The Independent Monitoring Team has developed a list of frequently asked questions to provide the community with responses to common questions.

What is a consent decree?

A consent decree is a court-approved settlement that resolves a legal dispute between parties. This consent decree requires the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the City of Chicago (the City) to reform training, policies, and practices. The goal is to ensure that the CPD performs constitutional and effective policing that keeps both community members and officers safe and restores the community’s trust in the CPD. (¶2).[1] Federal judge Robert M. Dow, Jr. was appointed to oversee the consent decree. He then chose the Independent Monitor and will oversee the work of the Independent Monitoring Team. The Independent Monitoring Team will assess the CPD’s and the City’s compliance with the consent decree. The consent decree will be in effect for at least five years so that the CPD can develop, implement, and sustain the training, policies, and practices that the consent decree requires.

To learn more about the Chicago Consent Decree, visit chicagopoliceconsentdecree.org.

Why is Chicago under a Consent Decree?

In August 2017, the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Illinois (OAG) sued the City, alleging that the CPD has violated the U.S. Constitution, the Illinois Constitution, and federal and state laws. The OAG’s complaint pointed to reviews of CPD’s policing practices over the last fifty years, including a 2017 report by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). According to the DOJ report, the CPD engaged in a repeated pattern and practice of using excessive force and racially discriminatory policing practices.[2] The City did not accept the OAG’s allegations, but agreed to enter into a consent decree with the OAG.
 

What is the Independent Monitoring Team doing?

The Independent Monitoring Team observes and assesses how the CPD is making progress and complying with the requirements of the consent decree. Throughout the process, it will collect and analyze data to measure the CPD’s and the City’s progress. The Independent Monitoring Team’s Community Engagement Team will also gather community input and feedback from a broad range of people and organizations about the CPD’s and the City’s progress. The Independent Monitoring Team will also develop and release public reports on its monitoring activities, which will be available on on the Reports section of our website.

How can I get involved?

The Community Engagement Team will work hard to connect with neighborhoods, community groups, church communities, activists, and residents across the city. The Community Engagement Team encourages community members to participate in meetings and to promote these sessions through their networks. We will regularly update the Community Involvement section of the Independent Monitoring Team website with details on upcoming community meetings and events.

Community members can also provide input on CPD policy. When the CPD modifies or creates policies, it will post them on our website where community members can provide their input.

How can I contact the Independent Monitoring Team?

You can reach out to us via email or meet with us during our office hours (times and locations forthcoming). Learn more on our Contact Us page.

You can also use the Feedback Form on this website to send us your input or leave us general comments.

Where can I learn about Independent Monitoring Team meetings and events?

We will list upcoming Independent Monitoring Team related meetings and events on our forthcoming Events page, including a calendar of events and their times and locations.


[1] The final consent decree is available on the Chicago Police Consent Decree Website. See Consent Decree (January 31, 2019), http://chicagopoliceconsentdecree.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/FINAL-CONSENT-DECREE-SIGNED-BY-JUDGE-DOW.pdf.

[2] DOJ Civil Rights Division and United States Attorney’s Office Northern District of Illinois, Investigation of Chicago Police Department (January 13, 2017) , available athttp://chicagopoliceconsentdecree.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/DOJ-INVESTIGATION-OF-CHICAGO-POLICE-DEPT-REPORT.pdf.