ROGERS PARK — Neighbors from at least four political action groups will rally Thursday in Rogers Park, calling on the city to enact sweeping police reform.
The sidewalk protest will take place 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Clark and Devon avenues. That’s where neighbors will gather to call for enacting the police oversight measure known as the Civilian Police Accountability Council, or CPAC.
The rally is being organized by 48th Ward Neighbors for Justice and the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. Members of political action committees from the 40th, 49th and 50th wards will also be in attendance, and the event is open to the public, according to organizers.
Rallygoers will stand on each corner of the busy North Side intersection and call for the adoption of CPAC.
“We are calling on our respective alders to help us win the fight for community control of the police,” Colin Sphar, protest organizer and member of 48th Ward Neighbors for Justice, said in a statement.
The rally was planned for the evening before the city’s Public Safety Committee was scheduled to vote on the CPAC measure and a competing police reform ordinance know as the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability. But that Friday committee meeting was abruptly canceled Thursday morning.
After the cancellation, activists are again rallying to the cause and asking Mayor Lori Lightfoot and City Council to not abandon the reform measures.
Calls for sweeping police reform were renewed this summer in the wake of the nationwide social justice movement stemming from the police killing of George Floyd. In June, the 48th Ward political group joined with a 46th Ward group for a large police accountability protest in Edgewater.
Activists are seeking the implementation of a police oversight board known as CPAC.
The board would have the power to appoint the police superintendent, create rules and regulations for the Police Department and appoint members of the Police Board to hear disciplinary cases. CPAC — which would essentially replace the Civilian Office of Police Accountability — would also oversee the chief administrator of that office and would have the power to approve contracts with police unions.
The GAPA ordinance would also create a civilian police oversight board, but critics say the board would still be answerable to the mayor.
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