Rahm Emanuel, national expert call for CPD retraining amid Justice investigation

Dr. Laura McNeal

Dr. Laura McNeal

Louisville, KY - Dr. Laura McNeal, Harvard Law Fellow and Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Louisville joined Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel in calling for a re-examination of the city’s police training techniques. The CPD has come under fire in the wake of the fatal shooting of Ronald Johnson by a Chicago police and is now under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

 “Mayor Emanuel's statement regarding the need for revamping police training is not novel, but rather stating the obvious,” McNeal said. “How many more young lives must be lost before we recognize that police training is outdated, too infrequent, and fails to equip officers with the necessary skills and attributes to serve today's increasingly diverse demographic? We can no longer turn a blind eye to injustice.”

McNeal is the co-author of law enforcement/youth training techniques currently being used by the Los Angeles, Milwaukee and San Francisco police departments. She has appeared multiple times on CNN, MSNBC and Huffington Post Live and is available to discuss the outcomes of the training, as well the next steps in the Justice Department investigation

Quick facts:

  • According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1998 and 2008 youth ages 16-18 comprised 7.6% of the U.S. population, yet the same group were involved in 30.1% of police uses of force.
  • The overwhelming majority of police officer training does not include training on how police can effectively interact with youth.
  • Training methods recently used in Boston reduced youth arrests in Boston area from 646 a year to 74.

McNeal - a Law & Policy Analyst at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School can provide examples of ways police officers can promote greater transparency in urban communities and improve urban youth perceptions of officers as individuals.

She is available for media interview and can be contacted at laura.mcneal@louisville.edu or 309-287-7479. If she cannot be reached, contact Matt Lambert at matt.lambert@louisville.edu or 504-250-6794.