Below is the letter we’ll send to members of the Chicago City Council:
Protect Police Accountability in Chicago
BREAKING: The Chicago Mayor, Brandon Johnson, has asked the Chicago City Council to reject an arbitrator's decision that would allow Chicago police officers accused of misconduct to have their cases decided behind closed doors, rather than by the Chicago Police Board.
The arbitrator's decision was made despite fervent opposition from the people of Chicago including the Mayor who stated, "while we recognize police officers’ right to arbitration, it is crucial that disciplinary cases be handled in a manner that allows for public transparency and true accountability."
This decision comes after the Chicago police union pushed to remove more than 20 pending disciplinary cases from the Chicago Police Board’s docket and, instead, have them decided behind closed doors earlier this month. If approved by the Chicago City Council, this new process would circumvent Chicagoans’ ability to hold cops accountable in public forums, including in hearings that are open to the public and the media. It would also upend more than 60 years of precedent in Chicago’s existing police accountability system.
We can’t be silent about this. Your Alder members can still oppose this arbitrator's decision as this continues to be part of broader contract negotiations between the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, also known as the FOP, and the Chicago City Council.
That’s why we need you to ensure the Chicago City Council hears from you. Will you sign the petition calling on your Alder member to stand against the police union’s request to move police accountability behind closed doors?
Here is the Petition:
I was concerned to learn about the Chicago police union’s request to remove more than 20 pending disciplinary cases from the Chicago Police Board’s docket and, instead, have them decided behind closed doors.
This change would circumvent my ability as a Chicagoan to hold cops accountable because hearings and decisions would not be held and made in meetings open to the public and the media. Closing these hearings also would upend more than 60 years of precedent in Chicago’s existing police accountability system.
I am looking at you, an Alder member of the Chicago City Council, representing the people, to oppose this request from the police union and to prioritize the will of the communities you have been elected to serve.