Chicago ordered to commit to reforms by U.S. Department of Justice

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CHICAGO (AP) --The U.S. Justice Department and the city of Chicago have signed a joint statement in which the nation's third largest city commits to police reforms under a court-enforced agreement, called a consent decree.

The document was released Friday along with the findings of a yearlong Justice Department civil rights investigation of the police force. It found that the police department has violated the constitutional rights of residents for years, permitting racial bias against blacks, using excessive force and killing people who didn't pose a threat.

The agreement in principle provides only broad outlines for reform, including commitments to improved transparency, training and accountability for bad officers. Officials from the Justice Department and city will negotiate a final settlement.

Those talks will take place under the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

The agreement was unveiled at a joint media event Friday attended by city and national officials. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the Justice Department civil rights investigation of the city's police department "sobering" and promised that the city will proceed with reforms.

Emanuel said the city has already implemented some of the recommended changes. He cited expanded de-escalation training for officers and stricter use-of-force polices that were put in place after the 2015 release of video showing a white officer shoot a black teenager 16 times.

Emanuel also addressed the Justice Department's conclusion that officers do not have nearly enough supervision. He pointed to his decision to increase the number of lieutenants and other supervisors.

The yearlong investigation found that the police department has violated the constitutional rights of residents for years, permitting racial bias against blacks, using excessive force and killing people who didn't pose a threat.

Vanita Gupta, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and head of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice,

said a lack of training or outdated training for the officers is largely to blame.

Gupta said investigations into officers' actions are "glacially slow" and that discipline of officers is often "unpredictable and ineffective."

She also said officers don't have enough support to help them deal with the trauma of their jobs.