…A Hate Crime In Chicago
By Ken Hare
Chicago Defender Staff Writer
The oppression and repressive tactics never seem to stop coming from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and those that support them. Now, your first amendment rights to take to the streets and voice your concerns to protest police brutality could soon be treated as a hate crime in Chicago.
Chicago’s infamous Alderman, Edward M. Burke (D – 14th Ward) has introduced an ordinance to expand Chicago’s definition of a hate crime to include any offense against police officers or firefighters. “It is the goal of this ordinance to give prosecutors and judges every tool to punish those who interfere with, or threaten or physically assault, our public safety personnel,” Ald. Burke said in a press release on June 6, 2016.
The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR), came out against the proposed ordinance. “This is an attempt to intimidate the movement for community control of the police by suggesting that protests against police crimes are hate crimes,” said it’s Co-Chairperson, Ted Pearson.
“This is adding insult to injury to those who are outraged when the police murder an unarmed person and protest,” he added. Pearson said when Jamaal Moore, 23, a Black unarmed man was murdered by the CPD in 2012, many protestors from the neighborhood at Garfield Blvd and Ashland Ave. angrily protested the murder, and several were arrested. Could these people have been charged with a possible hate crime should this ordinance be passed, he wondered?
The CAARPR has suggested creating an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) and has drafted a proposal in conjunction with civil rights attorneys. Some of their suggestions include but are not limited to the following ideas:
o The CPAC shall have authority over Chicago Police Department.
o It shall have the authority to appoint the Superintendent of Police.
o Re-write the police rule book, including all use of force guidelines, Standard Operating Procedures, Rules, and General Orders.
o Investigate police misconduct.
o Investigate all police shootings, including all police-involved shootings that kill unarmed people.
o Provide increased transparency of all investigations, including police involved shootings, and greater statistical analysis of demographic information of complaints by type and victim.
o Increase rates at which complaints are sustained based on thorough investigations of all allegations of police misconduct and violations of the US Constitution and Human Rights’ law.
o Be the final authority regarding discipline in the Chicago Police Department.
o Indict police officers for crimes they commit.
o Establish its own budget.
The CAARPR has sent its proposal to the City Council and its coalition is planning to demonstrate at City Hall, June 22, 2016, the day Mayor Rahm Emanuel is scheduled to introduce his “police reform” ordinance.
Frank Chapman, Field Organizer of the CAARPR, declared “The people can see through the meaningless smoke and mirrors game being played by the Mayor. People in the communities that live under a virtual police state are demanding real community control. We are demanding passage of CPAC!”
For more information on this movement, visit CAARPR’s website at http://naarpr.org/civilian-police-accountability-council-cpac/