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Chicago Chief Vows 'Constitutional Policing' At Dem Convention

Chicago police are undergoing fresh training on handling large-scale protests and First Amendment rights ahead of anticipated demonstrations during this summer's Democratic National Convention, Police Superintendent Larry Snelling said Wednesday. “Everything we are doing is rooted in constitutional policing," Snelling told a news conference previewing security preparations, reports the Associated Press. “We want to make sure we maintain peace. We are not going to tolerate the violence.” Thousands of elected officials and activists are expected to come to the nation’s third-largest city from Aug. 19-22. Snelling, Mayor Brandon Johnson and emergency management officials are finalizing plans for traffic and security around both convention sites, the United Center and McCormick Place Convention Center.

Snelling said the Chicago Police Department has looked back at other large-scale events in the city to see what worked, including during the 2012 NATO summit. Chicago police generally received high marks for the handling of NATO protests. For the DNC, Snelling said the department would again use police on bicycles and officers in “soft” or dressed down uniforms. Chicago police faced criticism for being unprepared after George Floyd's 2020 killing in Minneapolis, when civil unrest broke out nationwide. More than 500 complaints were filed against Chicago police as many peaceful protests devolved into chaos and destruction. Chicago last hosted the DNC in 1996. Republicans are holding their convention a month earlier in Milwaukee.


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