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To: Mayor Lightfoot and Chicago City Council

Chicagoans Say "No New CPD Gang Database"

The Chicago Police Department should follow the recommendations of hundreds of public comments, the Office of Inspector General, and advocates and put a stop to the creation of a new gang database. Last year the Chicago Police Department announced plans for the Criminal Enterprise Database, this proposal goes around a legislative process and cuts out City Council.

In September, Alderman Martin and Alderwoman Taylor introduced an ordinance to stop the use of gang databases in the city. Since then, the ordinance has been stalled while the CPD continues the creation of their new gang database. City Council should approve the ordinance to stop the implementation of the Criminal Enterprise Database.

Why is this important?

Last April, the city opened up public comments on the CPD's proposal to implement a new gang database. The comments obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show major discontent on CPD's plans to implement a new gang database. Alternatively, an overwhelming number of suggestions point to the need for solutions that center investment in public education and mental health resources instead of more systems of biased surveillance and criminalization.

Last year, the Chicago office of Inspector general also published a partial audit of the Chicago Gang Database, confirming the information that community organizations have been highlighting for years: That it mostly targets Black and Latinx people (at 95% of the list), that it shares information with over 500 agencies, and that instead of being a tool to make communities safer, it is used to criminalize, intimidate, and denigrate Chicagoans.

In response, the Chicago Police Department stated that they will only comply with a partial list of the recommendations, by creating a new gang database that is supposed to follow the guidelines but ignoring any grievances of people for the current gang database, with plans of continuing to share the inaccurate data with over 500 agencies indefinitely.

Simply put, the research shows that we should not trust the police department to create a new gang database, without oversight, without input from experts, and against the recommendations from the Inspector General. There has been no guarantee that the issues identified with the Gang Database won't be replicated in the new one.

Read the public comments here:

Read memo here:

Find full OIG report here in English and Spanish:

Chicago, IL, USA

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2020-02-27 07:25:13 -0500

100 signatures reached

2020-02-26 15:47:28 -0500

50 signatures reached

2020-02-26 14:03:26 -0500

25 signatures reached

2020-02-26 11:44:49 -0500

10 signatures reached