DOJ op­poses deal to change Chicago po­lice op­er­a­tions

USA TODAY International Edition - - NEWS - Kevin John­son Con­tribut­ing: Aamer Mad­hani

WASH­ING­TON – The Jus­tice De­part­ment will op­pose a pend­ing agree­ment to over­haul Chicago Po­lice De­part­ment op­er­a­tions that was set in mo­tion fol­low­ing the 2014 fa­tal shoot­ing of 17-year-old Laquan McDon­ald. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions, in a state­ment late Tues­day, said that such agree­ments “un­der­cut proac­tive polic­ing” and have con­trib­uted to re­cent surges in vi­o­lence. “It is im­per­a­tive that the city not re­peat the mis­takes of the past – the safety of Chicago de­pends on it,” Ses­sions said, adding that Jus­tice would file a “state­ment of in­ter­est” in fed­eral court for­mally op­pos­ing the pro­posed, court-mon­i­tored pact. The sweep­ing plan, among other things, would re­quire of­fi­cers to doc­u­ment each time they draw their weapons. The po­lice of­fi­cers union con­tends that such a re­quire­ment could put of­fi­cers at risk. Jus­tice is tak­ing its ac­tion to meet a Fri­day dead­line for writ­ten com­ment on the plan to be re­viewed by U.S. District Judge Robert Dow. Pub­lic hear­ings on the polic­ing pro­posal are sched­uled later this month. The de­vel­op­ments come nearly a week af­ter an Illi­nois jury con­victed Of­fi­cer Ja­son Van Dyke of sec­ond-de­gree mur­der and 16 counts of ag­gra­vated bat­tery – one for each shot he fired at McDon­ald. The in­ci­dent was one of sev­eral deadly con­fronta­tions that touched off a na­tional de­bate about polic­ing in black and Latino com­mu­ni­ties. The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has been adamantly op­posed to fed­eral court over­sight of polic­ing op­er­a­tions.

Jeff Ses­sions

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