Judge Holds Public Testimony To Hear About Consent Decree On Chicago Police Reform

Craig Dellimore
October 24, 2018 - 2:52 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Craig Dellimore

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A federal judge has kicked off two days of public testimony about the consent decree on Chicago Police reform saying that this is his time to listen.

Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli told District Court Judge Robert Dow Jr. that even now, she is receiving false reports from police officers that don’t square with evidence from the arrests they made. She said the police consent decree can bring healing and hope to the city.

Rev. Saeed Richardson of the Community Renewal Society told the judge the decree should be a floor for reform and not a ceiling. He expanded on that later for reporters.

"We basically have to have a list of rules and standards that say these are what you are at base level accountable for. And when you do something wrong, we can hold you accountable via a federal judge, via court," Richardson said.

But a man named David Dèwar said police reform should protect the public, but also allow police officers to do their jobs.

Chicago Police Officer John Catanzara spoke against the consent decree before District Court Judge Robert Dow Jr. later complaining to reporters that “everybody’s anti-police.” But, Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli told reporters what she told the judge, that police abuse still occurs.

"I still see clients, juveniles who have been hurt in the police station as recently as four months ago - broken finger, black eyes - we are still seeing that. That is not over ladies and gentlemen," Campanelli said.

Activist Eric Russell with the Tree of  Life Justice League favors enforcement of the consent decree but said there are things missing from the plan, like better use of force language, trauma counseling and involvement of activists.

The Judge said he’s listening.