Statement of Rep. Danny K. Davis on Chicago City Council Adoption of Police Community Oversight Ordinance
July 26, 2021
Chicago has taken a giant step forward in police reform with the City Council’s adoption of a community oversight system, chosen by the community, with real power to vote for removal of the police superintendent and other key leadership, and to have a real say in formulating policy. The roots of the initiative go back as far as the 1970s and revelations of ongoing policetorture, coercion, corruption, cover-up and use of excessive force, up to and including deadly force. Despite a court-mandated federal consent decree, there has been little improvement to show.
More than one hundred community organizations formed a coalition that has been engaged in a multi-year effort: organizing, educating,and lobbying for these changes. They didn't get everything they were seeking, but they have set a new standard, and mapped out a new pathway, not only for Chicago, but for the nation. Community control is a key factor in developing trust between the community and working police officers, and in shaping effective measures to reduce violence and build secure neighborhoods.
The work done by the Council, the Mayor and the community organizations is not over. It is just beginning, but what a great beginning!