The move would give the non-police groups a chance to influence reforms meant to improve the troubled police department by, for example, objecting to initiatives that fail to go far enough or pressuring officials if measures aren't being followed through, according to reports.
"It's really setting up the community groups as watchdogs that will have a role to make sure that reform really continues no matter what happens as politicians come and go," ACLU attorney Kathy Hunt Muse told the Chicago Tribune for a story published Wednesday. "The city and the attorney general still need to do the hard work here of hammering out the terms of the consent decree and we really hope that now that we've defined this role for involving the community that they're going to move quickly to draft that consent decree."
Speaking to Radio Sputnik's By Any Means Necessary Wednesday, Kohmee Parrett, an organizer based in Chicago, told show hosts Eugene Puryear and Sean Blackmon that despite the decree, nothing was likely to change.
"Nothing has changed in the political climate in Chicago…. we can talk about it and have consent decrees… but nothing will change until the culture of policing changes," Parrett said. "When we look at the history of policing, black bodies have always been used as a source of revenue and until the culture of that changes nothing else will change."
"American policing may very well be the most powerful institution in America. There's no cracking that shield under any circumstances," he added.
"The [Fraternal Order of the Police] anywhere you go will protect any police officer for any reason as a knee-jerk response. The police have successfully built themselves a culture in the United States of almost sainthood… it's almost as though they put on capes and they're not people."
Parrett told Blackmon that until people realize that police officers are not perfect and that there are cops that are "broken" and need help, things were destined to stay the same.
"Until we realize that domestic violence is higher among police officers than any other profession… until we realize that there are a lot of broken people, many soldiers coming home with PTSD, given guns and not being able to decipher between enemy combatants and a kid in the hood… until we deal with that, nothing will change."