A New Day For Chicago: Police Consent Decree Goes Into Effect

More than a year has passed since Communities United, along with other community organizations across the city representing individuals with disabilities, filed a lawsuit against the City of Chicago to ensure the needs and demands of people with disabilities were included in the City’s negotiations on a consent decree with the Illinois Attorney General. Community leaders who had been directly impacted by police abuse spent the next year and half negotiating and testifying on the need to reform the police department. Today, the consent decree finally goes into effect.  

Eric Wilkins, an organizer at Communities United was among the individuals who were represented in the lawsuit. Eric, who was partially paralyzed after being shot in 1998, and whose brother, a victim of the Jon Burge era, was tortured and incarcerated for 25 years for not signing a confession statement on a crime he did not commit, knows first-hand the devastation police abuse has on families. “With the consent decree going into effect today, it will give a change for people with various disabilities to not be afraid of being arrested. It gives us a chance to ensure abuse doesn’t happen again, and if it does happen again, people will be held accountable. I look forward to meeting regularly with the Monitor to ensure that community input guides the process from day one.” 

Read Eric's story as told in the Chicago Reporter.

To get involved please contact Eric Wilkins at [email protected]

Please consider donating to Communities United to support implementation efforts of the consent decree driven by those most directly impacted!