The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Chicago NAACP to Rally at City Hall for Community Input, Voice and Transparency in Consent Decree

Group seeks to ensure that citizens most-impacted by police misconduct have a voice, and input into the process by filing a lawsuit against the City of Chicago.


Fearing a process that might whitewash community input and the voice of the communities most directly impacted by police misconduct, the dual Chicago NAACP branches are rallying together at City Hall on Friday afternoon to call for a seat at the table for civil rights groups, and individuals who've suffered brutality at the hands of police.

In July, the NAACP joined the landmark class action lawsuit seeking federal court intervention and community-driven oversight of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) reformation. The suit, Campbell v. City of Chicago, was filed on behalf of thousands of individuals, predominantly Black and Brown, who have been, or will be, subjected to the CPD's policy and practice of using force in racially discriminatory and brutal ways.

"We don't have complete clarity on what it would look like, but in order for this 'consent decree' process to have integrity and credibility in Black communities, we need to be involved in the process, from the conceptual and planning stages through implementation," said NAACP Chicago Westside President Karl A. Brinson.

"We've seen the Department of Justice and Police Accountability Task Force report, and know that in the history of Chicago, no internally or city-managed process has sufficiently addressed the issue of police brutality. It can't just be the mayor's show," he continued. "Our communities need people involved who have no contradictory or competing interests with regard to transparency, and justice being built into the process."

The Chicago-based Westside and Southside branches of the NAACP will join with other groups, activists and advocates in front of City Hall's west entrance, 121 N. LaSalle St., on Friday, September 29th from noon to 1:00 p.m. (CST).

While the organizations remain committed to ensuring that the City moves ahead on a transparent process which is credible in the communities most-heavily impacted by police brutality, there is the sentiment that groups like the NAACP must draw a line in the sand regarding the integrity of these processes, owing to the Attorney General Jeff Sessions-led DOJ pull-back nationally against consent decrees under the administration of President Donald Trump.

"Mayor Emanuel and A.G. Madigan must understand their potential role in creating a devastating precedent of cities who have failed to curb police misconduct, and developing superficial processes to address police misconduct in lieu of the DOJ abandoning its moral authority under Sessions," said NAACP Southside President Rose Joshua.

"If the Federal government abdicates its authority to protect citizens, then who better than the people most impacted by police brutality to serve in their place, to ensure that the process has credibility instead of an agenda compromised from the beginning--and not to engineer justice, but to ensure political expediency?" added Joshua.

Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.