Frequently Asked Questions

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 be-tween parties. This consent decree requires the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the City of Chicago (the City) to reform training, policies, and practices in a number of important areas, such as use of force, community policing, impartial policing, training, accountability, officer wellness, data and information systems, and more. 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. [2]

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 the 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.[3] The City did not accept the OAG’s allegations, but agreed to enter into a consent decree with the OAG.
 

Who is on the Independent Monitoring Team?

We have assembled a team of recognized leaders and innovators in police reform from across the country. They have experience as police chiefs, academic scholars, and attorneys who have a wide range of expertise that covers every aspect of the consent decree from use of force and impartial policing to the training and supervision of police officers. One of the strengths of our approach is the Community Engagement Team that organizes meetings and serve as the outreach arm. They are meeting with residents, stakeholders, and activists to ensure the community has a voice in this process.

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 the Reports section of our website.

How can I get involved?

The Community Engagement Team will work hard to connect with neighborhoods, community groups, religious organizations, 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 regularly update the Community Involvement section of the Independent Monitoring Team website with details on upcoming community meetings and events. If your neighborhood or community group would like to invite a Community Engagement Team member to your meeting(s), please email us at contact@cpdmonitoringteam.com or fill out our feedback form.

Community members can provide input on CPD policy. When the CPD modifies or creates applicable policies, it will post them on their website for community members to provide input.

Community members can also attend any of our public meetings listed on our website, complete an input form on our website, reach out to the Independent Monitoring Team directly or members of our Community Engagement Team (see below).

How can I contact the Independent Monitoring Team?

You can reach out to us via email (contact@cpdmonitoringteam.com). You can also contact individual members of our Community Engagements Team:

Sodiqa.Williams@cpdmonitoringteam.com

Joe.Hoereth@cpdmonitoringteam.com

Elena.Quitana@cpdmonitoringteam.com

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.


[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] To learn more about the Chicago Consent Decree, visit the Illinois Office of the Attorney General’s consent decree website: http://chicagopoliceconsentdecree.org/.

[3] 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.