U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch after a White House meeting on criminal justice reform to request a federal probe of the Chicago Police Department's policy and practices, according to the lawmaker's staff.
Durbin wants the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Civil Rights to investigate the department following the release of police dash-cam video showing the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot the teen 16 times and was reportedly looking to reload his gun when a fellow officer told him to hold his fire.
Durbin sent a formal letter of request to Lynch Thursday, which can be read in full here.
"The shooting death of Laquan McDonald is just one of a number of troubling incidents that have frayed the relationship between the CPD and the community it serves, and in truth, this most recent incident is only the latest in a series of troubling events over many years," Durbin wrote in the letter. "These incidents raise serious concerns about whether the CPD has in place appropriate policies and practices to prevent civil rights violations. An impartial investigation by the Justice Department can help identify those areas where the CPD has fallen short and guide the CPD onto a better course."
"The men and women of law enforcement risk their lives every day to protect us, and it is incumbent upon them to live up to the standards they have sworn to uphold," the senator added. "The overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers are conscientious and professional. Nevertheless, there is undeniable evidence that some have abused the authority given them."
Earlier this week, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan wrote a letter to Lynch requesting a federal inquiry of the Chicago Police Department and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced her support of such a probe Wednesday night.