Justice Department report: Chicago police use excessive force

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CHICAGO — The Chicago Police Department has unconstitutionally engaged in a pattern of excessive force, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Friday, wrapping up a 13-month federal probe of a force that was under heavy scrutiny over officer-involved shootings.

As a result, the city and the Justice Department, which began investigating the CPD in December 2015, have agreed to start negotiations on a reform plan that would be overseen by a federal judge, Lynch said.

Chicago police officers’ use of excessive force, she said, stemmed in large part to what the Justice Department found was severely insufficient training and accountability procedures.

Friday’s announcement comes more than two years after the fatal shooting by Chicago police of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. The video prompted protests and calls for radical reforms.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pushed through some reforms since the investigation began, including an overhaul of a police oversight body and issuing body cameras to officers on patrol. But the report is expected to call for additional, more sweeping changes.

A report typically led during President Barack Obama‘s administration to reform plans negotiated with cities, then enforced by judges. How President-elect Donald Trump’s administration handles Chicago’s case will be an early test of its commitment to reforms.

The Obama DOJ has conducted 25 such investigations of police from Miami to Cleveland and Baltimore to Seattle.