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Justice Department: CPD Violated Constitutional Rights

On Friday, the Department of Justice will released the results of a 13-month federal investigation on the Chicago Police Department that sources say found it to have violated the constitutional rights of the city’s citizens.

WBBM reports the year-long investigation was launched after city officials publicly released video of the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald.

The document reportedly cited a pattern of the department violating the rights of citizens, with the probe focusing on CPD’s use of excessive force, its system of accountability and if there was a pattern of racial bias.

“This was suppose to be a pattern and practice examination of CPD,” Fraternal Order of Police Spokesman Dean Angelo said. “If people were aware of civil rights violations and were participants in the CPD where is the accountability there?”

In 2014, CPD officer Jason Van Dyke shot Laquan McDonald 16 times. The shooting was caught on video, but was not released to nearly a year later following mounting pressure from activists. Van Dyke was charged in the murder. Recently, a lawyer representing Van Dyke pushed to have the charge dropped, and the case spurred the DOJ to look into the department.

Sources said it could take months before a consent decree if finalized, but the DOJ may require the mayor to sign off on an agreement in principle.

The mayor has said that regardless of the outcome, he will continue his police department reform efforts. The Justice Department has given similar reviews in other cities and worked with their local officials to come up with resolutions enforced by a federal government. For instance, Baltimore will announce Thursday an agreement on how the repair the city’s policing.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is expected to make a formal announcement on Friday. There is no word on what kind of recommendations the Justice Department will make to the city.

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