“#NoCopAcademy” Campaign Opposes $95 Million for New Police Grounds

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Over the 4th of July weekend, Rahm announced plans to build a multi-million dollar police and fire training academy in a predominantly Black community on Chicago’s west side. The construction alone will cost $95 million, in a neighborhood he closed 6 schools in. This is just the latest version of ongoing divestment from communities of color alongside massive resourcing of policing.

Rahm thinks he can get away with this. He’s attempted to move each phase of this under the public’s radar, and pass it discreetly through the 2018 City budget while no one is watching. We plan to fight back together to stop this compound. We demand schools for kids, not cops.

Chicago already spends $1.5 billion on police every year—that’s $4 million every single day. We spend 300% on the CPD as a city more than we do on the Departments of Public Health, family and support services, transportation, and planning and development (which handles affordable housing). This plan is being praised as a development opportunity to help local residents around the proposed site, but when Rahm closed 50 schools in 2013, six were in this neighborhood. The message is clear: Rahm supports schools and resources for cops, not for Black and Brown kids.

We demand a redirecting of this $95 million into Chicago’s most marginalized communities instead. Real community safety comes from fully-funded schools and mental health centers, robust after-school and job- training programs, and social and economic justice. We want investment in our communities, not expanded resources for police.

Rahm has sought to portray himself as the resistance to Trump, but is pursuing policies that will compound the president’s multi-pronged attack on our communities. And while the City wants to push the idea of joint training for police and fire, we know that more collaboration at the level of training will lead to increased militarization of emergency response across the board.

The problem of police violence in Chicago has been documented for years by Black organizers and exposed by the scathing 2016 Department of Justice report.  This training center would escalate the practices and policies that cause Black and Brown communities to be targeted, harassed, criminalized, tazed, stopped, frisked, and incarcerated. Rather than committing to meaningful community control of the police, this attempted facelift aims to quell dissent and will only expand CPD’s capacity for violence.

We refuse any expansion of policing in Chicago, and demand accountability for decades of violence. We will fight for funding for our communities, and support each other in building genuine community safety in the face of escalating attacks.


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