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Case Name Illinois v. City of Chicago PN-IL-0022
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-06260 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Policing
Case Summary
On August 29, 2017, the state of Illinois filed this lawsuit against the City of Chicago in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003, and the Illinois Human Rights Act. The state brought this action on behalf of ... read more >
On August 29, 2017, the state of Illinois filed this lawsuit against the City of Chicago in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003, and the Illinois Human Rights Act. The state brought this action on behalf of the people of Illinois to ensure that the City enacted comprehensive, lasting reform of the Chicago Police Department (CPD), the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), and the Chicago Police Board (Police Board). It sought declaratory and injunctive relief as well as attorneys’ fees and costs. The case was assigned to Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr. and Magistrate Judge Jeffrey T. Gilbert.

The state claimed that, through acts and omissions, the City and its agents maintained policies, customs, or practices of police officers that violated the Fourth Amendment. The complaint alleged that some of these policies, customs, or practices had a disparate impact on African Americans and Latinos in violation of the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003 and the Illinois Human Rights Act. It further contended that these policies, customs, or practices were reflected in, and caused by, the City’s failure to effectively train, supervise, and support law enforcement officers, and the City’s failure to establish reliable programs to detect officer misconduct and administer effective discipline.

On August 31, 2017, two days after the lawsuit was filed, the parties filed a joint motion to stay proceedings in order to continue settlement negotiations. The parties stipulated that, if successful, the result of the negotiations would take the form of a consent decree. On September 5, 2017, the court granted the joint motion.

On June 6, 2018, the Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge No. 7 (FOP), Chicago’s police union, filed a motion to intervene in the action. The FOP argued that it had a substantial interest in the subject of the litigation, as the litigation could impair or impede the union’s ability to protect the collective bargaining interests of Chicago police officers. Both the State and the City opposed intervention.

Meanwhile, the parties engaged in extensive settlement negotiations from June through August of 2018 to draft the terms of a consent decree. On July 27, 2018, the State and the City released a draft consent decree for public review, inviting comments prior to submitting a proposed consent decree to the court. The parties received more than 1,700 comments and suggestions. The draft consent decree covered a broad range of topics, including:
  • community policing;
  • impartial policing;
  • crisis intervention;
  • use of force;
  • recruitment;
  • hiring and promotion;
  • training;
  • supervision;
  • officer wellness and support;
  • accountability and transparency;
  • data collection, analysis and management; and
  • implementation, enforcement and monitoring.
The FOP opposed the draft consent decree, worried that certain provisions of the agreement interfered with statutory collective bargaining rights. However, on August 16, 2018, the court denied the FOP's motion to intervene as untimely, because the FOP had waited nearly a year to intervene. The court also noted that intervention would be prejudicial to the existing parties and that FOP’s concerns regarding the litigation’s impact on collective bargaining rights were only speculative. 2018 WL 3920816. The FOP appealed this decision to the Seventh Circuit, which upheld the ruling on January 2, 2019. 912 F.3d 979.

On September 13, 2018, the State and the City reached an agreement on a final consent decree and filed a joint motion for the court's approval. The court set a public fairness hearing for the end of October 2018 and opened a written comment period which elicited dozens of written submissions from the public.

On October 12, 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted a statement of interest opposing the proposed consent decree. The DOJ argued that the consent decree would function like an earlier settlement agreement between CPD and the ACLU (November 2015). That agreement was intended to reduce stop-and-frisk abuses, but the DOJ argued that it had instead restrained Chicago police excessively, and had thus contributed to a rise in homicides and other violent crime from 2015 to 2016.

The DOJ cited four main problems with the consent decree:
  1. it went beyond remedying specific violations of federal law cognizable in federal court, and micromanaged police department procedures and policies;
  2. it stripped the superintendent of his duty and ability to administer the CPD;
  3. it turned over long-term budgetary control of the CPD to the federal court and the monitor through vague mandates that there must be sufficient funding and staff to fulfill the consent decree and implement programs; and
  4. it said that the court would retain jurisdiction until the City had fully complied with the consent decree for two consecutive years, but did not give clear guidelines as to what constituted compliance.
The DOJ expressed concern that such consent decrees stripped local government officials of the flexibility required in addressing evolving law enforcement issues and deprived citizens of their ability to control policies through the democratic process. To this end, the DOJ expressed concern that the consent decree would be signed by an outgoing mayor who was not seeking reelection. In this statement of interest, the DOJ further announced that it would send five additional federal prosecutors to Chicago to establish a new Gun Crimes Prosecution Team.

The court held a fairness hearing on the proposed consent decree on October 24 and 25, 2018. After the fairness hearing, the court received and reviewed additional briefing from the parties and from the FOP, addressing the oral and written comments submitted in connection with the fairness hearing.

On January 31, 2019, the court approved and signed the proposed consent decree. 2019 WL 398703. Although the parties made some changes in response to comments from various entities, the consent decree largely covered the same areas of reform as the agreement originally proposed. Under the terms of the consent decree, the City would endeavor to achieve full and effective compliance within five years of the effective date (March 1, 2019). The agreement would terminate once the City had maintained compliance in each area of reform for a designated period of time:
  • One year: recruitment, hiring, and promotions; training; and officer wellness and support;
  • Two years: accountability and transparency; community policing; impartial policing; crisis intervention; use of force; supervision; and data collection, analysis, and management.
On March 1, 2019, the Court appointed Ms. Maggie Hickey to serve as independent monitor. On the same day, the FOP moved to amend the consent decree, arguing that it conflicted with established statutes and ordinances in a number of ways:
  1. Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) was not certified for the required investigations under the Consent Decree even though certification was required by the Police and Community Relations Improvement Act (PCRIA).
  2. There was no distinction between a criminal investigation and an administrative one. COPA was not a law enforcement agency and therefore did not have a right to perform any kind of investigation of officer-involved death cases under the PCRIA.
  3. The Consent Decree violated a state statute requiring that videos recorded by body-worn cameras be retained for no longer than 90 days unless they were flagged for particular reasons stated in the law.
  4. Two municipal ordinances were compromised by the Consent Decree.
The motion asked the court to amend the Consent Decree to bar the use of non-state-certified COPA investigators in the investigation of officer-involved deaths, to prohibit the CPD from reviewing unflagged videos that had been stored for more than ninety days, to bar the use of anonymous complaints in non-criminal matters that did not involve residency allegations or medical roll abuse, and to require the City to reveal to officers the name of complainants prior to investigation of an officer.

On April 1, 2019, the court appointed the Honorable David H. Coar (ret.) to serve as a Special Master, with duties complementary to the independent monitor’s.

On January 7, 2020, the court denied a motion to intervene by the Second Vice President of the FOP. He had argued that despite the court’s earlier ruling against the FOP intervening, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s election had changed the city’s position in the litigation, and that his motion to intervene was therefore appropriate.

On June 5, 2020, the Monitor informed the court of her intention to publish a special report, “to promote transparency,” regarding the City’s and CPD’s response to protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death in May.

On January 13, 2021, a coalition of attorneys brought together by the MacArthur Justice Center (“The Coalition”) filed a motion to enforce the terms of the consent decree. In its complaint, The Coalition alleged yet another violation of a Black Chicago resident’s rights. The complaint stated that the CPD raided the home of a Black social worker with no criminal record, pointed guns at her, and handcuffed her. The motion stated that the CPD officers involved in the incident were in the wrong place, and it claimed that the CPD had violated the plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment rights as well as the consent decree. The Coalition requested that the Court immediately convene a structured settlement process to remedy these actions.

A hearing is scheduled for April 26, 2021. As of April 19, 2021, the City and the Monitor are submitting regular reports, and the court retains jurisdiction.

Jake Parker - 06/04/2018
Eva Richardson - 10/15/2018
Averyn Lee - 03/10/2019
Gregory Marsh - 07/10/2020
Anjali Baliga - 04/19/2021

compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
Aggressive behavior
Assault/abuse by staff
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Grievance Procedures
Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures
Pattern or Practice
Personal injury
Racial profiling
Search policies
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
National Origin/Ethnicity
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
State law
Defendant(s) City of Chicago
Plaintiff Description The State of Illinois, on behalf of the people of Illinois.
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2018 - n/a
Filed 08/29/2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PN-IL-0016 : ACLU Settlement with the Chicago Police Department (No Court)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Date: Jan. 31, 2019
By: ACLU Illinois
[ Detail ]

Court Docket(s)
N.D. Ill.
PN-IL-0022-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Ill.
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PN-IL-0022-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
Exhibit A: "Recommendations for Reform" [ECF# 1-1]
PN-IL-0022-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 88] (2018 WL 3920816)
PN-IL-0022-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
Consent Decree [ECF# 107-1]
PN-IL-0022-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
United States' Statement of Interest Opposing Proposed Consent Decree [ECF# 160]
PN-IL-0022-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 706] (912 F.3d 979)
PN-IL-0022-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: Westlaw
N.D. Ill.
Memorandum Opinion and Order Approving Proposed Consent Decree [ECF# 702] (2019 WL 398703)
PN-IL-0022-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
Consent Decree [ECF# 703] (2018 WL 398703)
PN-IL-0022-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Dow, Robert Michael Jr. (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0022-0003 | PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-0006 | PN-IL-0022-0007 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Kanne, Michael Stephen (N.D. Ind., Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers Arenz, Patrick M (Minnesota) show/hide docs
Bass Ehler, Karyn L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Caplan, Gary Steven (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Flores, Cynthia Lorena (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Grieb, Mary Johanna (Illinois) show/hide docs
Hendrickson, Cara (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Jurowicz, Hannah Yeon Mee (Illinois) show/hide docs
Lockner, Anna M. (Michigan) show/hide docs
Lueck, Martin R. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Madigan, Lisa (Illinois) show/hide docs
Martin, Matthew J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Meek, Amy Patricia (Illinois) show/hide docs
Meghjee, Munir (Minnesota) show/hide docs
Pryor, Shareese N (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Purdon, Timothy Q. (North Dakota) show/hide docs
Richie, Leigh J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Roberg−Perez, Sharon Elizabeth (Minnesota) show/hide docs
Steines, Stefanie L (Illinois) show/hide docs
Stratton, Brent Douglas (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0022-0001 | PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Thelwell, Mikiko A. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
VanDam, Jeff (Illinois) show/hide docs
Verticchio, Thomas J (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Weber, Alicia (Illinois) show/hide docs
Wells, Christopher Graham (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Wenzloff, Aaron Paul (Illinois) show/hide docs
Defendant's Lawyers Babbitt, Elizabeth Erin (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Coogan, Paul John (Illinois) show/hide docs
D'Alba, Joel Abbott (Illinois) show/hide docs
Decker, Adam William (Illinois) show/hide docs
Dixon, Tyeesha (Illinois) show/hide docs
Fioretto, Pasquale Angelo (Illinois) show/hide docs
Hagerty, Ryan A (Illinois) show/hide docs
Hlavin, Brian C. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Jackson, Heather Ann (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Schaller, Rachel L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Slagel, Allan T. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Other Lawyers Coar, David H. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Gore, John M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
Hickey, Margaret A (Illinois) show/hide docs
Lausch, John R. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Sessions, Jeff (District of Columbia) show/hide docs

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