CHICAGO – As focus on fatal police shootings and alleged cover-ups that have happened over the last few years continues, many feel there are problems within the Chicago Police Department that date back decades.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke of the long standing problems within the CPD earlier this week.
“We need a painful and honest reckoning of what went wrong not only in this one instance but over decades,” he said.
Political analyst and former Chicago Alderman Dick Simpson wrote a book about the corruption within CPD and looked back on cases over the past 40 years.
“The disciplining of police is non-existent,” Simpson says. “There have been more than 27,000 citizen complaints and only 80 cases where anybody has been disciplined.”
Attorney Victor Henderson is representing the family of Christian Green, a teen shot and killed by a Chicago police officer in 2013.
“The message that some officers are receiving is that you can torture black men and shoot them and nothing will happen to you based on how things have transpired,” he says.
He feels a so-called “Code of Silence” stems back to the case of former Chicago police commander Jon Burge who was convicted of lying about torturing more than 200 criminal suspects over two decades.
None of the officers under his command were ever charged.
Mayor Emanuel says he is actively searching for a new police superintendent after the firing of Garry McCarthy and welcomes the federal Department of Justice investigation. He also says he has convened a separate independent task force to look into police corruption.
The city just put up applications today for a new police superintendent. Candidates must submit them by January 15th. Then a police board will review them and nominate three candidates for the mayor’s consideration.
After that, there will be a series of public meetings before a superintendent is hired.