Home / News / Johnson to choose from 15 candidates for civilian police oversight board – Chicago Tribune

Johnson to choose from 15 candidates for civilian police oversight board – Chicago Tribune


A brand new group of elected officials on Friday named 15 finalists who will serve as the Chicago Police Department’s first permanent members of a civilian body that oversees city public safety decisions and operations.

The Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, created under the 2021 Strengthening Communities for Public Safety regulations, plays a central role in selecting and removing the police superintendent, police board members, and the chief executive of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Angelica Green, one of 22 police district council members who oversee the commission’s selection process, said 120 people applied to be on the seven-member board.

Applause broke out after 15 candidates were nominated. “This is historic,” Green said after putting down his microphone in surprise.

According to the ordinance, Mayor Brandon Johnson has 30 days to make final selections from the pool. His picks will be the first permanent members of a board that was established after years of advocacy and negotiations and aims to increase public safety as well as accountability for officers accused of misconduct.

Members of the newly created police district councils (also a product of the 2021 ordinance) have been working on the nomination process since July 2023, Green said.

Two of the candidates announced Friday are members of the interim oversight commission appointed by former Mayor Lori Lightfoot in August 2022 and helped elect Supervisor Larry Snelling a year later. They are Mayor Anthony Driver and Ramel Terry, director of programs at the racial equity advocacy organization Equiticity.

The candidates also include retired Cook County Judge Edward Washington II, Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Board President Sandra Wortham and Catholic Charities Deputy General Counsel Kelly Pressley.

Some are politically connected: Ald. Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth Director of Constituent Services Angel Rubi Navarijo, La’Mont Williams, Cook County Comm. La’Mont Williams, Bill Lowry’s chief of staff, Bernardo Gomez, Johnson’s Community Affairs Director, and Abierre Minor, former chief of staff to State Senator Mattie Hunter, are part of the final pool.

Candidate Deondre Rutues is also one of the district’s newly elected police district councilors in the Austin (15th) police district.

Other candidates helped advocate for the ordinance that led to the commission’s creation or were involved in the consent decree that now governs CPD operations or the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

Regional councilors approved nominations for the new commission by a vote of 17 to 1. Englewood (7th) Police District Council member Dion McGill cast the lone “no” vote.

McGill declined to give specific reasons for why he opposed the latest crop of candidates, saying only that he was supposed to represent his district’s concerns in Englewood.

City Hall (19th) district police council member Sam Schoenberg said the eight-month nomination process was challenging because council members “had to create a selection process from scratch, and we had to replace the entire commission at once.” ”

Johnson has until April 7 to choose seven candidates. If he rejects any candidate, he will be required to state the reason in writing, in accordance with the regulations.

The full list of candidates is below:

Jose Abonce, senior program manager, Chicago Neighborhood Policing Initiative

Anthony Driver, interim chairman, Community Commission on Public Safety and Accountability

Bernardo Gomez, director, Mayor’s Office of Community Engagement

Aaron Gottlieb, professor at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work

Nakiyah Matthews, academic advisor, Introspect Youth Services

Art Mitchell, deputy director for litigation and policy, National Democratic Redistricting Committee

Abierre Minor, treasurer, Progressive Minds Show

Angel Rubi Navarijo, director of voter services, Ald. Leni House-Hoppenworth (46th)

Kelly Pressley, assistant general counsel, Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Chicago

Deondre Rutues, Austin (15th) Police District Council member

Nyashana Sumner, assistant state’s attorney, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office

Remel Terry, interim member, Community Public Safety and Accountability Commission

Sandra Wortham, administrative law judge for the city of Chicago

La’Mont Williams, chief of staff, Cook County Commissioner Bill Lowry

Edward Washington II, former Cook County Circuit Court Judge


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