Case: DOJ Investigation of Chicago Police Department

No Court

Filed Date: 2015

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In the aftermath of the November 2015 release of a police video showing a white Chicago police officer shooting a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, sixteen times first as he walked away and later as he lay in the middle of the road, citizens called for a federal investigation into the Chicago Police Department (CPD). On December 7, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it was opening an investigation into CPD under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.…

In the aftermath of the November 2015 release of a police video showing a white Chicago police officer shooting a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, sixteen times first as he walked away and later as he lay in the middle of the road, citizens called for a federal investigation into the Chicago Police Department (CPD). On December 7, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it was opening an investigation into CPD under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The DOJ aimed to identify any constitutional or federal law violations carried out by CPD and focused on CPD’s use of force and accountability standards.

The investigation’s findings were released on January 13, 2017. The report highlighted many incidents of unjustified force that violated the Fourth Amendment, such as shooting at individuals who did not pose immediate threats to CPD officers, used by CPD and concluded that this pattern was attributed to “a collection of poor policies.” These policies included inadequate training and supervision, a lack of accountability, poor data collection techniques, and procedures that eroded trust between CPD and the community. DOJ outlined how CPD had begun to take steps to ameliorate CPD’s unlawful behavior. Tactics adopted by CPD prior to the findings’ release include implementing a body camera program, providing a force mitigation training course for CPD officers, and revisiting old CPD policies connected to use of force.

The report indicated that even though CPD had taken commendable steps to improving its practices, reform will likely not continue without an independent monitor and consent decree. The City of Chicago pledged to negotiate with the DOJ after the findings were released in order to solve the issues outlined in the report.

Summary Authors

Amelia Huckins (2/12/2017)


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Fardon, Zachary T. (Illinois)

Gunston, Emily A. (District of Columbia)

Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)

Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Patton, Stephen Ray (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Fardon, Zachary T. (Illinois)

Gunston, Emily A. (District of Columbia)

Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)

Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Patton, Stephen Ray (Illinois)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Press Release

Dec. 7, 2015 Press Release

Findings Report

Investigation of the Chicago Police Department

Jan. 13, 2017 Findings Letter/Report

Agreement in Principle Between the United States Department of Justice and the City of Chicago Regarding the Chicago Police Department

Jan. 13, 2017 Settlement Agreement

Investigación de la Policía de Chicago - Resumen Ejecutivo [Investigation of the Chicago Police Department - Executive Summary (Spanish)]

Investigation of the Chicago Police Department

Jan. 13, 2017 Findings Letter/Report

Re: Investigation of the Chicago Police Department

Jan. 13, 2017 Findings Letter/Report

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Illinois

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2015

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

U.S. Department of Justice.

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Chicago PD (Cook), City

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

34 U.S.C. § 12601 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 14141)

Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Unreasonable search and seizure

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

None of the above

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Excessive force

Failure to supervise

Failure to train

Incident/accident reporting & investigations

Pattern or Practice