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Chicago Mayor Announces Police Reforms
   2015-12-31 20:09:18    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Yang Tiantian

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks at a news conference in Chicago, Illinois December 30, 2015. Emanuel, under intense pressure following a series of police shootings, announced new strategies that will include equipping all officers with Tasers by June of next year. [Photo: CFP]

Mayor of the US city of Chicago Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday announced several changes to the city's police training and proceedure. The announcement came amid intense scrutiny of the police's use of force, brought on by recent police shootings of African Americans.

"We announce that any officer involved in shootings will be put on desk duty for 30 days so we can assess their fitness for duty, that's a change from three days. I also directed Superintendent Escalante and acting head of IPRA, Independent Police Review Authority, Sharon Fairley, to review the crisis response policies that are in place so that we can see what needs improvement and what needs to be changed."

Emanuel said the city's police must be trained to better respond to individual situations, "where force can be the last option not the first choice."

He also said each Chicago police patrol car will be equipped with a Taser, adding the total number of Tasers available to officers to 1,400.

The city's interim Police Superintendent John Escalante says the reforms aim to change how police officers respond in difficult situations.

"Our goal is to change the way officers think when they approach a critical incident by establishing time and distance to allow for more prudent thinking and physical space to promote a safer environment."

Last month, video footage was released showing a white officer shooting a black teenager 16 times in the city in 2014. Over the weekend, another officer shot dead a 19-year-old college student and a 55-year-old grandmother, both African American, in a domestic dispute case.

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