The City of Chicago has a long history of inflicting injustice against its Black citizens. Since 2000, the City of Chicago has spent close to $1 billion to compensate the victims of police brutality and misconduct. Despite being under a consent decree to reform its police department, Chicago continues to show a callous disregard for Black life.
Injustice against Black people has not stopped for one second in Chicago. It has continued at a steady pace. Despite public outcry for reform and elected officials pledging to do better, nothing has changed. Here are the facts:
Over 90% of people arrested in Chicago are Black or Hispanic. Black people account for 73% of all arrests. Chicago is a city of 3 million people. Black citizens make up less than a third of the population but account for 73% of all arrests in Chicago. This is because Chicago has a history of locking up Black people for petty offenses and crimes they didn’t commit.
Excessive Force Used on Black People
Over 75% of the time that a CPD officer uses force, it’s against a Black citizen. Police are 13x more likely to use force on a Black person than a White person. Every year, Chicago pays millions of dollars to Black victims of police brutality. Police brutality and misconduct settlements account for the vast majority of money Chicago pays every year to settle lawsuits against the City.
Since 1987, Illinois has had over 500 people exonerated for crimes they didn’t commit. They lost over 3,800 years of their lives sitting in prison. The vast majority of Illinois’ wrongful convictions have come from Chicago. Since 2016, over 180 Black people have been exonerated for drug crimes falsely put on them by a single Chicago police officer. Chicago is known as the wrongful conviction capital of the United States. It has a long history of falsely arresting Black citizens, torturing them, and fabricating evidence to justify arrests. Despite the countless people that have been exonerated for crimes they didn’t commit, Chicago continues to allow its Black citizens to be the victim of false arrests and police misconduct.
Police brutality and misconduct in Chicago don’t seem to be going away. However, just because the City of Chicago refuses to address this continued crisis does not mean that we have to stand by and watch. As a Chicago police brutality and civil rights attorney, I am on the front lines every day fighting for justice and dignity.
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