Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has quietly lobbied against efforts to end qualified immunity for police officers – a practice that shields officers accused of excessive force and other civil rights violations from personal liability – despite legislative and grassroots support to end it.
Documents reviewed by South Side Weekly detailed how Lightfoot and her staff were lobbying against efforts to ban the practice starting last summer. She instructed staffers to gather data on qualified immunity in an effort to prepare for “the push during budget to ‘defund’ the police, and efforts underway in Springfield,” according to one document in emails between Lightfoot and staff.
Some Illinois lawmakers have pushed to end the practice amid a national reckoning over race and policing. A criminal justice reform bill signed by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker in February established a task force to review and reform the practice.
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In emails from Lightfoot to her staff, the documents revealed that civ
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