As bullets fly, Chicago police boss blasts civilian oversight plans

Chicago's police superintendent on Saturday blasted efforts for greater civilian oversight of the department, citing "real progress" in fighting crime -- just hours after at least eight people were reportedly wounded in overnight shootings.

Hours later, two men were slain on the city's South Side, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Proposals by the city's leading community organizations call for greater oversight by a seven-member civilian board called the Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, the Chicago Tribune reported.

But Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said no one consulted him or anyone in the CPD for the year and a half it was conceptualized.

“We're in the middle of a serious crime fight, and we're finally making real progress, so I don’t know how you can turn over crime strategy and every policing decision to some group of people who have absolutely no law enforcement experience,” Johnson said.

Laquan McDonald, a black teen, was shot by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke on October 20, 2014. In November 2015, a judge ordered Mayor Rahm Emanuel to release the video footage.

Laquan McDonald, a black teen, was shot by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke on October 20, 2014. In November 2015, a judge ordered Mayor Rahm Emanuel to release the video footage. (AP)

"(W)e're finally making real progress, so I don’t know how you can turn over crime strategy and every policing decision to some group of people who have absolutely no law enforcement experience."

— Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson

In January, Fox News reported that murders had declined in the city in 2017 compared with 2016, dropping to 650 kilings from a two-per-day total of 771. Police credited so-called ShotSpotter technology -- consisting of cameras and detection radars deployed in neighborhoods -- for helping to reduce crime.

This year, shooting deaths have included the Feb. 13 slaying of Chicago police Commander Paul Bauer, who was shot multiple times while pursuing a suspect.

However, expanded use of camera surveillance has raised privacy concerns, Fox News reported.

Still, police reform has been a contentious subject in Chicago since November 2015, when a judge ordered the release of video footage showing Laquan McDonald, a black teen, being shot 16 times.

Chicago police Commander Paul Bauer was shot multiple times when he was slain Feb. 13 while pursuing a suspect.

Chicago police Commander Paul Bauer was shot multiple times when he was slain Feb. 13 while pursuing a suspect. (Chicago Police Department)

The proposals for the new oversight commission lay out new regulations for selecting community members to new city councils in Chicago’s 22 police districts responsible for improving police-community relations.

Under the new reforms, the commission would name a superintendent by selecting three candidates for the mayor to consider. The mayor would share joint-authority to fire or remove the superintendent “for cause.”

The reforms were modeled off others major cities like Los Angeles and Seattle, which have civilian oversight boards to monitor police.

The new proposals will be introduced at a City Council meeting later this month.