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Tag: Chicago

Justice Department to Announce Civil Rights Investigation of Chicago Police Department

ChicagoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After a disturbing dash cam video surfaced of a white police officer fatally shooting a black teen 16 times, the Justice Department is planning to launch an investigation into the Chicago Police Department, USA Today reports. 

Citing an anonymous source familiar with the upcoming investigation, USA Today wrote that the announcement of a probe is expected very soon.

The department’s Civil Rights Division plans to investigate whether cops were responsible for a patter of biased policing.

The state’s attorney general, Lisa Madigan, recently called for an investigation, despite initial resistance from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who originally called a federal probe “misguided.” He has since changed course.

“We will let the Department of Justice address what action they will or will not choose to take, but as was made clear last week, we welcome the engagement of the Department of Justice as we work to restore trust in our police department and improve our system of police accountability,” said Emanuel’s spokesman, Adam Collins.

   

Chicago Tribune: Time Has Come for Justice Department to Investigate Chicago PD

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago Tribune
Editorial Board

The appointment of a blue-ribbon task force to probe the Chicago Police Department is a laudable move by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. It became an unavoidable step amid mounting pressure a week after the city was forced to release the video depicting the alleged execution of Laquan McDonald, a troubled black 17-year-old shot 16 times by a white Chicago police officer in October 2014.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a former head of the Justice Department‘s Civil Rights Division, will serve as an adviser to the newly formed police accountability panel. But why turn to a former head of the Civil Rights Division? What is needed is a full-scale Justice Department “pattern-and-practice” investigation of civil rights abuses within the Chicago Police Department — the type of sweeping, outside investigation that Chicago, seemingly alone among large American cities, has mysteriously evaded over the last several decades.

From Newark to New York, Cleveland, Miami, New Orleans, Albuquerque and Los Angeles, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, which exercises sole authority to launch and conduct such inquiries, has scoured dozens of large police departments, leaving Chicago’s omission head-scratching.

The Justice Department may act if it finds a pattern or practice by a local law enforcement agency that systemically violates people’s rights. These investigations have resulted in settlements and court orders requiring increased transparency and data collection, steps to prevent discriminatory policing, independent oversight, improved investigation and review of uses of force, and more effective training and supervision of officers — all measures that the Chicago Police Department urgently needs.

Why now? In the last 10 years, Chicago has paid an astounding sum, more than $500 million, to settle police misconduct cases, including $5 million to the mother of Laquan McDonald before a lawsuit was even filed. These settlements include, but are not by any means exclusive to, the reign of terror under a white police detective and commander, Jon Burge, and his midnight crew who tortured dozens, possibly hundreds, of African-American suspects in the 1970s and 1980s.

Chicago Mayor Bluntly Denounces State AG’s Call for Civil Rights Investigation into PD

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired back Wednesday at Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s request for the Justice Department to launch a civil rights investigation into the police department.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the mayor called the request “misguided,” even as protesters demanded justice for several unarmed people killed or shot by Chicago police officers.

Emanuel noted there are numerous investigations by city and federal authorities into the death of Laquan McDonald, who was fatally shot by police in October 2014, resulting in murder charges against Police Officer Jason Van Dyke.

“Like everybody else, I await their conclusions. They are looking into this situation and all the aspects around it. An additional layer prior to the completion of this, in my view, would be misguided,” Emanuel said in a live, online interview conducted by Politico before an audience at the Willis Tower.

“They are doing a thorough job. Hitting the re-start button on a whole new investigation does not get you to the conclusion in an expedited fashion.”

Illinois Attorney General Asks DOJ to Investigate Civil Rights Abuses in Chicago PD

chicago_police_patchBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is urging the Justice Department to launch a civil rights investigation into the Chicago Police Department over a number of cases in which cops killed or injured unarmed citizens, the Washington Post reports. 

Protesters are still outraged by a police shooting that killed a 17-year-old last year.

In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Madigan listed several cases in which Chicago police officers shot unarmed citizens over the past few years.

Included in the list is the October 2014 fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, who was 17. The officer who pulled the trigger, Jason Van Dyke, was charged with murder last week, the same day a disturbing dash-cam video of the incident was released.

“The McDonald shooting is shocking, and it highlights serious questions about the historic, systemic use of unlawful and excessive force by Chicago police officers and the lack of accountability for such abuse by CPD,” Madigan wrote.

Source: FBI Found No Evidence of Video Tampering in Police Shooting of Laquan McDonald

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com


A Burger King surveillance video that is missing footage on the night a Chicago police officer gunned down Laquan McDonald was not tampered with, according to a forensic analysis by the FBI.

Citing an anonymous source close to the investigation, the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the forensic analysis “found no evidence of tampering” with video from the fateful night last year.

The tape has an 86-minute gap, and police spent two hours at the restaurant trig to recover the video.

“The district manager told us it was deleted,” said Jeffrey Neslund, an attorney for the McDonald family. “It is curious that there were 86 minutes missing. We don’t know for a matter of certainty what happened to the Burger King video, but we know what the employees told us.”

But the source said there was no evince of tampering.

“They looked at it and found absolutely no evidence of any tampering or any removal of any portion of the tape,” the source said.

“That system that Burger King has is a mess and it would break down in the weeks and months before this incident. There were major gaps everywhere,” the source added.

Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is white, killed McDonald, who is black.

Chicago’s Departing Internal Watchdog Turned Over Records to FBI

Seal_of_Chicago,_IllinoisBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Another city hall scandal in Chicago?

The FBI last week picked up the computers and files of departing Legislative Inspector General Faisal Kahn.

Kahn, who served as the council’s internal watchdog, forwarded complaints that are “criminal in nature” to outside agencies, including the FBI, the Chicago Tribune reports. 

Kahn would not elaborate.

“I don’t know if and when these cases will result in charges,” Khan said. “I simply would like to see them resolved appropriately, and then the public can see what exactly the (office of legislative inspector general) worked on and what the results of those investigations are.”

Kahn’s four-year term ended Monday, and the council has yet to replace him.

It remained unclear Tuesday what the subject of the investigation was.

President Obama Addresses The International Association of Chiefs of Police in Chicago

FBI Director James Comey: A Chill Wind Has Blown Through Law Enforcement Over the Last Year

FBI Director James Comey in Chicago

FBI Director James Comey in Chicago

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

CHICAGO —  Reality or hunch?

FBI director James Comey, echoing remarks he made a few days ago at the University of Chicago Law School, said Monday he thinks violent crime is on the rise this year, at least in part, because officers are being increasingly scrutinized and are more reluctant to do their jobs in a world where a misstep can be seen on video around the world.

“Maybe something has changed in policing. In today’s YouTube world, are officers reluctant to get out of their cars and and do the work that controls violent crime?,” Comey asked, delivering a speech before thousands in attendance at the International Association of Police Chiefs in Chicago. “Are officers answering 911 calls, but avoiding the informal contact that keeps bad guys with guns from standing around?

“I spoke to officers in one big city…who described being surrounded by young people with mobile phones, video cameras rolling, as they step out of the car, taunting them, asking what they want and and why they’re there.  They described a feeling of being under siege and were honest and said ‘we don’t feel much like getting out of our cars.'”

“I’ve been told about a senior police leader who told his force, our political leadership has zero tolerance for you all being connected to another viral video.  The question is are these kinds of things changing police behavior in cities around the country?”

“The honest answer is, I don’t know for sure whether that’s the case,  I don’t know for sure whether even it is the case that it explains it entirely.   But I do have a a strong sense that some part of what’s going on is likely a chill wind that has blown through law enforcement over the last year. That wind is made up of a whole series of viral videos and the public outcry to follow them.  And that wind is surely changing behavior my common sense tells me.”

Comey also expressed the concern that the divide between the black community and law enforcement is getting wider.

“The challenges are complicated, layered, and painful to be honest. I imagine two lines. There’s a line of law enforcement and there’s the line of communities we serve, especially communities of color in the hardest hit neighborhoods in this great country of ours,” Comey said.

“And I actually feel those two lines arching apart. Each incident that involves perceived or actual misconduct by police  that’s captured on video and spreads around the world bends this line this way. Each incident that involves an attack on a member of law enforcement bends our line that way. I have seen those lines arching apart in a lot of different ways. I actually see an example..of that arching through hashtags. Through the# blacklivesmatter and the #policelivesmatter.

“Of course each of those hashtags and what they represent adds a voice to an important conversation,” he said. “Each time somebody interprets  #blacklivesmater as anti-law enforcement one line moves away.  And each time that someone interprets #policelivesmatter as anti-black , another line moves away. I actually feel the lines continuing to arch away, may be accelerating, incident by incident, video by video, hashtag by hashtag, and that’s a terrible place for us to be.

He said the black community and law enforcement need to demand answers.  And academics need to hit it hard and examine the issues.

 

 

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