During a March 22 Chicago City Council hearing on police-community relations, West Side Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) offered his perspective on a resolution, introduced by Ald. Ed Burke (14th), that is ostensibly designed to improve police-community relations.
Last June, Burke, a former Chicago police officer, introduced the controversial “Blue Lives Matter” ordinance, which have made first-responders a protected class—meaning crimes committed against them could be prosecuted as hate crimes. The ordinance prompted considerable backlash from residents and city officials alike, including Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th), himself a former police officer. Many of the measure’s opponents felt that it was unduly divisive.
This most recent proposal introduced by Burke sets a much more conciliatory tone, but at least one prominent community activist said that it still doesn’t get to the heart of why the relationship between the police and the community is broken in the first place.
Burke’s resolution calls for all Chicago Public Schools to incorporate the Support Teaching of Principles, or STOP, lesson designed to teach youth how to properly interact with police officers. It also called for the representatives of various city departments to appear before a joint committee and explain what they are doing to mend the broken relationship between police and the public.
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