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To: Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago City Council

Support Community Solutions Against the Chicago Gang Database

1. Strengthen Criteria for entry into Gang Database. An individual may only be designated a gang member upon a sworn declaration from two or more detectives setting forth the basis the detectives believe that there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual is a gang member. All entries into the database must be approved by the Superintendent and by CPD general counsel. CPD may not designate any person a gang member based solely on the following: Race/ethnicity/country of origin/immigration status, Law enforcement action occurring in alleged “gang territory,” Attire, Tattoos, Residence, Relations and/or known associates, Type of conviction, School/school location, Surveillance of social media, A statement that an individual “self-reported” gang membership, unless admission of gang membership was provided under penalty of perjury and with the advice of counsel.

2. Give Notice of Gang Designation to Individuals. CPD will provide written notice to every individual who is currently or who has within the last 20 years been designated a gang member in one or more of CPD’s databases. The notice will state the following: 1) the date the individual was designated a gang member; 2) the gang(s) with which the individual is alleged to be have been affiliated; 3) the basis for the designation; 4) the name of the officer(s) who made the initial designation; 5) any external agencies that have access to that designation, and the dates on which any external agency accessed that designation; and 6) the most recent date of any audit or assessment of the accuracy of that designation. On a quarterly basis, CPD will provide written notice containing the same information to every individual who has been designated as gang affiliated and remains in a CPD database.

3. Give Opportunity to contest Gang Designation. Any person who contests their designation as a gang member shall have the right to an administrative hearing presided over by neutral, non-law enforcement affiliated fact finder for the purposes of determining whether CPD can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the individual is a gang member. If CPD cannot meet its burden, the individuals shall be stricken from the database and provided with documentation certifying that CPD lacked sufficient evidence to impose the Gang Designation.

4. Stop Data Sharing. CPD is prohibited from providing gang designations to any third party entity. On a quarterly basis CPD will publish data about the individuals designated as gang affiliated, disaggregated by: Race/ethnicity; Gender; Age; Alleged gang affiliation(s);Basis for identifying alleged affiliation(s);Location of police interaction that lead to designation(s); Date of first designation and; Number of arrests for serious or violent crime.

Why is this important?

The Chicago Police Department uses, maintains, publishes, and shares a list of names designated as potential gang members, which we call the “Gang Database.” It is a list of all suspected gang members in the City of Chicago. As of May 2018, there are over 128,000 adults in the Gang Database and between 28,000 and 68,000 juveniles.

Of the over 128,000 adults in the Gang Database, 70 percent are Black, 25 percent are Latinx, and less than 5 percent are white. This means that 95 percent of the people in the Gang Database are Black or Latinx. In fact, according to the analysis by the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Gang Database includes approximately 11 % of Chicago’s Black population, 4 % of its Latino population, and only 0.6 % of its white population.

Individuals who are labeled gang members by CPD officers are not provided any due process protections, including notice or an opportunity to contest the gang designation. And once an individual is included in the Gang Database, he is in the database forever—there are no mechanisms by which he can request to be removed, nor does the CPD conduct any internal audits to guarantee that the information in the Database is accurate.

CPD shares its Gang Database with numerous third party causing significant known and unknown harm to class members, including deprivations of employment, licensures, bond, immigration relief, deportation and detention, and more.
Chicago, IL, USA

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2018-06-22 01:59:11 -0400

100 signatures reached

2018-03-06 18:16:54 -0500

50 signatures reached

2018-02-24 01:18:04 -0500

25 signatures reached

2018-02-23 21:12:01 -0500

10 signatures reached