Political News

The Latest: Police officers to get de-escalation training

Posted September 19

— The Latest on Chicago police actions (all times local):

6:40 p.m.

Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says mandatory de-escalating training of city's police officers is designed to teach them how to deal with tense situations "without the use of deadly force whenever possible."

Johnson on Monday discussed the training at the city's police academy. It is among several department reforms following the fatal shooting of teenager Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times by police. McDonald, a black 17-year-old, was fatally shot in 2014 by a white police officer, who's since been charged with murder.

Johnson says the de-escalation training shows the public the department is doing everything it can to resolve conflicts peacefully.

Sgt. Larry Snelling, a lead instructor in de-escalation, said trainers will draw on real-life examples from days or weeks before of police who ended up using force. He says if Monday morning quarterbacking isn't taking place, "we're not getting better."

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4:05 p.m.

Former Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says although he wasn't asked for his opinion at the time, he would not have released video showing the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Laquan McDonald.

During a speech Monday before the City Club of Chicago, McCarthy said just because people what police videos released doesn't make it good idea, adding it doesn't build trust, but does compromise ongoing investigations.

The video showed McDonald being shot 16 times in October 2014. Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with murder a teenager by a city police officer and fallout from the video resulted in McCarthy's firing.

McCarthy also said a spike in the city's violence is due to anti-police sentiment that he says is "empowering criminals" and creating what he called "a culture of legitimizing noncompliance" with the law.

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12:03 p.m.

The Chicago Police Department has launched mandatory training designed to help officers de-escalate conflicts, including situations involving use of force and mental health issues.

The training is among several department reforms following the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The black teenager was shot 16 times in 2014 by a white Chicago police officer. Graphic squad-car video of the shooting was released last year, prompting protests and a U.S. Department of Justice investigation.

Chicago police say the training is in its second week at the police academy and was developed with a panel of national policing and mental health experts. The training uses live scenarios and exercises to help officer respond to complex situations.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is expected to discuss the training at a Monday evening news conference.

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