After Donald Trump promised to send Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Chicago to block an agreement between the ACLU and the Chicago centered around its stop and frisk policy, Sessions said in a statement that he intends to follow-through.
“Chicago’s agreement with the ACLU in late 2015 dramatically undercut proactive policing in the city and kicked off perhaps the greatest surge in murder ever suffered by a major American city, with homicides increasing more than 57 percent the very next year,” Sessions claimed.
“Now the city’s leaders are seeking to enter into another agreement. It is imperative that the city not repeat the mistakes of the past ― the safety of Chicago depends on it.”
“Accordingly, at the end of this week, the Justice Department will file a statement of interest opposing the proposed consent decree,” he said. “It is critical that Chicago get this right.”
The Trump administration wants police to continue to have free rein to stop and frisk people and Trump advocated for the department to break its agreement with the ACLU, calling it “terrible,” the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
The agreement between the ACLU and the Chicago police department helps to prevent unnecessary targeted stop and frisk against minorities, reports the Huffington Post. Trump spoke and misspoke at the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Orlando when he said he wanted the department to “implement” a policy it already had.
He then said he was sending Sessions to Chicago “immediately.”
“I have directed the attorney general’s office to immediately go to the great city of Chicago to help straighten out the terrible shooting wave,” Trump said. “I am going to straighten it out, going to straighten it out fast. There is no reason for what’s going on there.”
He added: “I’ve told them to work with local authorities to try to change the terrible deal the city of Chicago entered into with the ACLU, which ties law enforcement’s hands, and to strongly consider stop and frisk. It works and it was meant for problems like Chicago.”
Chicago PD can conduct stop and frisk but under but under restrictions because of a 2015 agreement with the ACLU.
In 2017, the Justice Department’s implemented a widespread probe of the city’s police force and determined that “fundamental reform” was needed in Chicago.
As Chicago tops as one of the most dangerous cities in the country, it is also where a jury recently convicted a Chicago police officer for the killing of Laquan McDonald.
Police reforms were enacted as a result of McDonald’s death.
Karen Sheley, the ACLU of Illinois director of the Police Practices Project, said Trump is trying to use bullying tactics against the 2015 agreement.
“Yet again, this administration encourages strong-arm tactics and unconstitutional behavior by law enforcement, instead of supporting commitments by local police to do the hard work of building respect and relationships with the communities they serve.
“Black and Latino Chicagoans have lived through the decades of excessive force, unconstitutional and harassing stops, and coercive interrogations leading to false confessions. People have bled, taxpayers have payed hundreds of millions of dollars for lawsuits against officers, and the police department — having lost the faith of the community — is unable to solve serious violent crimes without the cooperation of witnesses. Chicago has started to reject these harmful, ineffective tactics. Through the 2015 ACLU agreement and the upcoming consent decree, the city is committing instead to have a police department that follows the law.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday rejected President Trump’s comments, saying “the failed policies he’s talking about” would damage the work to build public trust in police.