Chicago, IL – The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police is fighting to shut down an anti-police consent decree that would make officers even more hesitant to carry out basic law enforcement tasks for fear of appearing racially biased for doing their jobs.
“I think they’re putting our officers in a safety problem – immediately,” Chicago FOP President Kevin Graham told FOX News. “I think that you are going to see that officers may be hesitant, and we are not going to let our officers be injured or killed simply for a policy that makes other people feel good.”
The creation of the consent decree was initiated by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, Black Lives Matter, and several other legal-aid groups in 2017, when they filed a lawsuit in an attempt to force federal oversight of Chicago police officers, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Their lawsuit was bolstered by a Department of Justice report late in the Obama administration that blasted the Chicago Police Department’s practices and alleged that officers routinely violated citizens’ civil rights.
Despite being plaintiffs with active lawsuits against the city, Black Lives Matter and the ACLU were given prominent roles in the oversight and reform of the department in March.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Chicago Urban League, and the Community Renewal Society were also involved in the agreement, which gave the groups the power to help construct the consent decree that is intended to govern the police department, the Associated Press reported.
“Our goals are for a robust consent decree to be entered by a court, and for that commitment to be enforced,” ACLU staff attorney Kathy Muse said, according to the Associated Press. “This agreement allows community groups to act as watchdogs during the long-term reform process.”
The ACLU has a history of lying about law enforcement, frequently targets them with the hashtag # BulliesInBlue and makes outrageous demands, such as ending the use of riot gear and not making traffic stops for minor offenses.
Madigan hailed the coalition as an “important step” in providing “communities that have been particularly impacted” to have a voice about how Chicago’s police officers should do their jobs.
As a result of the agreement, the groups agreed to suspend lawsuits against the city, contingent on the consent decree being filed in federal court by Sept. 1.
On June 6, the FOP filed a court motion in order to gain a seat at the table regarding negotiation of the consent decree, and said it had “not been included” in the process up until that point, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“There should be no doubt that the Lodge has a vital interest in the ‘draft provisions’ and ‘multiple additional topics’ that deal with fundamental matters involving the daily work of police officers,” the motion read, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The consent decree was expected to be completed and released in the near future, and the FOP was far from pleased by its content, according to FOX News.
“The consent decree will make the simplest police duties and actions rife with ambiguity, and set up officers for discipline no matter how professional or appropriate their conduct,” FOP Vice President Martin Preib wrote in a statement to FOX News.
On Tuesday, FOX News published small portions of the draft decree online.
In one section, the anti-police groups intricately outlined how officers should use their Tasers, including considering “whether the individual has the ability and has been given a reasonable opportunity to comply prior to applying another cycle.”
If a suspect has been hit with a Taser for a cumulative total of 15 seconds, the department will “require” officers to use another force option, the document read.
The other used of force may be lethal.
Officers should also “avoid the use of Tasers” when an individual is “elevated above the ground, if the subject is operating or riding any mode of transportation, or if the subject may be less able to catch or protect themselves in a fall,” according to the draft.
A portion of the proposal that most concerned the FOP was a section that would mandate officers to write an incident report every time they aim their weapon at another person.
“CPD will prohibit officers from pointing a firearm at a person unless an officer reasonably believed that the situation may escalate and create an imminent threat of great bodily harm or death to the officer or another person,” the document read.
“Any time a CPD officer points a firearm at a person, the incident should be documented in a written report containing: the subject’s actual or perceived race, ethnicity, age and gender; the officer’s badge number, rank, and unit; the date, time and location of the incident; the outcome of the incident, including whether an arrest or citation was issued; and a narrative describing the reasons for the officer’s actions,” the proposal declared.
One police source noted that officers in some districts are forced to draw their duty weapons “every night,” and that passing the decree could make each of those instances subject to lawsuit, FOX News reported.
A records request could show that an unbiased officer drew their gun almost entirely on black males, simply because of the demographics of the suspect in their district. This could then be the basis for a lawsuit claiming bias.
“Chicago’s powerful anti-police movement, embedded in the city’s political institutions, remained undaunted,” Preib told the news outlet. “It compelled Lisa Madigan to break new legal ground to pursue a consent decree through a bizarre lawsuit that, if it succeeds, will effectively undermine policing in Chicago.”
“Without the support of the rank and file Chicago Police Officers, their move… will go nowhere,” Graham said in March, according to the Chicago Tribune. “Anyone who thinks it will is sadly mistaken. As I have said before, we will never give up our collective bargaining rights.”
“The city of Chicago should be careful where they go with a consent decree,” he added at the time.