The Chicago Police Department has habitually used excessive force that violates the Constitution, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Friday. The findings followed what Lynch described as an "exhaustive" 13-month Department of Justice investigation that was launched amid uproar over the fatal shooting of a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, by a white police officer.
The resulting 161-page report attributed the "unreasonable" use of sometimes "deadly force" to "systemic deficiencies" within the city and police department. "Our review of CPD's deadly force practices identified several trends in CPD's deadly force incidents, including that CPD engages in dangerous and unnecessary foot pursuits and other unsound tactics that result in CPD shooting people, including those who are unarmed," investigators wrote in the report. The investigation also revealed that blacks and Latinos are "hardest hit by the pattern of unlawful force."
Lynch said there is "considerable work to be done," and Chicago authorities have signed an agreement pledging their commitment to reforms. "It's in our interest," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said of the upcoming changes. "There is no going back to a day when we're not going to do that. The view, though, is it's not to be done to the police. The police officers are part of the solution to solving and achieving public safety."