From the Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist Church
Shortly after Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy resigned, faith leaders gathered for a planned rally outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 5th floor City Hall office on Dec. 1 demanding more be done to protect the public from abusive officers.
Bishop Sally Dyck along with NIC clergy, laity and several Community Renewal Societymember congregations called on Mayor Emanuel to immediately adopt the FAIR COPS Ordinance which calls for an independent civilian police auditor’s office. The rally comes a week after the city released dash cam video showing 17 year old Laquan McDonald being fatally shot 16 times by CPD Officer Jason Van Dyke who has now been charged with first degree murder.
“The system is broken,” said Bishop Dyck lending her support for an independent police auditor. “It’s dysfunctional and can not discipline itself. The firing of the superintendent is a distraction, not a solution.”
The group said the mayor’s creation of a task force to review the system of accountability, training and oversight that is currently in place for Chicago’s police officers is not enough.
“The tragic case of Laquan McDonald’s murder by Jason Van Dyke demonstrates why we need the FAIR COPS ordinance,” said the Rev. Robert Biekman, NIC Urban Ministries Coordinator. “An officer with 20 past complaints against him and no crisis intervention training should not have been allowed on the streets. There is no independent oversight now to look at these patterns and demand action.”
After initially being blocked by police, Rev. Biekman and other clergy were allowed past the ropes to place red handprints on the doors of Mayor Emanuel’s office as the group chanted that the blood of Laquan McDonald and other victims of police brutality is on the mayor’s hand.
“It is too late to save Laquan McDonald, Rekia Boyd, Ronnie Man Johnson and so many other of our sons that have been brutalized by the police, but this isn’t about a a few bad cops or even one superintendent. This is a broken system that must be overhauled and reformed. It is past time to act,” said the Rev. Yehiel Curry, pastor at Shekinah Chapel, who said they’ve met with the mayor several times over the last year presenting the FAIR COPS ordinance and he’s refused to act.
The Community Renewal Society urges Chicago residents to call their alderman asking them to support the FAIR COPS ordinance. Click here for more information.