Surveys of Black and Latino men in Chicago paint a "bleak picture of the relationship" they have with Chicago police, despite the department's years of efforts to reform and build trust, the Chicago Tribune reports. The surveys of men aged 18 to 35, reported by an independent panel reviewing the department and filed in federal court Thursday, address the Chicago Police Department's reputation in the community while it works to comply with a federal consent decree ordered in 2019 after the killing of Laquan McDonald.
The men were surveyed between December 2020 and June 2021 in 32 community focus groups by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Adler University. Participants in the most recent survey reported most of their interactions with police were negative experiences, even when no enforcement actions were taken, and they lacked trust in their local police department. “We have consistently heard that young Black and Latino men want to be treated with dignity and respect; to be given a chance to be heard during encounters; and for officers to make decisions fairly and transparently, conveying goodwill and trustworthiness,” Chicago police Independent Monitor Maggie Hickey, a former federal prosecutor, said in the news release. The report comes weeks after Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown fired the head of the office responsible for implementing reforms, thrusting the department into a transitory moment while it brings on new leadership.