Chicago police brutality on the rise
(PRESS TV) Chicago police officers have killed more people this year to date than the total number killed in 2010. According to the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) there have been 43 police-involved shootings in Chicago so far this year.
At least 16 people have been killed in police shootings already this year – more than the 13 total fatal shootings in all of last year.
Eighty-six percent of those shot by police this year – as of June 30 – were black, according to statistical reports by IPRA.
Black residents also constituted the majority of those injured or killed in police shootings in previous years.
Chicago police officers are the subject of more brutality complaints per officer than the national average, and the Police Department is far less likely to pursue abuse cases seriously than the national norm, a legal team at the University of Chicago reported in November 2010.
The report, “The Chicago Police Department’s Broken System,” came amid troubled times for the force, the nation’s second largest, which is mired in accusations of misconduct and is the subject of open feuding among elected officials who disagree on aspects of its management.
The national average among large police departments for excessive-force complaints is 9.5 per 100 full-time officers. For a department of Chicago’s size (13,500, second only to New York), that would correspond to 1,283 complaints a year.
Recent statistics published by the Stolen Lives Project estimate that the number of cases in the United States relating to police brutality has reached the thousands.
Chicago officials suggest that criminals are becoming more brazen than ever before. Critics suggest that Chicago police are feeding into a cycle of violence with aggressive policies.
In August 2009, the report titled, “The Persistence of Racial Profiling in the United States” quoted Rep. John Conyers saying “Since (9/11), our nation has engaged in a policy of institutionalized racial and ethnic profiling”.
African-Americans are the most likely group to be shot by law enforcement and to have Taser guns used against them.
A 2008 study of Taser use in Houston found that African-American and Latino residents were disproportionately impacted by the use of Tasers, and that white and Latino officers were more likely than African-American officers to use their Tasers on African-American suspects.
On its web site, Amnesty International (AI) says “Police brutality and use of excessive force has been one of the central themes of (AI’s) campaign on human rights violations in the USA,” launched in October 1998.
In its “United States of America: Rights for All Index,” it documented systematic patterns of abuse across America, including “police beatings, unjustified shootings and the use of dangerous restraint techniques to subdue suspects.”