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Chicago: Major development in fight for community control of police

By staff |
February 19, 2021
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Frank Chapman
Frank Chapman

Fight Back News Service is circulating the text of remarks by Frank Chapman of The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR), given at the February 19 with the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability (GAPA).

We all recognize the struggle for justice when it comes to police crimes and misconduct has been a long and torturous one, consuming generations and the lives of so many people from Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, to Rekia Boyd and Bettie Jones, to Flint Farmer and Laquan McDonald and many, many more that space will not allow us to mention. And let us not forget the hundreds that have been tortured, framed and wrongfully convicted, like Gerald Reed, the Hernandez brothers, Anthony Porter, Tamon Russel and again many more that this space will not allow us to name. We say their names and pay honor to their memories because those who have been murdered by police officers and who are survivors of police torture and crimes are the fuel of our movement. The demand for police accountability is fundamentally our people demanding justice.

What is really important about today is that this is the day that our movements (both CPAC and GAPA) are sitting at the table with members of the City Council to come to some basic agreements about how we can enact a City Ordinance that will guarantee our people their inalienable democratic right to say who polices our communities and how our communities are policed.

So, we have basic agreement that a city-wide police accountability council elected/selected by the people must have the final say on police policy. This is the question we are united on and we are determined not to let Mayor Lightfoot undermine our unity and this historic opportunity to empower our communities to hold the police accountability.

Our respective organizations, members of the City Council and the mass movement demanding that police be held accountable by the people they are policing are committed to overcoming our differences and advancing the cause of the people.

All power to the people!