In the days following Floyd’s killing, unrest swept through other cities across the U.S. Clashes between police and demonstrators erupted in New York, Denver, Phoenix, Columbus, Ohio, and other cities. Despite that, senior members of CPD told the inspector general’s office that “they saw no indication that there would be unrest in Chicago following the killing of George Floyd,” the report stated. One member of CPD’s command staff told Ferguson’s team that, leading up to the first weekend of protests, the department had become “complacent.”
Once protests swelled on Friday, May 29, and into the weekend, oversight of CPD’s reaction was chaotic and poorly coordinated. Officers were deployed haphazardly, often without knowing what they were supposed to do or who they were taking orders from. There were no plans for making mass arrests; police lacked enough vehicles to transport people arrested, and at times found themselves using plastic “flex cuffs” left over from the city’s NATO summit in 2012 that were broken or decayed.
Case of the broken handcuffs.
The report laid out a long list of other problems: The department failed to adequately document instances of use of force by officers, logging just 30 reports of use of batons on demonstrators despite complaints that baton use was much more widespread. Many officers didn’t turn on their body cameras when making arrests or using force. Some officers obscured their names and badge numbers.
Summing up, Ferguson’s team said, “… the lack of preparedness at the outset crippled the effective implementation of mass arrest procedures, the ability to properly control the use of force and proper use of force reporting, and several critical accountability measures.”
But hardly a police riot, a la 1968.
In any case, the city’s two doughty leaders should learn from this report. Heh.
Voters are the ones who should learn, but they won’t either.