On Friday, after a year-long review of the Chicago Police Department, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that the Justice Department investigation found CPD to have a “pattern or practice of use of excessive force.”
This investigation was the latest in a string of reviews initiated by the Obama administration against police departments across the country, including Seattle, Cleveland, and Baltimore. There have been 25 in all under Obama’s watch.
The Chicago probe launched over a year ago after the released dashcam footage of one of its officers shooting black teen Laquan McDonald 16 times as he walked away armed with a small knife. There was an attempt by the city to keep the video from going public, and when it did, Black Lives Matter protests sprang up all over.
In her press conference, AG Lynch assured her department’s investigation was impartial and the results accurate. She said DoS officials conducted “hundreds of interviews” with citizens and local officials, reviewed documents, and observed law enforcement officers on the job.
“The Justice Department has concluded that there is reasonable cause to believe that the Chicago Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of use of excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution,” Lynch said.
Lynch blamed the results on CPD’s lack of training procedures and accountability for officer misconduct.
However, despite her claim of impartiality, former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said the entire investigation was politically motivated from the start.
“The politics is the strongest pull,” he said. McCarthy told Fox News that he was never interviewed by the DoJ despite having only left the force in 2015. He says that’s because “my narrative doesn’t fit what they want to say.”
"The police are not the problem. The criminals are the problem,” McCarthy added.
Chicago's murder rate continues to break records. At the end of 2016, the homicide rate clocked in at 57% above the previous year: 762 homicides, nearly two per day, the most in two decades and more than New York and Los Angeles combined.
But is Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel doing anything about criminals? No, he is taking the “sobering” results of the DoJ investigation and is adding several more lieutenants and supervisors to ensure officers remain in line.
Watch Lynch’s announcement below: