Judge approves Chicago's court-monitored police reforms

January 31, 2019 - 12:32 pm

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge has approved a far-reaching plan for court-supervised reforms of the Chicago Police Department, nearly two years after a U.S. Justice Department report found a history of civil rights violations by officers.

Judge Robert Dow's decision Thursday to approve the consent decree is a culmination of a process that started with the release of video in 2015 showing white police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times. It led to the Justice Department investigation.

Dow says the decree is a "vehicle for solving ... common problems ... in a manner that defuses tension, respects differences of opinion."

Former Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled the 200-plus page decree in July. It addresses everything from police recruitment to using force.