CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel is asking the City Council to approve a series of police accountability measures, including the formation of a "citizen oversight board," the mayor's office announced Tuesday.
More than eight months after creating the Police Accountability Task Force and promising to reform Chicago Police Department practices, Emanuel on Tuesday unveiled his ideas for reforming the department.
His proposals include scrapping the Independent Police Review Authority for a "civilian office of police accountability," which would take IPRA's place as the body charged with investigating police misconduct.
Emanuel has also called for a "citizen oversight board" that will hold public hearings and request audits of the department and city agencies, though the City Council will see that proposal in a separate ordinance that has not yet been filed.
The mayor is also seeking a deputy inspector general charged with overseeing the department, Emanuel said in a news release Tuesday evening.
"Several months ago, we began the process to reform the entire police accountability system to ensure investigations of officers are independent, fair, timely and transparent," Emanuel said in a statement. "The ordinance today is the result of a lot of hard work and significant community input.
"But the path forward will be about more than just the words on a page, it will be about implementation, culture and building community trust in the system of police accountability," he said.
The police accountability ordinance was announced by Emanuel five months after the Police Accountability Task Force released its damning report on racial bias in the Chicago Police Department.
Emanuel announced the task force in December, on the same day he fired Garry McCarthy as the Chicago Police superintendent in the aftermath of the Laquan McDonald scandal.
Some of Emanuel's proposals appear to be pulled from the task force's recommendations, which also called for the dismantling of IPRA and the creation of an inspector general of public safety.
The task force also asked the department and city leaders to acknowledge and abandon a "code of silence" and years of racist practices and specifically asked the city to rework its labor contract with the Fraternal Order of Police.
The City Council will vote on Emanuel's police reform measures at a special hearing on Sept. 29, said Aldermen Ariel Reboyras (30) and Carrie M. Austin (34) in a joint statement. Both aldermen serve on the council's public safety committee.
"We look forward to continuing to work with the mayor, our colleagues and key stakeholders in the coming weeks in the next phase of the process towards implementing a system that demonstrates our commitment ot transparency and fairness, while ensuring the police and the public have they certainty they deserve as it relates to our system of accountability," they said in a statement.
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