Friday, July 22, 2016

Sense of urgency at last night's community hearing on police accountability [Updated]

AMAZING!...No sooner did the Progressive Caucus of the City Council hold the first of its hearings on police accountability THEN THIS HAPPENED.
Instead of watching Trump's "Make America Germany Again" speech last night, I and hundreds of others went over to Malcolm X College on the west side, where the City Council's Progressive Caucus was holding its Community Forum on Police Accountability.

The purpose of this forum was to gather testimony and recommendations from members of the public. The Caucus deserves kudos for listening and for doing what the city and the mayor have so far stalled on doing.

Supporters of CPAC, which calls for an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council from the city's 22 police districts, came out in force.

The meeting was moderated by WVON's Dometi PongoAld. Rick Munoz (22) and Ald. John Arena (45) and Rod Sawyer (6) were the only aldermen to speak, and only at the opening and close of the meeting.  Ald. Scott Waguespack (32), David Moore (17), Toni Foulkes (16), Ariel Reboyras (30), Jason Ervin (28), Sue Sadlowski Garza (10), and Willie Cochran (20) also attended.

Most disappointing to me was Police Board President and Police Accountability Task Force (PATF) chair Lori Lightfoot who went on much too long until the crowd demanded that she stop since she was cutting into allotted testimony time. Worse, she left to attend a Police Board meeting while audience members urged her to stay and listen. It wasn't her night. That's for sure.

Munoz says the Progressive Caucus plans to draft its own reforms in the coming months and members were there to listen.
"We listened, we heard people's voices, and that will be part of the legislative process... we will have a series of ordinances in September, October, and November, on how to reform the police department."
People want less talk. More action.

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