Chicago Citizens, Lawyers Gather Outside Mayor Emanuel’s Office to Call for CPD Reforms

Posted on March 31, 2015

Pro-bono defense attorneys from First Defense Legal Aid (FDLA) and victims of unlawful police detention delivered a stirring press conference on Tuesday afternoon in which they demanded changes to Chicago Police Department (CPD) protocol that currently threatens basic constitutional rights.

Central to the demands were guarantees that arrestees be able to make phone calls within two hours of their arrest and that telephone numbers for legal aid be prominently displayed in detention centers.

Many cities have specific rules dictating how long police can detain people before they’re mandated to offer a phone call. Chicago’s lack of such strict rules has helped feed its notorious reputation as a locus for false confessions, torture and illegal stops, particularly of youth of color.

Recent revelations about Homan Square highlight these civil rights violations.

In response to a FOIA request, CPD revealed that less than 1% of arrestees had a lawyer present at any point in any CPD facility during 2013, including juveniles.

FDLA provides free, 24 hour legal representation to people in Chicago Police custody. For more information on how to protect your constitutional rights, give them a call at 1-800-LAWREP-4.

Watch video from the press conference below.

FDLA Press Conference 1

FDLA Press Conference 2

FDLA Press Conference 3

FDLA Press Conference 4