Matt Forte has joined the ranks of Chicago activists advocating for police reform across the United States.
Forte spoke at an interfaith rally in Washington Park on Tuesday night, following a march with protestors down Martin Luther King Drive in Bronzeville.
Evan Garcia, a journalist for WTTW, posted part of Forte’s speech on Twitter.
In his speech, Forte called for stricter punishments for bad cops by using a comparison to the NFL.
“In the world of NFL football, accountability is the key to victory,” Forte said. “Accountability is the key to victory. So what we want, what we want is for the police to be accountable. We want the police to be accountable for their actions.
“With accountability comes real consequences. There’s no way someone should be shot 16 times, and get six years in prison-- three years on good behavior.”
But rather than speaking entirely in ideals, Forte offered a suggestion for how to increase accountability for police, too.
“So if accountability is the key to victory, we need real tangible things. We need the ‘CR’ (complaint register), that’s complaints that follow the police from precinct to precinct. You can’t just go from precinct to precinct with a record 18 complaints long."
Wednesday morning, Forte elaborated on how to implement and use that complaint register.
Forte told NBC Sports Chicago that what's needed is, "first, a federal database, nationwide, of the CR for officers that follow them. Second, a higher standard of accountability on officers. Officers with multiple (three strikes are you're out) complaints get taken off the streets, or fired, depending on the nature of the complaint. Third, harsher consequences and higher conviction rates for neglect and/or violent police. I.e. George Floyd, shooting unarmed people, or shooting a kid 16 times and getting six years-- three on good behavior."
The example Forte used about "shooting a kid 16 times and getting six years-- three on good behavior" refers to the sentence former cop Jason Van Dyke received for killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014.
“We need change,” Forte said.