Chicago Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) has proposed replacing the city's Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) with a new "independent citizen police monitor."
"An Independent Citizen Police Monitor is needed, because you can't keep shuffling the deck with the same people and call that accountability," the South Side alderman said in a statement. "You must put something in place that's meaningful, that's supported by a budget, has a revenue source, and provides an opportunity for input by the people of Chicago."
Under Hairston's proposal, the new police oversight agency's top official would be selected by an 11-person committee of community and government representatives.
Hairston's proposed ordinance is based in part on research from the University of Chicago Law School's Civil Rights and Police Accountability Clinic.
"I applaud Alderman Hairston's leadership and courage in proposing this critical ordinance," University of Chicago Law School professor Craig Futterman said in a statement. "This is what real transparency looks like. It's exactly what we need to address the lack of police accountability in Chicago."
Here are the key components of the proposed ordinance, as detailed by the University of Chicago Law School:
- Prohibits individuals formerly employed by the CPD or Cook County State's Attorney's office from working in the monitor's office;
- Guarantees the agency receives at least 1.5 percent of the CPD's budget, insulating its budget from political fiat;
- Empowers the monitor to conduct rigorous investigations whenever of all forms of civilian abuse;
- Requires the prompt release of video and other information in police misconduct and shooting investigations;
- Requires the monitor to post on its website summary reports of each completed investigation, and comprehensive annual reports on its work;
- Requires independent audits of the monitor and the publication of those audits on its website.
The proposed ordinance comes after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel selected Sharon Fairley in December to replace IPRA's former leader Scott Ando, who resigned shortly after the city released dashcam video of the 2014 police shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
Hairston told reporters Tuesday she has not yet discussed the proposal with fellow aldermen or the mayor's office.
Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins issued a statement Tuesday, saying, "Mayor Emanuel has confidence in the new leadership at IPRA, and he supports the reforms they have put in place to restore trust in the agency and ensure residents can have faith in the results of their investigations."