Earlier this week, Amara Enyia was endorsed by Chance the Rapper for mayor of Chicago. It is a huge endorsement for the community activist, who has run a grassroots campaign and doesn’t have millions of dollars, similar to Andrew Gillum in Florida, like the 14 other candidates running for mayor.
At a Tuesday press conference, Chance said this about Enyia, “I want to work with somebody who is about change, somebody who is about our community, somebody who is about equity, somebody who is about fairness. The one person in my research of this wide-open race that views align with me would obviously be candidate Amara Enyia.”
Enyia, who is now making the media rounds, spoke Thursday on “The Clay Cane Show” on SiriusXM Urban View. She talked police reform, explicitly calling out police unions like no other person in the race.
Enyia said, “Chicago has a sordid history of corruption within the police department. We just settled the Jon Burge torture case, which the state had to pay $5.5 million for reparations for torturing individuals. As we’ve seen in the Laquan McDonald case, where officers were blatantly lying in terms of what they were reporting what happened that night. Obviously, Officer Jason van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery, but the sad fact is the Laquan McDonald is just the largest case that has gotten the most attention.”
She continued, “Police reform is absolutely essential because you have to create an institution that has a culture that is not corrupt. Right now, you can’t change corruption and if you don’t change the culture of the institution — that requires transparency. We have to know the record of the background of the individuals that are in our police force. We have to know the history of complaints against individuals in our police force. We have to have a consent decree because we cannot rely on the benevolence of the department to do the right thing.”
Enyia also focused on recruitment, “More importantly, changing the culture by implementing reforms, meaning that we will attract a different kind of person to the police department because if you change the culture it will also attract a certain kind of person. So to talk about recruitment and say, ‘We need to have a diverse police force.’ Well it’s going to be a lot harder to recruit people in an institution that is seen as corrupt or that is seen as beyond reproach — we have to change the culture. We have to be bold about the reform.”
Enyia spoke powerful words: Many people tend to ignore that there are corrupt Black and brown officers. If you have a culture of corruption, then corrupt people will gravitate to it, regardless of color. Listen to a clip of her interview on “The Clay Cane Show” below.
“The Clay Cane Show” airs weekdays at 12pm EST on Sirius XM Urban View channel 126.
CORRECTION: Amara Enyia’s name was misspelled in an earlier version of this article. The text has been updated to reflect this correction.