U.S. attorney general still deciding whether to impose reforms on Chicago police

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By Julia Edwards Ainsley | WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions
said on Monday the Justice Department was still deciding whether
it would seek to impose reforms on the Chicago police force,
which was the subject of a critical report by the former Obama
administration.

In a report issued on Jan. 13, a week before President
Donald Trump took office, the Justice Department said Chicago
police routinely violated the civil rights of people. It cited
excessive force, racially discriminatory conduct and a “code of
silence” to thwart investigations into police misconduct.

Chicago and federal officials signed an agreement in
principle to create a court-enforced consent decree addressing
the issues revealed by the probe when the report was released.
The consent decree must be negotiated, then approved by a
federal judge.

Sessions has not committed to entering into negotiations
with the department to determine what reforms, if any, should
follow.

“I have not made a decision about that, but I am really
worried about Chicago,” Sessions said told reporters at a
briefing.

Sessions said police officers in Chicago were arresting
people less frequently, which he speculated may be out of fear
their interactions could be recorded and spread on the internet.

Trump has regularly singled out Chicago’s failure to curb
violence, most recently saying the city was “totally out of
control,” in a Twitter message.

Police in Chicago, New York, Ferguson, Missouri, and
elsewhere have come under fire for using excessive force,
primarily against black men, in incidents recorded on cellphones
and shared online.

Sessions said he had seen summaries of both the Chicago
report and the report that the Obama Justice Department
completed on police in Ferguson.

“Some of it was pretty anecdotal and not so scientifically
based,” Sessions said.



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