In the latest response to outrage over the way the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and city officials interact with citizens, city officials have released 101 videos of police shootings and arrests, including some that depict actions that have been challenged as excessive force. The videos were released by the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), a body that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says will soon be disbanded in favor of the new Civilian Police Investigation Agency.
“These past few months, as this city has struggled with so many questions about policing and about police accountability, it has been clear that we all agree that there’s a lack of trust and that increased transparency is essential to rebuilding that trust,” Sharon Fairley, IPRA chief said at a press conference.
The searchable video database contains video and audio recordings as well as police reports for three types of incidents:
Officer-involved taser use that results in death or great bodily harm
Incidents of death or great bodily harm (other than self-inflicted harm) that occur in police custody
It currently contains videos dating back to January 2011. Records for incidents involving minors are notably absent. State code says the city is “prohibited from releasing law enforcement records that relate to a minor who has been investigated, arrested, or taken into custody before his or her 18th birthday, without a court order.”
Officials say recordings and reports will be released no more than 60 days after incidents moving forward. It’s a vast change from the policy that let the city hide video of CPD officer Jason Van Dyke shoot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times for 13 months. It was activists’ reaction to the forced release of that video that brought about these policy changes.