When 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times in the back by Chicago police officers, the city paid McDonald’s mother a settlement of $5 million. When this amount of public money is spent to atone for the wrongdoings committed by police, the public deserves to have access to the spending decisions.
The current law prevents transparency in settlement decision-making During the Rahm Emanuel administration, for instance, there have been stories of off-record briefings between the mayor’s office and aldermen regarding misconduct litigation, where aldermen were not even allowed to take notes.
The PSTA (Police Settlement Transparency and Accountability) Ordinance is aimed at making sure that the City Council never repeats the approval of large payouts without having the information they need to do their job. It will lift the veil of secrecy from police misconduct litigation in Chicago. With the PSTA, we have a chance to bring transparency, democratic oversight, and justice to the city’s police accountability system.
Why is this important?