Group takes police misconduct protest to district stations

SHARE Group takes police misconduct protest to district stations

Heike Eghardt, 49, of Evanston, took part in a protest and prayer vigil outside the 24th District Chicago Police station, calling for increased police accountability and reform. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

About 70 activists gathered outside a police station in the Rogers Park neighborhood to use Palm Sunday as a platform to call for the passage of an ordinance they think would rein in police misconduct in Chicago.

The activists were from the Community Renewal Society, a faith-based organization that draws members from the city and suburbs. The demonstration coincided with identical gatherings planned outside other Chicago police stations.

The group’s proposed ordinance calls for the creation of a Police Auditor Office to provide oversight of the Chicago Police Department, the police board and the Independent Police Review Authority, the body charged with investigating police misconduct. The ordinance, which no alderman has officially backed or proposed, calls for an external organization to appoint a leader of the new office which would have broad powers to demand structural reform within the offices it oversees.

They’ve labeled the ordinance FAIR COP, which is short for Freedom through Accountability Investigation and Reform for Community Oversight of Policing Services.

“We’re trying to find an alderman to propose it,” said Bedford West, a congregant of the Unitarian Church in Evanston, who is on the society’s Police Issues Team, which helped draft the ordinance based on input from congregations on the South and West Sides.

“We’re working with some individuals right now,” said West, who would not provide additional details.


GallerySteve Serikaku, also of the Unitarian Church of Evanston, cited a number of reasons the ordinance was overdue, chief among them were the Laquan McDonald case and the lethargic pace of the investigation that lead to charges against the Chicago police officers who killed him nearly 14 months later — and the botched involuntary manslaughter prosecution of Dante Servin, who is still on the police force despite recommendations by both former Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and IPRA that he be fired.

“That’s why we demand the city institute an independent police auditor appointed not by the mayor, but by an outside agency,” said Serikaku, 64, a retired high school teacher.

“We’re just fed up and need results,” said Julia Monk, 21, a University of Illinois student who grew up in Albany Park.

“I was coming home from school recently and somebody jokingly said ‘You better bring your bullet proof vest.’ and I was horrified that someone said that to me even as a joke I don’t think people outside the city realize how horrible it is even if you’re not directly involved,” she said of police shootings and gun violence in general.

The Latest
A trade within the OHL immediately followed Del Mastro’s World Juniors championship with Canada. But the Hawks believe the 20-year-old defensive defenseman has, at this point, “gotten most everything out of junior hockey that he can.”
Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.
February is American Heart Month. Over 10,000 individuals experience a cardiac crisis in the workplace each year, but most businesses do not have trained professionals who can administer life-saving techniques.
Sills, an undrafted free agent who appeared in just one game this season, was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list. That means he can’t practice, play or travel with the team as it prepares for the Super Bowl.
Permanecerá abierto hasta por lo menos el 16 de febrero cuando habrá una reunión con el propietario John Novak.