13 Jan 100 BMC Statement Regarding Laquan McDonald
100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc. stands in solidarity with all who are peacefully exercising their first amendment right to express their outrage and demand for answers. The City of Chicago and, in particular, the Chicago Police Department has failed communities of color and the poor and the answers we need go much deeper than the answers surrounding the death of Laquan McDonald, what appears to be an attempted cover-up and last ditch filing of charges against officer Van Dyke .
We seek to find ways the voices and concerns of the communities can be heard, acknowledged and incorporated into the decisions and practices of the police department. The trust of the citizenry of Chicago has been severely broken, especially police interaction with our young black men and boys. The communities’ involvement must be considered if that trust is to be regained. Like in the case of Laquan McDonald, millions have been paid in wrongful death settlements/suits, costing taxpayers dearly. At a time when raising taxes and cutting budgets are at the forefront of city budget discussions, the costly practice of inhumane treatment and deaths of suspected “persons-of-interest” demand more transparency, accountability and community involvement.
We seek to provide a forum with the Chicago Police Department and the public to understand the current practices regarding prequalification, recruitment, retention, training and periodic psychological evaluations of officers who are assigned to serve on our streets. The public wants and deserves authentic communication and transparency of information.
We agree with the Chicago Urban League’s interim president, Sherri Runner, in her call for a Department of Justice investigation into the Chicago Police Department’s practices and specifically, recommendations for changing the practice of torture and the wrongful deaths that have defined this department from the days of Cmdr. Jon Burge to the present. Practices that cause the Chicago City Council, earlier this year, to approve a landmark ordinance to set aside $5.5 million in reparat ions for victims of police torture. Let’s approve one more landmark ordinance to invest and convert idle resources (closed Chicago public schools) into safe havens where men and boys can meet, do homework, be mentored and work on social skills that will educate and equip them for the future.
We also ask for more than political messages for healing but a real process from our elected officials to address poor performing schools, wanton violence, and unemployment. Let’s use our heightened energy to seize the opportunity to get to the root cause and develop viable solutions to protect the seeds of our African American families…our black men.
Carl H. Tutt, Jr.
President & CEO
100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc.