Emanuel plans to abolish IPRA, replace it with civilian group

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CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to propose abolishing the city’s Independent Police Review Authority.

In an editorial publish in the Chicago Sun-Times, Emanuel says the city would replace the agency with a civilian group that has “more independence and more resources to do its work.”

The editorial begins:

Today I can announce that in the coming weeks, we will have the final details worked out on a comprehensive plan to fundamentally reshape our system of police accountability and it will be introduced at the following meeting of the full City Council on June 22.

Emanuel has been under fire for months over how the city investigates excessive force allegations against police.

The details are still being worked out and are expected to be presented at a city council meeting late next month.

Lori Lightfoot chaired the Police Accountability Taskforce that made recommendations in a scathing report released last month which called  out the police department’s history of racism. I

IPRA was created in 2007 in the wake of another police scandal. But the agency that investigates police-involved shootings rarely found officers at fault – prompting complaints the Independent Police Review Authority wasn’t independent at all. Following public outrage over the city’s handling of the Laquan McDonald investigation and facing allegations that IPRA investigators were pressured to change their findings, Mayor Emanuel replaced IPRA head Scott Ando with Sharon Fairley. But the mayor says it’s clear, a totally new agency is required to rebuild trust.

Read the full editorial here.

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