Con­sent de­cree judge to hold 2 ‘lis­ten­ing ses­sions’ on George Floyd protests

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY SAM CHARLES STAFF REPORTER scharles@sun­ | @samjcharle­s

The fed­eral judge over­see­ing the Chicago Po­lice Depart­ment’s con­sent de­cree will hold two hear­ings next month to al­low mem­bers of the pub­lic to speak about their in­ter­ac­tions with of­fi­cers dur­ing protests and loot­ing that roiled the city af­ter George Floyd’s death.

U.S. Dis­trict Judge Robert Dow said Fri­day he will pre­side over the two “lis­ten­ing ses­sions” from 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 19 and 20.

The city saw wide­spread protests, loot­ing and vi­o­lence in late May. Mag­gie Hickey, the in­de­pen­dent mon­i­tor of the con­sent de­cree, and her team have opened an­other in­quiry into of­fi­cers’ con­duct dur­ing those days of un­rest.

Since early June, Hickey and her team have con­tacted more than 270 peo­ple and groups who were in­volved in the Floyd protests to re­quest in­ter­views and meet­ings. About 10% of those have agreed, Hickey said Fri­day. Ad­di­tion­ally, the mon­i­tor’s team has in­ter­viewed “at least” 32 CPD su­per­vi­sors who were as­signed to work the protests in late May.

Hickey said she and her team are “mak­ing sure that we reach out to ev­ery­one in the pub­lic if they want their story to be heard.”

While the lo­gis­tics are still be­ing ironed out, Hickey said, the hear­ing will take place via video con­fer­ence. Given the time con­straints, not ev­ery­one who wishes to speak will be able to, and a lot­tery sys­tem will be used to de­ter­mine who will have the chance to ad­dress the court.

The two, four-hour hear­ings will be sim­i­lar to those Dow held be­fore the con­sent de­cree was im­ple­mented. Hickey said she and Chicago In­spec­tor Gen­eral Joe Fer­gu­son will be present for the lis­ten­ing ses­sions.

The Civil­ian Of­fice of Po­lice Ac­count­abil­ity — the city agency that in­ves­ti­gates po­lice uses of force — said ear­lier this month that more than 900 com­plaints of po­lice mis­con­duct were lodged be­tween May 26 and June 29.

The hear­ing Fri­day came less than 24 hours af­ter sev­eral civil rights at­tor­neys sub­mit­ted a 26page court fil­ing that cat­a­logued a host of al­leged civil rights vi­o­la­tions by po­lice since May 29, along with a let­ter to city at­tor­neys that noted “the con­sent de­cree was sup­posed to usher in a new era of un­bi­ased polic­ing.”

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