ICPR Hosts Forum on How City Hall & CPD Can Increase Disclosure & Transparency

Watch the forum online at CAN TV!

On Wednesday, January 20th, ICPR held a forum titled: “How can City Hall & CPD Work Together to Increase Disclosure & Transparency.”  The event began with opening remarks by ICPR Board Chair Susan Garrett, who encouraged an open discussion among the panelists. As moderator for the event, Laura Washington of the Chicago Sun-Times asked questions regarding current policies and procedures of CPD, handling complaints against police, and best practices for disclosing information to the public.

Panelists presented many different views, opinions, and perspectives. As President of the Chicago Police Board and a former Federal Prosecutor, Lori Lightfoot is an expert on legal matters pertaining to CPD. She noted that while public disclosure needs to be improved, releasing material too soon can negatively affect an ongoing investigation.  Civil Rights attorney Chris Smith expressed a different concern, noting that certain policies protecting officers can often lead to long, delayed, and “compromised” investigations that take years to conclude.

Brandon Smith, a journalist who used FOIA to ensure the release of video footage in the Laquan McDonald case, pointed out that the reluctance of law enforcement officials  to release videos and officer complaint data can lead to public mistrust, and explained that FOIA, while legally available, feels out of reach for most members of the public.  Tracy Siska , who founded the Chicago Justice Project, advocated making  all information related to police misconduct and investigations easily available online.

Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul noted improved and updated policies will be necessary to”restore confidence in police officers,” particularly in minority communities where relations are strained.

Dean C. Angelo, President of the Fraternal Order of Police, brought up the fact that there are often limited financial resources available to the police department, which can result in delayed processes.Paula Thornton Greear from the Chicago Urban League brought attention back to the fact that this dialogue “is about our communities,” and pointed out the need to rebuild trust in our neighborhoods.

We would like to extend a special thanks to all of our attendees, panelists, and moderator – civic engagement is a crucial part of ICPR’s mission, and we will continue to provide our forums free and open to the public. 

If you missed our forum or want to experience it again, you can watch online thanks to CAN TV! It will also be broadcast on the Chicago local CAN TV station 19 on  January 24th at 5pm,  January 25th at 12pm, and January 29th at 8am.


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