Illinois Sues Chicago To Force An Overhaul To Its Police Practices

Illinois sued Chicago over reforming the city's often-maligned police department and called for independent oversight of the overhaul.
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Illinois Sues Chicago To Force An Overhaul To Its Police Practices

The state of Illinois is stepping in to make sure Chicago overhauls its police department. State Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit to have Illinois oversee reforms to the city's police.

The lawsuit accuses the Chicago Police Department of repeated excessive-force incidents, like the shooting of Laquan McDonald. Those seem to have led to a lack of trust between police and some in the community, particularly among Chicago's black residents.

The suit also says police misconduct cost the city about $662 million in settlements and legal fees from 2004 to early 2016.

In January, then-U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said an investigation of Chicago police found a pattern of civil rights violations and wanted the Justice Department to step in to help the city improve its practices.

But current Attorney General Jeff Sessions said consent decrees targeting Chicago and other cities weren't effective, so he paused the practice.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel never followed through on a pledge to have outside oversight get involved in police reform efforts.

Even though the city of Chicago is the defendant in the lawsuit, Emanuel said he wants to work with the state to implement some of the reforms Lynch outlined.

That means installing an independent monitor to oversee reforms. The state says it wants to identify patterns in excessive force cases and ensure police get training to minimize the use of deadly force.