Justice Department To Investigate Chicago Police Practices

Dec 6, 2015
Originally published on December 6, 2015 7:05 pm

The Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division will be launching a federal investigation into whether the Chicago police department has engaged in a pattern or practice of discriminatory or unconstitutional policing, sources tell NPR's Carrie Johnson.

"The U.S. Attorney in Chicago has already been investigating the death of a young man shot 16 times by a Chicago policeman last year," Carrie reports.

Seventeen-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was black, was killed by white police officer Jason Van Dyke in October 2014. McDonald's death gained national prominence last month, after Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder and a dashcam video of the shooting was released.

Chicago police officers had given accounts of the killing which substantially differed from the video, according to reports released Friday.

Protesters in Chicago have called for an outside investigation into the shooting, and for greater urgency from local and national leaders in addressing the case.

"Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the Urban League had called for a broader probe, and recently Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel signaled he would accept that," Carrie says.

A formal announcement of the Justice Department probe is expected this week, the Associated Press reports.

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