Craig Futterman on the Example Set by Chicago Police Consent Decree

How other cities have handled police reform

The agreement requires the Chicago PD to change how it reports use of force incidents and conducts disciplinary investigations. It does not address the grievance arbitration process, which, like in Philadelphia, has resulted in fired cops routinely returning to the force.

The consent decree is not a silver bullet. It can’t override provisions in a contract, and it only requires Chicago to make a “best effort” to eradicate contract provisions that impede transparency and accountability.

It’s not toothless, however. Violating the consent decree can result in contempt of court changes, fines and possible jail time.


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