Photo by Quinn Dombrowski
For those not following police funding in Chicago, there has been a push by local activists against a proposed police academy in Garfield Park. This year’s 4th of July weekend will mark one year since Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel first announced the 95 million dollar plans for the academy.
Since then, the #nocopacademy movement has been in full force working to push the funding to where it’s needed locally.
The most recent development in city council proceedings on the matter was on Wednesday when, according to Shadowproof, activists were turned away from making comments at the meeting while police force representatives were allowed to make statements against the activists, saying it was unfair that the activists were allowed to “stand out in this hall and cause chaos.”
Alderman David Moore and Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa exercised their right to defer and publish the ordinance for the compound effectively pushing the vote to Friday.
This may be pushed even further according to NBC 5 Chicago, who report that the deferment will allow the representatives of No Cop Academy to file a lawsuit saying that rules state the council must discuss the proposal at a normally scheduled meeting.
“Our attorneys at Shiller*Preyar Law Offices, have filed for a temporary restraining order to stop tomorrow’s cop academy vote from happening due to violations of the Open Meetings Act this week (Tuesday and Wednesday at City Hall),” No Cop Academy said in a Facebook post.
The motion will be heard tomorrow (Friday) at 11:30am in room 2508 at Daley Center (50 W. Washington).
“This is a small but very significant victory,” Page May, an organizer with the #NoCopAcademy campaign, said. “It would not have happened if not for youth-directed organizing, and it’s a message that organizing works and that it’s important to reject things that are described as a done deal. That this is not over.”
It’s also been reported widely that the Latino caucus of City Councilmen has voted Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa out of the caucus on Thursday. Rosa has been the most vocal opponent of the Academy, being the lone vote against the project on the last vote almost a year ago.
“There was no due process, not all Caucus members were present, and no prior notice that this item would be taken up today was provided,” Rosa said. “It is unfortunate that a majority of my Latino Caucus colleagues would vote to expel me, their only gay millennial member, on the same day I take a bold stand on police violence that disproportionately impacts our Black and Latino neighborhoods.”
“The mayor has closed 50 schools and six mental health clinics, and we’ve been told that the money is not there for our communities,” Rosa said.
Daniel Johanson (he/him) is a journalist and digital media specialist living in Chicago, Illinois. He serves as Editor-in-Chief at Scapi and in that capacity manages all things content, including writing and editing articles and producing digital content. His most recent work includes the docuseries Heart of a Nation: Tracking Socialism in the Midwest and co-hosting the podcast Scapi Radio. He spends his free time with cats.