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