Thank you again for your crucial support of the STOP Act. We are writing to give you an update about the Act and other developments.
As you know, we planned to file the Act in City Council last Wednesday, July 29th, under the leadership of aldermen Moreno, Sawyer, and Maldonado. Before the City Council meeting, We Charge Genocide and Chicago Votes organized a robust and well-attended press conference at which directly affected youth speakers from each group and all three of those aldermen expressed support and the intention to file the ordinance.
During the City Council meeting following the press conference, Mayor Rahm Emanuel approached Alderman Sawyer and asked that the alderman wait until a later City Council meeting to file the ordinance because the City was actively exploring changes to relevant CPD policies.
As a result, the STOP Act was not filed on July 29th.
On Friday, August 7, as you may have seen, the CPD and the ACLU of IL released a set of agreements that does not include public disclosure of stop and frisk data, and instead provides for oversight by a former federal judge. The ACLU’s agreement provides for no more public disclosure than is required beyond the existing FOIA process and, in fact, specifies that all stop and frisk data given by CPD to the ACLU and the monitor will be kept “confidential”. This is in clear contrast to the goals of our work.
Unlike the STOP Act, the agreement announced Friday also does not include receipts for stops that do not result in frisks, searches, or arrests; nor does it require officers to inform persons stopped of their right to refuse to consent to a search, or require officers to obtain written documentation of consent.
We Charge Genocide is deeply disappointed by the substance of the agreement, which falls short of the basic standards of transparency and accountability which would have been required under the STOP Act.
In addition, we condemn the back-door process through which this agreement was created. That process deliberately excluded the voices of young people of color who have been organizing in support of the STOP Act and who are most affected by CPD’s stop & frisk practices.
Finally, We Charge Genocide is greatly angered by the behavior of the ACLU — which has met with us numerous times over the past several months and has claimed to support the STOP Act. We were shocked to find out that the ACLU has, throughout our numerous conversations, deliberately obfuscated the fact that they were also negotiating with the City, and refused to include us in these negotiations.
We Charge Genocide’s #ChiStops campaign is committed to ending stop & frisk in Chicago, and so will proceed with our Youth Speak-Out Against Stop & Frisk and Police Violence scheduled for this Sunday, August 9th from 2-5pm at Village Leadership Academy, 1001 W Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, IL 60608. Please join us on the one year anniversary of Mike Brown’s murder as we re-commit to ending all forms of police violence here in Chicago and across the country.
Next week, We Charge Genocide will publish a public statement addressing the ACLU’s actions. the wide gulf that remains between the ACLU/CPD agreement announced on Friday and the STOP Act, and the changes still desperately needed to achieve a basic level of transparency and police accountability in Chicago.