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Chicago mayor and police chief to immediately adopt some task force reforms

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The mayor of Chicago and the city’s police chief said Thursday nearly a third of the recommendations outlined by a panel last week will be implemented immediately to reform a police force under fire for racial bias and the use of excessive force.

The reforms are focused on restoring accountability in the department, rebuilding public trust and increasing transparency, according to a statement from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office.

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“As a city, we cannot rest until we fully address the systemic issues facing the Chicago Police Department,” Emanuel said in the statement. “The police department will implement these reforms immediately while we continue to work together to find additional ways to restore the fabric of trust in communities across Chicago.”

The reforms that will be implemented immediately include a better approach for holding officers accountable for wrongdoing, improving programs to help officers understand cultural differences, Taser-use training and expansion of a body-camera program, the statement said.

A representative from the Fraternal Order of Police, Chicago Lodge 7, which represents rank and file officers, was not immediately available to comment.

Plans are under way to address the rest of the recommendations from the task force’s report, which was issued last Wednesday.

The task force report concluded the Chicago Police Department is not doing enough to combat racial bias among officers or to protect the human and civil rights of residents.

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Emanuel had created the task force after days of street protests that began last November, triggered by the release of a video showing the fatal shooting of a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, by a white police officer in 2014.

The task force described McDonald’s death as a “tipping point” and said community outrage had given voice to long-simmering anger over police actions that included physical and verbal abuse.

The use of lethal force by U.S. police, especially by white officers against unarmed African-Americans and other minorities, has been the focus of nationwide protests and has fueled a civil rights movement under the name ‘Black Lives Matter.’

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Chicago will review further the overall structure of police accountability and will work with community leaders, ministers and parents to rebuild trust in communities, the statement from Emanuel’s office said.

Also last Wednesday, the city council unanimously approved Emanuel’s candidate Eddie Johnson to lead the police department facing a federal investigation.

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(Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales and Mark Weinraub; Editing by Bill Trott and Bernadette Baum)


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Rep. Ilhan Omar asks judge to ‘show compassion’ for man who threatened to put bullet in her head

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After a man accused of threatening her life pled guilty to the crime in a U.S. District Court, Rep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday released publicly a letter she wrote asking the federal judge presiding over the case to "show compassion" in his sentencing.

Patrick W. Carlineo Jr., a 55-year-old man from upstate New York, pled guilty on Monday on gun charges and for threatening to murder Omar in phone calls he made to her congressional office in March of this year. But in her letter to Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr., Omar said that while the charges were quite serious she did not think that an overly punitive sentence was the answer.

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Why saying ‘OK boomer’ at work is considered age discrimination – but millennial put-downs aren’t

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The phrase “OK boomer” has become a catch-all put-down that Generation Zers and young millennials have been using to dismiss retrograde arguments made by baby boomers, the generation of Americans who are currently 55 to 73 years old.

Though it originated online and primarily is fueling memes, Twitter feuds and a flurry of commentary, it has begun migrating to real life. Earlier this month, a New Zealand lawmaker lobbed the insult at an older legislator who had dismissed her argument about climate change.

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Academic experts analyze Johnson and Corbyn’s claims in first 2019 UK election debate

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Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, and Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, have answered questions from the public in a head-to-head debate as they prepare for the country’s general election on December 12.

A court ruling earlier in the day upheld ITV’s decision not to offer podiums to either the SNP or the Liberal Democrats. On stage, though, Johnson and Corbyn appeared strangely dwarfed in front of a set that appeared borrowed from Blade Runner.

The two candidates levelled numerous accusations at each other during their hour on stage – but which are to be believed? Conversation articles by academic experts provide informed perspectives, grounded in research. Here’s what they’ve had to say on the issues that arose.

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