Congressman García Leads Letters to DOJ and City of Chicago Urging Policing Reforms

May 27, 2021
Press Release

CHICAGO, IL — Following the introduction of the Connecting Youth to Jobs Act, a bill to create living-wage employment opportunities for young people facing barriers to employment and historically disadvantaged youth, Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) sent two letters this week calling on the Department of Justice and the City of Chicago to make urgently needed police reforms.

  • On Thursday, May 27, Congressman García led the Chicago Congressional delegation in sending a letter to the Department of Justice, urging the agency to withdraw its formal opposition to the consent decree between the Attorney General of Illinois and the City of Chicago. Chicago representatives Danny K. Davis, Bobby L. Rush, Robin L. Kelly, Jan Schakowsky, Mike Quigley, Marie Newman joined in signing the letter.

The agency’s opposition to the consent decree, which dates to the Trump-era Department of Justice (DOJ), makes it harder to use federal resources to bring badly needed reform to the Chicago Police Department (CPD). Removing this official opposition would help ensure full and timely enforcement of the consent decree.

  • On Wednesday, May 26, Congressman García sent a letter to the City of Chicago urging it to consult closely with community groups before issuing a foot pursuit policy—which the city has since committed to do—rather than rushing out a policy that does not respond to community needs.

Congressman García issued the following statement:

“Latino and Black communities should not fear the very police who are pledged to protect us. I’m calling on the City of Chicago and the U.S. Department of Justice to take these steps to improve enforcement of the CPD consent decree and help prevent police violence in our neighborhoods.

“Despite repeated community calls for a formal CPD foot pursuit policy, no such policy was in place when police shot and killed two young men, Adam Toledo and Anthony Alvarez, less than 48 hours apart. Although it is too late to save the lives of these young men, the CPD must work with the community to institute a well-designed foot pursuit policy that reduces the number of dangerous foot chases.

“At the federal level, the DOJ should withdraw its opposition to the CPD consent decree, a position issued by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions under the Trump Administration, and provide the Illinois Attorney General’s office with the resources they need to implement and enforce it. As we continue our fight for more transformative police reform and community investment, this is a small but necessary step toward the full and timely enforcement of CPD’s consent decree.”

A copy of the letter to the City of Chicago can be found here.

A copy of the letter to the Department of Justice can be found here.

The Congressman’s statement on the introduction of his Connecting Youth to Jobs Act can be found here.