We stopped the FOP from weakening police accountability

JCUA recently handed yet another defeat to the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), which has been working to undermine Chicago’s systems of police accountability and transparency.

During recent labor negotiations between the City and the FOP, an arbitrator ruled that officers accused of the most serious crimes could bypass the Police Board and take their cases behind closed doors (where they would be decided, of course, by the arbitrator himself).

JCUA’s Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) coalition, which led the campaign to create robust civilian oversight, didn’t stand for this naked attempt to weaken accountability. They first called on the city to split off the arbitration provision from the full union contract, and then mobilized Chicagoans to demand their alders reject the provision.

To win, we needed to secure a supermajority of 30 votes in City Council, not just once, but twice — culminating in an 32-18 victory yesterday. The battle isn’t over yet, as the vote now sets up a court battle between the City and FOP that will determine the future of misconduct hearings.