Recently ten members of the Black Caucus of the Chicago City Council challenged Mayor Emanuel on his nomination/selection process for appointing a Superintendent of Police. Here is our response to this mockery of democracy.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has done what the law says he’s supposed to do – appoint the Superintendent of Police. In rejecting all three nominees from his appointed Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) and naming Commander Eddie Johnson as “Interim Superintendent”, the Mayor has underscored what the people campaigning for community control have been saying all along: the Mayor runs it. And that’s the problem.
This will remain the problem until the City Council puts the power to appoint the Chief of Police into the hands of the people by passing the proposed ordinance for an all-elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC). CPAC gives the people the power to decide how their communities should be policed and by whom. It will give the people the power to fire, and send for federal prosecution, police who commit crimes such as murder, torture, and racial profiling.
While the Police Board ponders over who to propose in addition to the Mayor’s hand-picked choice, our alderpersons have an opportunity to support the CPAC ordinance and establish real community control. Once CPAC is enacted, the police superintendent, whoever that may be, will have to answer to the communities of Chicago and can be replaced, if necessary. CPAC is the only viable alternative to this selection circus. It is also the only democratic solution.
Now is the time for all of us to say:
No More IPRA! No More Police Board! Only CPAC!
Frank Chapman is a Field Organizer for the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.
Aislinn Pulley is a lead organizer with Black Lives Matter Chicago.