Chicago mayor announces police reforms, but public remains skeptical

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Chicago mayor announces police reforms, but public remains skeptical

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, facing calls for his resignation after a series of fatal police shootings, announced major changes today in how city police respond to crisis situations. Emanuel and interim Police Superintendent John Escalante said the city would try to make interactions with police more conversational and less confrontational and would double the number of Tasers available to police. Emanuel said officers must be better trained in knowing the difference between when they can use a gun and when they should use a gun. But community activists say they’re skeptical that the changes can reverse decades of mistrust between police and residents.

The people have no trust in the police. They have no trust in the mayor.

Ted Pearson, a leader of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression

Emanuel and his administration have been under intense scrutiny since a dashcam video was released last month showing a white officer shooting a black 17-year-old 16 times. This week the mayor cut short a family vacation in Cuba to deal with public anger after another police incident, in which an officer shot and killed a 55-year-old mother and a 19-year-old college student. Police, already under a federal civil rights investigation over use of deadly force, have admitted the woman’s death was an accident.