass me," he said.

Dakota Burnett, a youth from Communities United in Austin
WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore

Cydney Wallace with the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs says there’ve been many meetings with the Mayor, other officials and community organizations, but still no movement.

"Passing GAPA now ensures that community voice is including moving forward in decisions around the leadership of the CPD, COPA, and the police board," she said.

The Mayor’s been outspoken about police reform, but there are now competing plans before the City Council, now with varying degrees of power for the oversight panel.