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Activists to UN: Chicago Police Treatment of Minorities Isn’t Just Wrong – It’s ‘Torture’

Chicago police torture minorities

Credit: Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images

A recent report that will be presented to the United Nations in a matter of weeks includes alarming statistics and data to support claims that Chicago police officers are actually torturing minority communities.

To say something is considered “torture” is an alarming claim, and it’s even more alarming when there are statistics and studies being used to support such a claim.

The We Charge Genocide coalition, a group of Chicago activists, released the study Wednesday. What the report essentially suggests, the coalition argues, is that the way police are treating Black and Latino residents in Chicago is actually torture.

The findings revealed that while only 33 percent of Chicago’s population is African-American, 77 percent of the youth arrested in the city were African-American in 2011.

That number jumped to 79 percent by 2012.

Those numbers are frighteningly disproportionate and, unfortunately, weren’t the most troubling statistics cited in the report.

In addition to arresting such a high number of Black youths, officers were also using stun guns on many Black residents.

The report pointed out that Latino and Black residents accounted for more than 90 percent of all the Chicago Police Department’s use of stun guns from 2009 to 2011, the Huffington Post reports.

Black residents alone accounted for 78 percent of the department’s stun gun use.

To make matters worse, the use of stun guns has not even managed to decrease the number of youths being shot by officers as well.

The Chicago Reporter previously reported that Black residents of the city are actually 10 times more likely to be shot by officers than their white peers.

Report accuses Chicago Police of torturing minorities

Source: Black Youth Project

“Behind these stories and numbers are real people – real people’s severe pain, humiliation, suffering, and death at the hands of those charged with the duty to ‘protect and serve’ Chicago,” the report reads.

The coalition behind the report is pushing for a direct response from the Chicago Police Department, and they also want the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the matter.

For years, according to the report, Chicago police have been able to get away with senselessly gunning down, arresting or otherwise injuring minority youths in the city.

Nearly every officer who was accused of using excessive force or other misconduct, was let off the hook with nothing more than a few days of paid leave – if even that.

In fact, the report revealed that only a little over 1 percent of all complaints against officers were sustained from 2002 to 2004.

There were over 10,000 complaints filed.

Only 19 cases resulted in an officer receiving any form of punishment that exceeded a week’s worth of suspension, the Huffington Post reports.

The number of minorities impacted by police brutality and excessive force combined with the small number of incidents where police are actually being held accountable, has the coalition up in arms.

The group specifically wants the U.N. Committee Against Torture to step in and demand that the Chicago Police Department respond to the report and explain what “steps it will take both to end this treatment and to fully compensate the individuals, families, and communities impacted by this violence.”


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