Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García’s Statement on the Chicago Police Gang Database

April 12, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC- Yesterday Chicago’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a report outlining its findings about the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) gang database. The review found the database is riddled with inaccurate and outdated information that put innocent people at risk of a severe sentence, high bond or deportation.  It also sheds light on the racial bias of the information, as 91.3% of the individuals designated as gang members in the past 20 years have been African American and Latino males.  The OIG report also highlights how the lack of oversight and transparency has undermined public trust in the police. 

Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) issued the following statement regarding the findings of the report:

“The findings of the OIG report are not surprising to people in the district I represent. Gang databases in Chicagoland wrongly target communities of color. Many innocent people don’t even know why their name got in the database or how to get it removed.  From housing restrictions to false arrests and deportations, there are grave consequences for being included in the Chicago Police Department gang database.

“To ensure the balance of public safety and community trust, the City Council and the Mayor’s Office must put forward a transparent process to implement the OIG’s recommendations and remove anyone unjustly profiled as a gang member. This process must include input from the communities that have been most affected by this deeply flawed data system.”

As Cook County Commissioner, Congressman García prompted scrutiny of the county Sheriff’s Regional Gang Intelligence Database (RGID), and requested an audit by the inspector general. The county database has since been decommissioned.