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Rahm Says IPRA Lost Credibility, Needed To Be Replaced By Civilian Board

 Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Eddie Johnson.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Eddie Johnson.
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DNAinfo/Kelly Bauer

CHATHAM — Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the board in charge of police accountability has lost "credibility" and needs to be replaced by a civilian agency.

Emanuel announced that he would ditch the Independent Police Review Authority in an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune on Friday night. The board, which oversees police, had come under scrutiny in recent months and a task force recommended it be disbanded, but it wasn't until this weekend that Emanuel said the board would be replaced by a "civilian investigative agency."

"IPRA itself has lost credibility with the public," Emanuel said at a Saturday morning event at Simeon High School.

It has not yet been determined who will be on the civilian panel, and Emanuel said he would be working with aldermen to figure that out and create a comprehensive plan for the board. The panel will be part of an effort to ensure everyone has "buy-in" on the topic of public safety, he said.

Chicago Police have faced a number of reforms in recent months after intense scrutiny amid the release of the Laquan McDonald video, which showed an officer shooting McDonald 16 times. The department's Bureau of Internal Affairs has been strengthened and more officers now have Tasers and body cameras.

"We also knew that beyond technology, we needed transparency," Emanuel said of the reforms.

Emanuel said he could not determine if the new civilian panel will take a look at any of the cases IPRA has reviewed in the past.

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