The Board that has the final say on punishing rogue Chicago police officers has a new leader.
The City Council on Wednesday ratified the appointment of former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot to chair the Police Board.
As FOX 32’s Political Editor Mike Flannery reports, her appointment comes as some have raised serious questions about the way allegations of police misconduct are investigated.
The mayor for the first time was asked Wednesday about that retired Chicago police commander who claims he was fired by the Independent Police Review Authority after being pressured to change his findings that several police shootings were "unjustified."
“Look, there's a reason it's called IPRA. It's an independent board. So, I'm not gonna weigh in on that,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
“Back in February, 2013, I asked for a total review of both IPRA, the Police Board and any kind of the oversights as it relates to citizens review of police actions and misconduct. And both the Police Department today, IPRA and the Police Board are putting in place a lot of the recommendations from that report that was issued about a year ago,” the mayor added.
Among those the mayor has highlighted: more intensive training of officers that he believes has led to a sharp decline in the number of people shot by Chicago police.
The Better Government Association reported last weekend that they had killed 70 in five years, which is fourth highest per capita in the country. So far this year, there have been three such shootings, the lowest total since 2012.
“I think the police have to go, which they have been, in more intense training, to be trained appropriately in how to engage the residents of the City of Chicago. So that shooting is not your first option, but, obviously, in situations the last,” Mayor Emanuel said.
Retired Police Commander Lorenzo Davis said last week that, while investigating police-involved shootings for the Independent Police Review Authority, he concluded several were "unjustified." Davis claimed he was pressured to change those findings and, when he resisted, he was fired.
IPRA insists it handled properly the cases that Lorenzo Davis worked on, and that it's now finding a higher percentage of complaints to be "justified" than at any time since 2007, which was when it was created.