Chicago officials have declared that the police officers in the state are receiving new training along with a taser added to their equipment. It is mandatory for the police officers to carry these tasers to every service call that they receive.
Becoming effective on June 1, 2016, the plan intends to change the way in which a police officer makes use of force to bring law and justice, according to Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of the state. The decision was a mutual one, in which both Emanuel and the Police Superintendent John Escalante agreed to make the change.
According to the Mayor’s office, the change was decided to be carried out after the event in which a dashcam video showed a white officer Jason Van Dyke shooting a black 17-year-old person, which also indicates that interracial hate is still prevalent and needs to stop if things get out of hand. Even after mercilessly shooting the victim, Van Dyke pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.
But considering that after the shooting, there was just a ton of protests from all over the state to the point that even the United States Department of Justice had to intervene, it could be said that the reason for the change in arsenal was also due to other factors like the protests and the intervention.
Even though the statement from the Mayor’s office doesn’t specifically state that the reason for the change was the result of the shooting, the statement, which goes as follows:
“The policy changes center around de-escalation tactics to reduce the intensity of a conflict or a potentially violent situation at the earliest possible moment, emphasizing that the foremost goal is to protect the safety of all involved.”
It is a clear indication that the harm to any criminal from the police department won’t be a life-threatening one anymore now that tasers are into the picture.
But it seems that even before June there would be a lot of pressure on the office simply because of another recent event in which an officer shot a 55-year-old woman accidentally and another 19-year-old boy because he was ‘combative’. Since both the victims were black, and the police department has concealed any important details of the event including the race of the police officer and the crime of the suspects, it has enraged not only the African-American community but also other social activists in the state and are demanding Emanuel empty the Mayor’s office.