On October 5, 2016, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance to establish the COPA, which replaced the Independent Police Review Authority as the civilian oversight agency of the Chicago Police Department. Under the direction of the Chief Administrator, COPA has the power and authority to conduct investigations into:
- Complaints against CPD members alleging domestic violence, excessive force, coercion, or verbal abuse;
- All incidents, including those in which no allegation of misconduct is made, in which a CPD member discharges: (i) a firearm in a manner that potentially could strike another individual, (ii) a stun gun or taser in a manner that results in death or serious bodily injury, or (iii) in the Chief Administrator’s discretion, other weapons discharges and other use of CPD-issued equipment as a weapon that results in death or serious bodily injury;
- Incidents, including those in which no allegation of misconduct is made, where a person dies or sustains a serious bodily injury while detained or in CPD’s custody, or as a result of police actions, such as during attempts to apprehend a suspect;
- Incidents of an “officer-involved death,” as that term is defined in 50 ILCS 727/1-5; and
- Complaints against CPD members alleging improper search or seizure of either individuals or property, or unlawful denial of access to counsel.