Chicago Politicians' Response to Policing

The Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), the agency established to investigate Chicago Police Department complaints, should be the body to act as a check on the police, yet it retaliates against investigators when they go too far. Lorenzo Davis, a recently fired IPRA investigator, was let go when supervisors claimed he had “a clear bias against the police” because he found six police shootings unjustified out of his twelve total investigations. The IPRA has investigated almost 400 police shootings of civilians and has found only one to be unjustified since 2007.

The lack of focus on police misconduct in the political realm was apparent when the Police Board Executive Director, Max Caproni, attended the City Council's annual budget process in October 2015 and was asked only five questions. Fewer than half of the city's 50 aldermen attended. In contrast, when the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) held their annual conference in Chicago, Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy met them with a warm welcome. Due to the silent acceptance of police misconduct in the city, the IACP conference was interrupted by protesters from a number of black activist groups, including Black  Youth Project (BYP) 100 and We Charge Genocide. While this conference continued, in the following weeks, activists won major battles in the fight against police misconduct and city corruption.