List of CPD officers up for promotion raising questions about diversity

Chicago News

CHICAGO — The latest class of Chicago Police Department lieutenants hand-picked to go through training in order to be considered for promotion to captain is getting a close look by those dedicated to diversity.

While two of the 15 lieutenants are African-American and one is Hispanic, 13 of the 15 are white. Additionally, all 15 are men. 

According to the CPD, there are 159 lieutenants who have applied to be captains. The current 15 who will begin training come from that list.  

Most recently, 16 lieutenants were promoted to captain, two of them are women. 

The diversity questions are just the latest in a string of challenges facing newly installed Chicago Police Supt. David Brown, which have included leading the department during the COVID-19 pandemic, a steep increase in violence, high-profile shooting deaths of children, and civil unrest, protests, and rioting in the wake of George Floyd at the hands of officers in Minneapolis. 

Brown, most recently chief of Dallas police, came to Chicago to take on the role of the city’s top cop in the Spring. 

On Tuesday, when asked about the all-male, majority white class of 15, Brown said it was decided during a previous police administration. Chicago police later confirmed that it was during the time that Eddie Johnson lead the department. 

Brown said that he is committed to diversity in all ranks of the department and he will have the final say on who gets promoted to captain. 

Former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy told WGN he was shocked by the lack of diversity in the latest captains class selections. McCarthy expressed support for Brown. 

“I feel for David on a number of levels,” McCarthy said. “I’ve known him for 15 years, he’s  wonderful but first, he walked into a pandemic. Second of all, going into the summer months as violence increases in Chicago, and third of all the riots that we had. He is competent. He will get it where it should be but it’s hard to do that walking in the door.”

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