Chicago ministers call for police reform

- Dozens of clergy from Chicago and the suburbs were surprised to receive a warm welcome at Chicago police headquarters Tuesday.

“Stop shooting suspects in the back!” said Pastor Cy Fields of Coalition for Police Accountability.

That's just one of fifteen recommendations for police reform offered by the clergy.

Reflecting a new attitude from Chicago police brass, the three dozen clergy were allowed to enter the lobby at police headquarters without going through metal detectors, while singing for peace, before delivering their demands to a representative of Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

“The police were very gracious today, and of course, we came partially to support the police, as well as challenge them,” said Reverend Marshall Hatch.

The religious leaders acknowledged concern that the shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge could take away from their push for radical police reforms. They say they won't let that happen.

“When it's gotten to the point that people are taking to the street and going back against police, it's saying that something is really broken,” said Rabbie Bruce Elder.

“We are pro-police! We are not anti-police. We are anti-police violence,” Reverend Ira Acree.

The clergy also demanded a meeting with Superintendent Johnson. He personally phoned several ministers, telling them he's willing to do that. And after the clergy left, first deputy superintendent John Escalante told reporters that the department's largely on the same page when it comes to reform.

“We are committed to taking those reforms that are necessary to making us a better department, and I know that the clergy have those same concerns,” Escalante said.

The superintendent wasn't even at police headquarters Tuesday. He's attending the National Conference of Black Law Enforcement Executives in Washington D.C., until Friday.

The meeting with the superintendent is expected to take place sometime in the next few days.

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