Monday, September 26, 2016
U.S. attorney: Drag on police morale from McDonald scandal to blame in part for violence BECAUSE WE CANNOT BLAME BLACK VIOLENCE ON THE CAUSE
Speaking to the City Club of Chicago, Fardon said fallout over the release of dashboard camera video of a white police officer fatally shooting 17-year-old McDonald exacerbated what was already an unacceptable level of bloodshed.
Within weeks of the video's release last November, police Superintendent Garry McCarthy was fired, the U.S. Justice Department announced it would conduct a sweeping investigation of the department's use of force policies and a new order went into effect requiring officers to fill out lengthy forms when making street stops of suspected gang members. All three events moved the needle on police morale, Fardon said.
"I believe there was a hit on CPD morale and a drag on officers' willingness to conduct stops," Fardon said. "Some gang members apparently felt that they could get away with more, so more bullets started flying."
Fardon's comments came as part of a larger speech about the role played by the U.S. attorney's office in investigating accusations of police wrongdoing as well as trying to quell the city's unrelenting gun violence — an issue that has brought unflattering national attention to Chicago and even become a part of the presidential race.
Fardon revealed for the first time he's been meeting recently with leaders of nonprofit groups in hard-hit communities who have complained they're not working together closely enough as needed because of competition over funding.
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