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Chicago activists and religious leaders react to Feds’ police critique

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CHICAGO -- Activists and religious leaders are speaking out about a scathing federal critique of the Chicago Police Department. They say police practices must change, but the city must also address poverty and unemployment.

"Our city is up for grabs. It is spinning out of control. There is no real trust. There is no real leadership," said Bishop Larry Trotter.

In a study of the CPD's police practices, the Department of Justice found it violated the Constitution with a pattern of excessive and deadly force. It also stated that officers are poorly trained and lack discipline. Suspicious of Mayor Emanuel and his ability to reform CPD, many community leaders want to meet with President-elect Trump.

"The mayor can’t detail to Trump the seriousness of how we field out here in the field of Chicago only we as black and brown leaders can do this," Trotter said. "The city is hurting and needs a good spirit of cooperation with this new administration."

Other Chicago leaders call the report “limited” because it does not address the cause of the city’s violence.

"The absence of police brutality is not the presence of economic justice, health care and jobs," said Rev. Jesse Jackson.

"This poverty, this high unemployment, this hopelessness is what is driving the violence in the streets of Chicago and we must all come together and work together for a common goal and that is to bring communities up, to revitalize these communities," said Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin.

Appearing today on the WGN Morning News, CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson promised accountability and reform.

"Coming into this role, I knew there were some things that we were deficient at and we started from Day 1 correcting those things, and we will continue to go down that road," Johnson said.

While many community leaders want to work with President-elect Trump to solve Chicago’s violence problem, at the same time, they're planning to protest his agenda with marches next Saturday.

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