Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates votes in favor of resolution backing reforms in Chicago policing....

The Chicago Teachers Union's 800-member House of Delegates approved a controversial resolution submitted by the union's 45-member Executive Board concerning the current problems facing Chicago police and policing. The December 2 House of Delegates meeting also approved scheduling of the strike authorization vote on December 9, 10, and 11.

The resolution calling for a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) that will provide stricter and more transparent oversight on the pattern and practices of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) saw vigorous debate. The ordinance would give the council the power to prosecute law enforcement officials who are guilty of committing a crime. �The CTU is not anti-police and never has been, contrary to the misinformation that�s being put out there by the leader of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP),� said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey. �We were against what happened to Laquan McDonald and what has happened in the wake of the release of that horrific video. We are opposed to the cover-up that is going on. That is why we�ve joined people across this city and nation for a federal investigation into who knew what and when. Why did it take 400 days for this officer to be charged with murder? There are too many questions but all of them illustrate why the CTU supports a democratically elected civilian police accountability council. We have no confidence in the mayor�s hand-picked blue ribbon commission.�

The resolution reads:

WHEREAS, the city of Chicago, and indeed the nation has been shocked, saddened, and appalled by the November 24, 2015 release of a video that recounts the unjustifiable and fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, shot 16 times by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke on the evening of October 14, 2014, a full 13 months prior to the release of the tape; and

WHEREAS, many citizens continue to protest the acquittal of Chicago police officer Dante Servin of manslaughter charges for the killing of Rekia Boyd on March 22, 2012, more than three years before the mayor and police chief finally called for his official termination; and

WHEREAS, while the CTU fully supports and respects Chicago police officers that perform their duties in a lawful manner, we are concerned that there have been numerous other incidents of unarmed citizens and youth in the city of Chicago dying as a result of unjustifiable police shootings and suspicious circumstances: Freddie Wilson (2007), Flint Farmer (2011), and Dakota Bright (2012) to name a few from a much longer list; and

WHEREAS, the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), established in 2007 to replace the Office of Professional Standards (OPS), is reported to have only sustained 1% of thousands of allegations of police misconduct, which may indicate a bias in perspective and judgment; and

WHEREAS, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) as a matter of our commitment to the fair treatment of all citizens in the city of Chicago and our faith and commitment to the democratic process, has openly supported democratic bodies within the Chicago Public School system such as the Local School Council (LSC), Professional Personnel Leadership Committee (PPLC), and an Elected Representative School Board (ERSB); therefore be it

RESOLVED, as a matter of principle and consistency that the CTU support a public initiative for a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC); and be it further

RESOLVED, that the CTU will publicly advocate for such a council and ask that due research, thought, and open public dialogue be devoted to the creation of these councils at the district level.


December 8, 2015 at 9:06 PM

By: Jim Vail


Has a civilian police board ever been put in place in this country?

December 11, 2015 at 7:17 PM

By: Rod Estvan

elected police boards in USA

As far as I can tell the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression came up with the concept of a democratically elected police accountability council. Angela Davis is the co-chair of the organization.

National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR) was founded in 1973 in Chicago, it was led by Communist Party USA members and their supporters. Since the CPUSA split in 1991 what is now called the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS) members have played a significant role in the organization and the National Alliance is listed as an ally of the Committees of Correspondence.

Many CCDS members are also campaigning for Bernie Sanders, others are not.

There is not one elected police accountability council in the United States at this time. Resolutions have been introduced to have such bodies, but none have passed a state legislature to my knowledge. City governments, and other governmental entities are defined and established by state legislatures unless a state constitution state otherwise.

England and Wales do have elected police and crime commissioners. Only in the City of London Police and Metropolitan Police is the commissioner not elected, there the elected Mayor of London is classed as the Police and Crime Commissioner. These elected officials are similar to elected County Sheriffs in the USA.

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