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The Latest: Police oversight plan gets past first hurdle

The Rev. Catherine Brown, left, speaks in favor of the Chicago Police Accountability Council (CPAC) at City Hall as the Public Safety Committee gets ready to vote on COPA, a new police oversight board, Monday, Oct. 4, 2016, in Chicago. Various groups rallied and protested at City Hall as the Budget and Public Safety committees met to discuss among many other items, the enactment of COPA the new police oversight committee (Nancy Stone/ Chicago Tribune via AP) (Nancy Stone/ Chicago Tribune via AP)
October 04, 2016 - 5:48 PM

CHICAGO - The Latest on Chicago aldermen considering Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to revamp how police misconduct is investigated (all times local):

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7:45 p.m.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to create a new agency to better investigate police shootings and misconduct allegations has cleared its first hurtle.

A City Council committee late Tuesday voted 21-4 to send an ordinance creating the Civilian Office of Police Accountability to the full council, which will vote on the measure Wednesday.

The ordinance was hailed by aldermen as a major first step to restoring public trust in the department that was shattered by the release last year of a video of a white police officer fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald.

Critics assailed the proposal as falling short of its stated goal.

Opponents contend the proposal does not immediately include the creation of a new civilian agency that could provide input and l oversight, relies on insufficient funding and hinges on a hiring requirement for attorneys that could promote conflict of interest.

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6:55 p.m.

Chicago's City Council will get a chance to vote on establishing a separate civilian oversight board that will be charged with choosing a permanent chief of a planned Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

Chicago's lawyer, Stephen Patton, told aldermen they will be asked to approve a resolution on Wednesday that calls for an ordinance on the new board to be completed and before the City Council early next year.

Some aldermen and community activists have complained too much power will be centred in the mayor's office under Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed plan to revamp the way officer-involved shootings and police misconduct are investigated.

Aldermen warned if a civilian panel charged with choosing a permanent chief for the accountability office that will replace the discredited Independent Police Review Authority isn't formed, public trust in police oversight won't exist.

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10:40 a.m.

Some aldermen, community activists and civil rights lawyers are criticizing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed plan to revamp the way officer-involved shootings and police misconduct are investigated.

They said Tuesday at a City Council committee hearing that the ordinance Emanuel wants passed gives his office too much power, is not transparent enough and lacks provisions to ensure community involvement. They also say the proposed budget for the agency won't give it the resources needed to conduct adequate investigations. They are demanding that the committees not recommend it to the full council.

Karl Brinson of the NAACP says it is clear that the demands of the public are not being met. University of Chicago Law School professor Craig Futterman says the mayor's office would be too involved with the new agency for the public to trust its findings.

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7:35 a.m.

Members of the Chicago City Council are set to consider Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to revamp the way the city handles officer-involved shootings and police misconduct allegations.

A hearing about the mayor's ordinance to create the Civilian Office of Police Accountability will go before a joint meeting of the council's Committee on Budget and Government Operations and Committee on Public Safety on Tuesday morning. A recommendation will be sent to the full City Council.

The ordinance would create a new agency to replace the Independent Police Review Authority, which has been criticized for not completing investigations in a timely manner and nearly always siding with officers.

The new agency would have broader powers to investigate officer misconduct allegations and would create a deputy inspector general position to audit department practices.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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