Community Leaders Oppose Chicago Police Gang Database Revamp

Craig Dellimore
February 28, 2020 - 11:29 am
Community leaders oppose Chicago Police gang database revamp

Craig Dellimore/ WBBM

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Protesters from several community groups marched around City Hall opposing plans for a new gang database with safeguards to keep people from being wrongly included and targeted.

Antonio Gutierrez, a community organizer who is a member of the Organized Communities Against Deportation, said the old Chicago Police Gang Database discriminated against people of color.

Last year, Chicago’s Inspector General Joseph M. Ferguson called the database disorganized with outdated information. Andrea Ortiz, lead organizer with the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, said that’s one reason the police department can’t be trusted to create a new one.

In a written statement, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt acknowledged —with rigorous standards for including people and using information— it could be effective. But she said it must have strong and constant oversight. The activists don’t believe that will happen.

Interim Police Superintendent Charlie Beck said there’ll be strict criteria before anyone is entered into the database. 

Community leaders oppose Chicago Police Gang Database revamp
Craig Dellimore/ WBBM

Community Leaders Oppose Chicago Police Gang Database Revamp
Craig Dellimore/ WBBM