Police Settlement Transparency & Accountability Ordinance

Sign Our Petition!


The PSTA (Police Settlement Transparency and Accountability) Ordinance will lift the veil of secrecy from police misconduct litigation in Chicago. With the PSTA, we have a chance to bring transparency, democratic oversight, and justice to the city’s police accountability system. If we pass this reform, Chicago will set the standard for police accountability for cities across the country. Chicago communities deserve nothing less.

As City of Chicago seeks to identify funds that can be redirected away from the criminal justice system to instead be invested in communities in Chicago this specific area is ripe with possibilities. The potential to reap millions of dollars in savings each year that can invested in real economic development across Chicago’s south and west sides is very real. This ordinance will empower Chicago’s communities to hold the Chicago Police Department, the City of Chicago, and the police accountability community responsible for civil settlements and judgments involving policing in Chicago.

Why CJP is interested

The massive amounts of money spent each year by the City of Chicago related to civil settlement and judgments around the Chicago Police Department are staggering. While historical numbers are hard to access we have managed to track the amount of money the City of Chicago has spent on payouts since 2004.

The City has worked very hard to hide the amount of money they spend every year both internally and externally to represent the Department and their officers in these civil suits. This figure is in addition to what the City pays out in settlements and judgments. We managed to collect data on how much the City has spent on just the cases involving police misconduct for the years 2011-2018.

In total from January 1, 2004 through May 31, 2020 the city of Chicago has spent $974 million (nominal dollars). Using consumer price index figures provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and adjusting this figure for inflation the city has spent a total of $747 million in 2020 dollars. Removing 2020 figures, as they only include 5 months of data, the city of Chicago spends on average $44 million a year (inflation adjusted 2020 dollars) or the equivalent of $16.33 for every resident of Chicago. If this money instead had been redirected to communities in need, on average 11,000,000 free school lunches could have been provided a year.

See Full Ordinance:

This document contains the full text of the ordinance: PSTA

Sign Our Petition:

There is a signature form at the bottom of the page. If you want to learn more, you can see the full petition webpage here: PSTA Petition.

Volunteer Requirements 

As we have been waiting for alderpeople to support the ordinance, we've gathered lists of names of potential supporters. Volunteers should be able and ready to make phone calls, send emails, and use their personal social media accounts to push the ordinance to the city council and the public. Volunteers need only spend a few hours a week on outreach and are welcome to do it as time allows.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to our Nation Leads at [email protected]

If you’d like to begin the application process, complete the steps and sign up on our Get Involved page.