After more than a year of investigation, the Justice Department released an official report on Friday that condemned the Chicago Police Department for lacking accountability, frequently abusing its power, and targeting racial minorities.
The Chicago Police "has helped create a culture in which officers expect to use force and not be questioned about the need for or propriety of that use," according to the report. It also found that "officers exhibit poor discipline when discharging their weapons and engage in tactics that endanger themselves and public safety, including failing to await backup when they safely could and should; using unsound tactics in approaching vehicles; and using their own vehicles in a manner that is dangerous."
Notably, the report said that there are "serious concerns about the prevalence of racially discriminatory conduct by some CPD officers."
It cited statistics that the CPD used force almost 10 times more often against African-Americans than whites. These findings were particularly telling given that a major catalyst for the investigation was the fatal shooting of an African-American teenager, Laquan McDonald, by a white police officer despite walking away and none of the other officers feeling the need to shoot him.
"CPD does not give its officers the training they need to do their jobs safely, effectively and lawfully," said Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Friday while announcing the report's findings. "It fails to properly collect and analyze data, including data on misconduct complaints and training deficiencies, and it does not adequately review use-of-force incidents to determine whether force was appropriate or lawful or whether the use of force could've been avoided altogether."
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