Aldermen take new head of IPRA to task over police accountability

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CHICAGO-- Chicago aldermen grilled the new head of the Independent Police Review Authority today on accountability within the Chicago police department.

Two city council committees held a hearing examining the investigation into the Laquan McDonald police shooting.

Sharon Fairly, the new head of the IPRA has been on the job just eight days.  Not enough time, she says, to answer all the questions aldermen have for her.  That’s why some alderman say this joint hearing of the police safety and human relations committees is just a dog and pony show.

The group is not letting go of the 13 month process it took to charge a Chicago police officer with the shooting death of teenager McDonald and all the politics surrounding it.  They want policies to be changed and want to have more input on those policies.

22 Ward Alderman Willie Cochran is a former Chicago police sergeant with 20 plus years on the job.  He said, the day after the shooting of McDonald, it should have been clear to all involved that there was a problem.  He wants to ask interim superintendent John Escalante, who was the chief of detectives at the time of the shooting, what exactly he knew.

The only high ranking official who did not show up to today's hearing was Cook County state's attorney Anita Alvarez.  Her office offered no explanation about why she wasn't there.