In 164 pages, the U.S. Department of Justice eviscerated the Chicago Police Department. After a year-long investigation, the DOJ found the CPD “engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional use of force.” The detailed report details a systematic failure, not only in the CPD, but the entire city government for its failure to oversee and provide adequate resources to avoid such an outcome.
While the rest of the country may look at the DOJ report and snicker at Chicago, it should serve as a warning to state and local governments across the country. It would be easy to get lost in the dramatic headline and believe that Chicago is an unfortunate, but unique circumstance. But in an era when police conduct across the country has come under ever-increasing scrutiny, Chicago could foreshadow future revelations across the country. Every state and municipality should take this chance to review and revise its police training programs and conduct standards.