Congressman Bobby Rush

Representing the 1st District of Illinois

Rush Statement on the Department of Justice Pattern-or-Practice Investigation of Chicago Police Department

Jan 13, 2017
Press Release

CHICAGO — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) released the following statement on the Department of Justice Pattern-or-Practice Investigation of Chicago Police Department:

“At the conclusion of a 13 month long U.S. Department of Justice investigation (the largest and longest of a police department in Justice Department history), findings were issued that reveal scathing, disturbing and completely unacceptable patterns of unconstitutional policing as executed by the Chicago Police Department against the very citizens they are sworn to protect. Shooting at vehicles without justification, using force to retaliate against and punish individuals and failing to deescalate situations, all without predictable, timely and transparent discipline are just a few examples of the outrageous practices outlined in the report.

“In spite of these disturbing findings, the citizens of Chicago are only left with platitudes, promises and politics from the Mayor, the Chicago Police Department and the Justice Department. Their announcement of an intent to sign an agreement to work together on a consent decree is thoroughly inadequate and insulting because at the conclusion, we are left with no consent decree in place.

“I found the Mayor’s remarks and those of the Superintendent to be weak regarding the consent decree. This way of responding to unearthed and unveiled corrupt patterns and practices is the Chicago way but that simply does not work and does not match up with the extraordinary circumstances made plain by the report.

“Just like the City of Baltimore, we must have a consent decree now. One that puts the leadership and oversight of CPD squarely in the hands of the courts. That is why over the next few days, I will convene a series of meetings with some of the city’s top constitutional lawyers to bring a case to court that will result in the Justice Department being ordered to institute a consent decree now.

“I respect and appreciate the dedication of the majority of Chicago Police Officers whose hard work provides us with safety and protection. Most officers and their families want the same things most of Chicago wants. That is to uphold the law, be safe and secure, live a prosperous life and be productive citizens.

“However, the actions of rogue officers and the inadequate department accountability systems under which they operate, require an immediate and comprehensive response. We must demand the same response from the Justice Department as the City of Baltimore received. A consent decree must be implemented.

“In the waning days of the Obama presidency, I implore the President to take swift action, and like famed Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, throw a last second Hail Mary pass that will undoubtedly result in securing for the citizens of Chicago a consent decree before President-elect Trump is sworn in.”