Black Lives Matter Chicago Files Lawsuit Demanding Federal Oversight of City’s Police Department

Demonstrators confront police during a protest over the death of Laquan McDonald on Nov. 25, 2015, in Chicago. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Lawyers for Black Lives Matter Chicago and other community groups filed a class action lawsuit Wednesday accusing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel of trying to cut “a back-room deal” with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and demanding federal oversight of the city’s Police Department.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that six individuals and seven community groups are named as plaintiffs in the 132-page complaint, which could either force City Hall to the negotiations table or lead to a lengthy court battle. The suit was brought on behalf of people who “have been, or in the future will be, subjected to use of force by the CPD.”


The lawsuit also targets 15 police officers as well as the city of Chicago.

“CPD officers abide by an ingrained code of silence and ‘warrior mentality’ wholly disconnected from the policies that exist on the books,” the plaintiffs’ lawyers wrote in the complaint. “The ‘thin blue line’ reigns supreme. The city of Chicago has proven time and time again that it is incapable of ending its own regime of terror, brutality and discriminatory policing.”

The lawsuit comes just five months after the Justice Department announced that it had found the Chicago Police Department to have widespread constitutional violations. A hearing has been set for June 21 in front of U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee.

On Wednesday, Chicago Corporation Counsel Edward Siskel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that the city wanted to take a different path to the same reforms, and Kevin Graham, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, promised to “oppose the imposition of policies backed by this movement in every instance.”


Read more at the Chicago Sun-Times.

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Monique Judge

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.