The Chicago Police Department (CPD) has adopted a new plan for educating its officers around hate crime response, and the measure includes LGBT directives.
Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced the new training at a Sept. 7 press conference.
The training, developed in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), is similar to past trainings conducted by ADL for CPD. But according to Miriam Lieberman of ADL, the new trainings will happen online rather than in person, so that officers can go back and review them.
Lieberman said the training covers Illinois hate-crime protections, noting that hate crimes can occur based on someone's perceived sexual orientation in addition to their actual orientation.
"For example, if a perpetrator waits outside an LGBT bar and assaults a person who walks out because the perpetrator believes he is gay, that would still constitute a hate crime under Illinois law even if the victim was actually straight," said Lieberman in a statement to Windy City Times. "The 'perceived' language in the statute is important because if a perpetrator selects his or her victim because of that person's perceived sexual orientation, national origin, race, religion, etc., even if the perpetrator 'gets it wrong,' it still has the same harmful, damaging, and intimidating effect on the community of people who share that perceived characteristic and the community at large."
The revised training emphasizes the problem of underreporting of hate crimes because groups targeted by violence, including LGBT people, often fear reprisal or are distrustful of law enforcement, said Lieberman.
ADL said the training DVD was not available for Windy City Times to view.
The new training includes a video message from McCarthy and a segment on how CPD investigates hate crimes, according to Lieberman.