Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in over a century. Cubs mania has taken over Chicago, with a record five million people showing up to the victory parade that wound through downtown on Friday. That excitement spilled over into City Council again. But this week, we wanted pivot to take a deeper dive into a more pressing issue facing the city right now: the Department of Justice’s investigation into the Chicago Police Department. It’s been nearly a year since DOJ opened its pattern or practice investigation into CPD, and with a new administration on the way in, we wanted to give you a more in-depth understanding of what that investigation entails and what we can expect in the next few months (and years) ahead.
This episode was spurred by testimony from Corporation Counsel Steve Patton during his budget hearing. The city’s Law Department spent much of 2016 complying with DOJ document requests, and Patton anticipates the investigation will wrap “within the next few months.” This episode includes an extended interview with a former Special Litigation Section Chief at the DOJ from 2010 to 2015, Jonathan Smith. He worked on nearly two dozen police investigations, including probes in Ferguson, Seattle, Albuquerque, and Portland. He says it’s likely the Obama administration is working as quick as it can to finish the investigation before the new administration begins–whoever it might be.