For the first time, the public is getting their first glimpse at videos, audio recordings and other evidence from more than 100 police-involved shootings in Chicago.
The New York Times reports that the release of videos is part of the city’s new initiative to increase transparency in police investigations. Earlier this year, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that going forward, the Chicago Police Department would be required to release videos and recordings showing alleged misconduct within 60 to 90 days of the incident.
“This is a major step forward to promote transparency, and it makes us one of the leading cities in America to guarantee timely public access to this breadth of information involving sensitive police incidents,” Emanual said in a statement on Friday. “[But] we know there is a lot more work to do.”
The city had been facing mounting pressure to be more transparent with its investigations since the October 2014 death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times by Officer Jason Van Dyke. The video was kept private until it was released to the public last November, more than one year after the shooting.
The materials released last week date back to 2011 and include all open investigations involving reported police brutality. Officials for the department said that they hope the release of the videos will help restore public trust by increasing visibility in the investigative process.
“These past few months, as the city has struggled with so many questions about policing and about police accountability, it has been clear that we all agree that there is a lack of trust, and that increased transparency is essential to rebuilding trust,” Police Review Authority Chief Administrator Sharon Fairley said to the Times. “Today represents an important first step toward that.”