Return to [in person] 17th Police District Council - Sauganash/Albany Park/Irving Park
Live reporting by Maureen Dunne
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Mo Dunne @rolllingwaves
happy Saturday Chicago! I’ll be live-tweeting the 17th Police District Council at 1 p.m. from the Albany Park Community Center for @CHIdocumenters ⛅️
follow along with this thread or join me for updates on the Albany/Irving Parks & Sauganash neighborhoods

12:07 PM Apr 20, 2024 CDT

Mo Dunne @rolllingwaves 2/28
⛅️1: here’s the agenda for today:
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⛅️2: After some confusion about the start time, all three council members are present and the meeting is called to order at 2:05 p.m., instead of the 1 p.m. start time listed on the agenda.
In attendance are about 10 people including family of council members
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⛅️2: The meeting moves into public comment.
Grace Pettino brings up the police killing of Dexter Reed.
“I’m fearful for people I love moving through the city,” she said. “We have a right to know the names of the officers in our district & their histories.”
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⛅️4: The next commenter wants to know if there are tactical teams of officers like the one responsible for killing Dexter Reed in this district too.
Both he and Grace complained about the council’s cancelation of its meeting right after the killing, and their late start today.
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⛅️5: Another commenter, a member of the Heart of Lincoln Square group, brings up complaints he’s heard about all night parties in a “commercial building” near Lawrence and Western. He says the police & alder have done nothing about it.
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⛅️6: Commissioner Steve Spagnolo says he will bring up all of these concerns at his meeting with the district commander on April 25.
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⛅️7: The council approves the minutes from its previous meetings on 1/4 and 2/13.
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⛅️8: MacKenzie Thurman from the Civilian Office of Police Accountability explains COPA’s role in investigating police incidents. He explains that COPA has people on call 24/7 to go to the site of officer-involved injuries or deaths to begin investigating
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⛅️9: Thurman promotes the COPA People’s Academy which is a 6-week free course on policing in Chicago. He says he doesn’t have a time or date yet but it’s on COPA’s website.
He then opens up for questions.
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⛅️10: A commenter asks about finding complaint data about officers in the 17th district.
Thurman says she can reach out to COPA and they can provide public records under the Freedom of Information Act — but data about ongoing investigations won’t be available.
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⛅️11: another commenter: “How are you ensuring independence from CPD?”
Thurman: Everyone who works at COPA is a civilian, which sets it apart from its predecessor, IPRA. The Office of the Inspector General also reviews random samples of its investigations.
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⛅️12: Thurman says body-worn cameras help reduce lying and “fact omission” among officers during misconduct investigations.
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⛅️13: Commenter: “Does CPD have to follow what COPA says?”
Thurman: No. COPA makes recommendations — the final disciplinary actions are signed off on by police
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⛅️14: COPA works closely with the States Attorney’s office and makes recommendations to bring criminal charges if it deems it necessary.
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⛅️15: Commissioner Spagnolo: “What’s COPA’s relationship like with the FOP?”
Thurman: COPA respects officers’ union rights throughout investigations. Union reps are allowed with officers throughout the process.
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⛅️16: “Come on, this is about killing people, not wages!” Said a commenter about the police union. “There should be exceptions!”
Other attendees laugh & agree.
“That’s outside of my area,” Thurman said.
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⛅️17: Commissioner Anthony Tamez offers updates. He has been attending CPD’s Community Academy to learn about the training new officer get from the department.…
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⛅️18: Tamez has been hosting meetings about child sensitive arrest policies — making sure that officers are cognizant of the trauma caused by seeing a caregiver arrested & how police can mitigate that trauma.…
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⛅️19: Tamez on the Dexter Reed shooting: “We cannot have officers shooting 96 times in a residential area. We need officers who know how to manage and control a situation and their temper.”…
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⛅️20: Tamez says he will offer NARCAN administration and stop the bleed training in the event of an opioid overdose or shooting.
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⛅️21: Commissioner Beth Rochford says the commission has endorsed Free To Move which would limit pretextual traffic stops, which disproportionately impacts Black and Latine Chicagoans. She is asking those in attendance to sign a petition in support
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⛅️22: Spagnolo pulls up crime statistics from the first quarter of 2023 to the first of 2024 in the 17th ward.
He said the most concerning is the robbery victimization, which has increased by %79.5 this year. Overall violent crime is trending down.
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⛅️23: Spagnolo addresses last month’s meeting cancellation. He takes fault for not realizing it was scheduled for Election night, and he will reschedule it.
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⛅️24: Tamez reads a statement addressing his co-commissioner Beth Rochford’s behavior.
He says she has upheld the Jim Crow-era stereotype that Black people are lazy. He said she has also used a derogatory remark against Native American people. He says she refuses accountability
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⛅️25: He said since the drafting of his statement, the citywide commission has reached out to offer mediation for the members of this group to work through these issues.
He says he is fully committed to a restorative justice practice with his co-commissioners.
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⛅️26: Tamez commits to keeping the mediation process transparent to the public.
Rochford responds to Tamez’ statement by saying she initiated the mediation process.
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⛅️27: The meeting is adjourned at 3:55 p.m.
The next regular meeting will be on May 16 at 7 p.m. at Volta School.
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