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‘It’s time for change’: Chicagoans demand Justice Dept. hold local cops accountable

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Chicago residents called for a complete overhaul of the city’s police department on Tuesday at a public hearing being held by the U.S. Department of Justice as part of its probe into the troubled agency.

The federal government launched its investigation into the use of deadly force and possible civil rights abuses by the Chicago Police Department in December following protests over the 2014 police shooting death of a black teenager.

“It’s time for change in Chicago,” said Robin McPherson, 58, a 31-year resident of the city. “The Department of Justice needs to hold them accountable. It is as simple as that.”

Other speakers from the racially diverse crowd of dozens claimed officers were poorly trained in dealing with mentally ill individuals and railed against local prosecutors who they say have mishandled cases against officers accused of misconduct.

If the Justice Department finds civil rights violations, it could lead to a period of federal oversight known as a consent decree. Police forces in cities including Los Angeles, Cleveland and Seattle have been put under consent decrees, which try to end systemic police abuse and make officers more accountable to the public.

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Police have come under sharp scrutiny across the country during the past two years over numerous high-profile police killings of unarmed black people, sparking widespread and sometimes destructive protests.

The public hearing in Chicago on Tuesday was the third of four. Frustration and anger met investigators at two hearings in June, with members of the public saying they were tired of years of talk about reforming Chicago’s police.

The October 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in Chicago was captured on patrol car dashboard camera videos. The footage, which was not publicly released until last fall, sparked angry protests.

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired his police chief and replaced him with an African-American man from within the department shortly after the video’s release.

Officer Jason Van Dyke, 38, is on unpaid leave and has been out on bail since he was charged with first-degree murder more than a year after he shot McDonald 16 times.

A task force created by Emanuel released a scathing report on the department, saying it is not doing enough to combat racial bias or protect the human and civil rights of residents.

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The task force called McDonald’s shooting the “tipping point” that brought new focus to a long history of complaints about Chicago police misconduct.

(Reporting by Justin Madden in Chicago; Editing by Fiona Ortiz, Curtis Skinner and Kim Coghill)


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Tongue-tied GOP strategist crashes and burns on-air while trying to deny Trump’s racism

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Republican strategist Amy Tarkanian crashed and burned on CNN on Saturday while attempting to deny President Donald Trump's racism.

"I do not believe that the president’s tweets were racist. I do believe they were not well thought out. He needs that extra, 'Are you sure?' button on Twitter," Tarkanian argued.

"I'm a black man, I'm a Republican and a black man," the Rev. Joe Watkins interjected. "My mother's an immigrant, I would be angry if someone said that to my mother."

"Oh, it’s very offensive. But he did not say, because you are this color, go back to where you came from," Tarkanian argued. "I’m not supporting that tweet. Was it racist? No. Was it stupid? Yes."

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CNN

Trump supporter blames Democrats for being targeted by the president: ‘Why is that racist?’

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CNN interviewed a supporter of President Donald Trump in Eau Claire, Wisconsin who refused to acknowledge the racism in the president's "Go Back" attacks on four women of color in Congress.

The network interviewed Kerri Krumenauer of Wiersgalla Plumbing & Heating Company about Trump's attacks.

"How is it racist?" she asked.

"If you don't like this country, get out," she demanded. "Leave!"

She then showed how misinformed she was about the incident.

"He didn't use any names -- they stood up," she falsely claimed. In fact, Trump did use names and the targets did not stand up as they were not at his North Carolina campaign rally.

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2020 Election

Here’s how Trump hopes to recreate his 2016 presidential win — and how Democrats can send him packing

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Writing for CNN on Saturday, election forecaster Harry Enten explained how President Donald Trump's recent, racist behavior lies in his desire to recreate the same electoral conditions that gave him a victory in 2016 in the presidential election next year.

"The Trump strategy is pretty simple: 1. Drive up the unfavorable ratings of his Democratic rival as he did in 2016 in order to compensate for his own low ratings. 2. Bank on an electoral college/popular vote split as he did in 2016. 3. Use a campaign of racial resentment to drive up turnout even more among groups favorable toward the President," wrote Enten. As he noted, Democrats have excellent odds to flip back Michigan and Pennsylvania, but they will have to work harder to win back any of the other states Trump flipped from the 2012 Obama camp — in particular Wisconsin, which was the closest state after those two.

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