Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit against the city of Chicago on Tuesday, claiming that the city’s police showed a “pattern of using excessive force” against minority populations.
Madigan filed the lawsuit alongside Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who supports the litigation. Madigan’s suit asks that a judge be appointed over the Chicago Police Department to oversee policy reforms, according to the Chicago Tribune. Emanuel had previously stated he was working with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to enact reforms, but the mayor seems to have switched directions after he sued the DOJ Aug. 7.
“The reforms we have made in recent years, and those that lie ahead, will help us ensure Chicago has the most professional, proactive police department possible,” Emanuel told reporters Tuesday. “I am proud that Illinois’ attorney general is standing up — for our city and our officers — where the Trump Justice Department fell flat.”
Emanuel has been in an ongoing fight with Attorney General Jeff Sessions over how police reforms are going to look in Chicago, particularly with respect to immigration. Sessions announced in July that the DOJ would not provide Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program funds to “sanctuary cities” like Chicago. Chicago received $2.3 million from the program last year, and was expected to receive $3.2 million in 2017.
Emanuel and the city of Chicago filed the Aug. 7 lawsuit to secure those funds from the DOJ without complying to Sessions’ demand that local police work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The DOJ did not take the suit lightly.
“In 2016, more Chicagoans were murdered than in New York City and Los Angeles combined. So it’s especially tragic that the mayor is less concerned with that staggering figure than he is spending time and taxpayer money protecting criminal aliens and putting Chicago’s law enforcement at greater risk,” Devin O’Malley, from the DOJ department of public affairs, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “These policies are driven by politics and do not protect their citizens. We will fight them with every lawful tool available.”
Despite Emanuel’s frigid relations with the Department, the DOJ is not opposed to Madigan’s lawsuit, so long as it is not used to push sanctuary policies.
“If the city and state can put in place policies and practices to ensure constitutional, proactive policing that actually serves to reduce Chicago’s rampant violent crime problems, that would be a positive step,” DOJ spokesman Ian Prior told CNN. “However, we have said repeatedly that we will not agree to or support any measure that will endanger the lives of Chicago’s residents or law enforcement by eroding the rule of law or by failing to properly address violent crime in Chicago.”
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