Below is a statement from the Erase the Gang Database Coalition:
“After a years-long campaign, the Erase the Gang Database coalition celebrates yesterday’s vote by Chicago’s Community Commission on Public Safety and Accountability to erase the city’s racist and ineffective gang database.
This moment was years in the making after Chicagoans across the city made their voices loud and clear that they do not support a system that targets and criminalizes Black and brown people.
Community groups held rallies, protests, press conferences, signed petitions, filed lawsuits, and more to bring an end to the database, which was deemed ineffective by the city’s own Inspector General in an April 2019 audit. Anthony Driver and the CCPSA heard those calls and took appropriate action.
Though we know this is just the first step in ending the city’s harmful surveillance practices, we are committed to making sure no other databases are created and that those harmed by this system are made whole again.
This is the first major victory to reimagine public safety under the Johnson administration and fulfills a major campaign promise. The success of the Erase the Gang Database campaign is a significant milestone that demonstrates Chicago is ready to implement alternatives to systems of racist policing and instead prioritize addressing root causes of violence by investing in our communities. Our coalition is eager to continue this momentum by working to support and pass initiatives like Bring Chicago Home, Stop Shotspotter, Treatment Not Trauma, and other important proposals that safeguard the lives and futures of the city’s residents.”
The Erase the Gang Database Coalition is made up of organizations in Chicago, Illinois organizing against criminalization, surveillance, incarceration and police violence.