Task Force Says Chicago Police Department Plagued by History of Racism

Eddie Johnson is congratulated by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel after being sworn in as the new police superintendent on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)(CHICAGO) -- A task force appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a scathing report detailing a racism-plagued police force on Wednesday.

The release of the report came on the same day that the city's alderman approved a new chief of police.

According to the Police Accountability Task Force, the Chicago Police Department suffers from a history of racism which "did not just bubble up in the aftermath of the release of the [Laquan] McDonald video." The report called the shooting death of McDonald at the hands of police just another in "a long, sad history of death, false imprisonment, physical and verbal abuse and general discontent about police actions in neighborhoods of color."

Because of that history, the report continued, many people of color "do not feel safe in any encouter with police" and "do no feel like they have the ability to walk in their neighborhoods or drive in their cars without being aggressively confronted by the police.

Among the most alarming findings were that 299 African Americans were hit or killed by police officers between 2008 and 2015, compared to just 55 Hispanics and 33 white people.

Also Wednesday, Emanuel's choice for the city's new police chief, Eddie Johnson, was approved unanimously. Johnson is an African-American veteran of the department, who has spent 27 years on the force. He was named interim chief last month while awaiting special approval for the permanent job.

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