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Black Legislators Call For Licensing Police, In Wake Of Laquan McDonald Shooting

flickr.com/appleswitch (Creative Commons)

So far, it seems no police officers have been disciplined for helping conceal the circumstances under which Chicago teenager Laquan McDonald was killed. Because of that, a group of black lawmakers say Illinois should consider licensing police. IPR's Amanda Vinicky has more.

State Sen. Kwame Raoul says police often aren't punished because of their union contracts.

RAOUL: In the state of Illinois we license a vast majority of professions. We even license barbers, hairdressers. And they have their licenses revoked or suspended. However those who walk around with deadly force are not licensed.

Raoul is a lawyer and says it's similar to how a wronged citizen could bypass his employer and try to have him disbarred.

A newly-formed state commission on police professionalism is set to consider the idea; several members of the Fraternal Order of Police are members. A spokesman for the FOP says the union will carefully watch the deliberations.

He says if police licensure is addressed, it should apply to anyone who carries a badge and a gun, including park district and part time police who haven't traditionally been certified by a state law enforcement commission.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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