Organizations that are part of the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability said there are recurring themes among all of their concerns about policing and police misconduct. Faye Dickens, with the Southwest Organizing Project, talked of police who treat marginalized residents with disrespect. WBBM’s Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.
“We need to abandon overly aggressive police tactics,” Dickens said. “They don’t just harm victims, but they make it harder for the police to address real problems.”
Others want to see changes in the way the police view the community and community people view the police.
Alliance Coordinator Mecole Jordan refused to criticize Mayor Emanuel’s actions up to now, looking only to the future. She said they expect Mayor Emanuel to take their thoughts seriously.
“As GAPA we are more interested in community-lead processes, which will allow for a more genuine input from community members,” Jordan said.
The organizations want a solid role in helping form the Police Oversite Board.
The Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability, representing about 10 different community groups, said it’s heard concerns about policing and official misconduct from more than 16,000 people. Jordan said those voices should be heard as the city structures its Community Safety Oversight Board. But they are not offering recommendations yet.
“We want to make sure that the community members, who are most impacted by this issue have the education that it takes in order to make those decisions,” Jordan said. “If we look at what is happening around the country, we have no north star. This is not something we can just say, this is how it should be.”
But she and others said police should be more accountable.
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