Activists Criticize Hiring of Chicago Police Interim Superintendent
Activists in Chicago and Los Angeles have criticized the Chicago Police Department’s decision to hire former LAPD Chief Charlie Beck as interim superintendent, citing a controversial policing program and his handling of issues involving minorities.
In an open letter to Chicago residents, Black Lives Matter of Los Angeles condemned Beck for “rolling out a predictive policing program” that the organization claimed “enabled the heightened surveillance and criminalization of black and brown communities.”
Johnson and Lightfoot painted a much different picture, calling Beck a “man of integrity,” and pointed out strategies used by the former LAPD chief are also responsible for a 52% crime drop in Chicago‘s 7th District.
“I think he’s got, again, a record and a legacy of bridging a divide between community that’s really admirable,” Lightfoot previously said in touting Beck’s history as chief in LA. “This is a guy who knows how to get something done.”
Mark Carter, a Chicago activist who previously organized Black Friday protests on Michigan Avenue, promise even more protests after learning about the Black Lives Matter Letter concerning Beck.
“He gets the best credit in the world if he would get on a plane, and go back to California,” Carter said.
Despite the criticism, city officials are still standing firm on their decision.
“When you’re in a high profile public position, specifically a chief, you’re going to get criticism,” Mayor Lightfoot said. “It just comes with the territory.”