WBEZ | Criminal Justice http://www.wbez.org/news/criminal-justice Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Dragnet expanded for 3 suspects in killing of Illinois police officer http://www.wbez.org/news/dragnet-expanded-3-suspects-killing-illinois-police-officer-112809 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/manhunt.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Law enforcement authorities in Illinois have widened their search for three suspects wanted in connection with Tuesday&#39;s shooting death of a police officer in the community of Fox Lake.</p><p>Officers from local, state and federal agencies have been searching the area where Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, 52, was shot &mdash; so far without success. NPR&#39;s Cheryl Corley reports from Chicago:</p><blockquote><div><p>&quot;Authorities say they have thoroughly searched a perimeter of two square miles where a backup officer found Gliniewicz, and are now conducting saturation patrols as they expand where they are looking for the suspects.&quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>Lake County Sheriff&#39;s Office spokesman Christopher Covelli told The Associated Press on Wednesday morning that police are no longer confining their search within the 2-mile area.</p><p>&quot;The suspects were not within our perimeter,&quot; Covelli said. &quot;We had over 400 police officers out here yesterday. We had over 45 canine units and numerous aircraft,&quot; he said.</p><p>The Chicago Tribune, citing police and family, reports that Gliniewicz, a 30-year veteran of the police department, was married with four children. The newspaper adds:</p><blockquote><div><p>&quot;He&#39;d recently discussed retiring as soon as this month, said Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmit.</p><p>&quot; &#39;He&#39;s got four sons who are going to have to go on alone,&#39; said Terry Resetar, the fallen officer&#39;s mother-in-law.&quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>As the Two-Way&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/09/01/436650534/illinois-police-officer-shot-dead-manhunt-underway-for-3-suspects">reported Tuesday</a>, Gliniewicz was shot when he went to check on suspicious activity around 8 a.m. local time Tuesday. The officer radioed to dispatchers that he was pursuing the suspects &mdash; described as two white men and a black man &mdash; on foot.</p><p>Covelli said Tuesday that responding officers arrived and found Gliniewicz injured from a gunshot wound and without his service weapon. The officer died at the scene.</p><p>The search shut down a school Tuesday in the Fox Lake area of northern Illinois. Several local school districts announced closures Wednesday while the search continues.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/09/02/436919106/dragnet-expanded-for-3-suspects-in-killing-of-illinois-police-officer" target="_blank"><em>The Two-Way</em></a></p></p> Wed, 02 Sep 2015 12:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/dragnet-expanded-3-suspects-killing-illinois-police-officer-112809 U.S. Attorney General: 'this violence against all of us' must end http://www.wbez.org/news/us-attorney-general-violence-against-all-us-must-end-112801 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Lynch and East Haven Police Chief Brent.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has strongly condemned shootings of law enforcement officers in Texas and Illinois and issued an unequivocal message of support for police.</p><p>&quot;We have had four more guardians slain, and frankly our hearts are broken,&quot; the attorney general said Wednesday in remarks to a fair housing conference in Washington, D.C. &quot;I offer the families of these officers my condolences, and I ask that all of us come together and keep them in our prayers.&quot;</p><p>Lynch, the first black woman to serve as the nation&#39;s top federal law enforcement officer, pointed out that she spent &quot;virtually my entire career&quot; working closely with agents, officers and investigators.</p><p>&quot;I know these men and women have volunteered to take on the most challenging and important jobs that we have here,&quot; she said. &quot;They do this for us, they move us aside and they run into danger for us. And so please again keep them in your prayers.&quot;</p><p>Earlier this week, President Obama called the widow of a Harris County, Texas, sheriff&#39;s deputy killed while he was pumping gas. The president said targeting of police officers is &quot;totally unacceptable,&quot; according to White House officials who provided a read-out of the call.</p><p>In recent days, current and former law enforcement officials had pressed top administration officials to speak out on violence against police. And some advocacy groups have called on the executive branch and Congress to make murder of law enforcement officers a hate crime.</p><p>Lynch used her remarks at the housing conference to decry a wider spate of violence in recent months, from the slaying of two Virginia reporters on live television to the deaths of five service members in Chattanooga, Tenn., and the killing of nine black parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.</p><p>&quot;This violence against all of us, regardless of what uniform any of us wear, has to end,&quot; Lynch said.</p><p>She said federal and local law enforcement officials would meet in Detroit later this month to discuss ways to reduce violence.</p><p>&quot;The Department of Justice stands ready to support law enforcement around this country as they continue to fight every day to protect the communities that they serve and of which they are a vital part,&quot; Lynch added. &quot;And we also stand with every community member police and civilian alike as they all work towards a safer community for us all.&quot;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>&mdash;</em><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/09/02/436895339/u-s-attorney-general-this-violence-against-all-of-us-must-end" target="_blank"><em>The Two-Way</em></a></p></p> Wed, 02 Sep 2015 10:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/us-attorney-general-violence-against-all-us-must-end-112801 Hunt for 3 suspects in Fox Lake officer's death continues http://www.wbez.org/news/hunt-3-suspects-fox-lake-officers-death-continues-112799 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_535804878106.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>FOX LAKE &mdash; Law enforcement officers prepared early Wednesday to resume the intensive hunt for three suspects in the fatal shooting of a popular veteran police officer in a small northern Illinois community.</p><p>Authorities from across the state and region poured into the village of Fox Lake to join the manhunt following the death Tuesday morning of Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz.</p><p>Some wore tactical gear and toted high-powered rifles. Officers took up positions on rooftops and along railroad tracks, scanning the terrain with rifle scopes and binoculars. Others leaned out of helicopters with weapons at the ready. Federal agencies, SWAT teams and 48 police dogs assisted in the manhunt, Lake County Sheriff&#39;s Office spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said.</p><p>Residents of the usually sleepy village about 60 miles north of Chicago were urged to stay indoors, and schools were on lockdown. In a statement late Tuesday, Covelli urged the community to reach out with tips and leads.</p><p>Covelli said Gliniewicz radioed in Tuesday morning to tell dispatchers he was chasing three men on foot. Communication with him was lost soon after. Covelli said backup officers found him injured with a gunshot wound and that he died soon after.</p><p>An emotional Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmit described the slain officer as a personal friend, a three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons.</p><p>&quot;We lost a family member,&quot; Schmit said of the 52-year-old officer known around town as &quot;GI Joe.&quot; &#39;&#39;His commitment to the people of this community has been unmatched and will be dearly missed.&quot;</p><p>The area near the Wisconsin border area is popular for boating and other outdoor pursuits because of its forest preserves and a chain of lakes that partly encircles Fox Lake. Some longtime city dwellers move to the region for what is normally a quieter lifestyle.</p><p>Authorities urged residents to stay home while they searched for the suspects, two of them white and the other black.</p><p>Commuter train service was halted, and residents who wanted to take their dogs out to relieve themselves were told to stay inside, with the job of walking the pets handled by police officers.</p><p>Several schools were locked down Tuesday, and seven cancelled classes on Wednesday, Covelli said.</p><p>Gliniewicz&#39;s death is the third law enforcement fatality in Illinois this year, according to the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. It says firearms-related deaths in the U.S. are down 13 percent this year compared to the same period last year, Jan. 1. to Sept. 1; there were 30 last year and 26 this year.</p><p>Fox Lake residents expressed sorrow at the death of the immensely popular Gliniewicz.</p><p>&quot;This particular officer is a pillar in my community and (is) definitely going to be missed, and (he) touched so many lives,&quot; said Gina Maria, a 40-year-old teacher.</p><p>Dozens gathered for hours along a street in the village to show their support for law enforcement officers. Thirty-year-old Dan Raminick, who held a sign reading &quot;Police Lives Matter,&quot; said officers came by Tuesday evening and thanked the crowd.</p><p>Caitlyn Kelly, a 22-year-old student, said she felt compelled to come out after other recent police shootings. She held a sign that said &quot;Blue and Brave.&quot;</p></p> Wed, 02 Sep 2015 08:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/hunt-3-suspects-fox-lake-officers-death-continues-112799 Three police officers in Asian salon raid recommended for suspension http://www.wbez.org/news/three-police-officers-asian-salon-raid-recommended-suspension-112786 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Salon IPRA.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr"><em>Updated 1:30 p.m.</em></p><p dir="ltr">The agency that reviews allegations of police misconduct in Chicago has recommended suspension for three officers in a racially-charged police raid of a West Town tanning salon. The salon manager, Chinese-American Jessica Klyzek, alleged that officers beat her, verbally abused her and that one officer threatened to put her in a UPS box and send her &ldquo;back to wherever the f---&rdquo; she came from.</p><p dir="ltr">The investigation by the Independent Police Review Authority centered on twelve named and one unknown officer alleged to have raided the salon on July 31, 2013, for suspected prostitution services. <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2633418/Video-shows-abusive-Chicago-police-threatening-deport-woman-UPS-box-f-came-from.html#v-3577642050001">A surveillance video of the incident</a>, shared widely online and via social media, prompted outrage among Asian-Americans in Chicago who saw the police actions as racially-tinged and demanded greater accountability from the city.</p><p dir="ltr">According to Public Affairs Director Larry Merritt, IPRA has recommended a 25-day suspension for Officer Gerald Di Pasquale, who allegedly made the UPS remark; an 8-day suspension for Officer Frank Messina who allegedly struck Klyzek on the head while she was handcuffed and on her knees; and a one day suspension for Sergeant Brian Blackman for failing to stop and report Di Pasquale&rsquo;s verbal abuse. IPRA issued its report on June 19.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s absurd,&rdquo; said Torreya Hamilton, a Civil Rights attorney who represented Ms. Klyzek in a federal lawsuit against the city and ten officers that was settled last year for $150 thousand. Citing a letter that Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent to the owner of the salon after the raid, Hamilton said the public should have expected harsher discipline for the officers.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Mayor Emanuel watched this video and publicly decried the officers&rsquo; behavior as despicable. and yet the internal workings of the police department still did not see fit to fire these officers.&rdquo; Hamilton, who has represented several plaintiffs in lawsuits alleging police brutality, said she has long believed that IPRA does not operate truly independently of the Chicago Police Department.</p><p dir="ltr">According to Merritt, the matter now rests with Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. As a result of mediated settlements between IPRA and the three officers, Merritt said McCarthy can either implement IPRA&rsquo;s recommendations or fire the officers.</p><p dir="ltr">In an e-mail, the Chicago Police Department said the recommendations are still pending final disposition, and that two of the officers are on active duty and one is retired. A spokesperson for the department said he could not verify which of the officers is retired.</p><p dir="ltr">In total, IPRA sustained six claims of abuse or misconduct out of 49, finding all other alleged actions by the police to be justified or unfounded.</p><p dir="ltr">Andy Kang, the Legal Director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago, said IPRA&rsquo;s recommendations are unacceptable. &ldquo;As Asian-Americans, we&rsquo;re constantly viewed as perpetual foreigners,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;and (in) our society immigrants, women, people who are undocumented are continually devalued as human beings, and I think this slight punishment is unfortunately evidence of that problem.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Klyzek is an American citizen who has lived in the U.S. for a decade, according to her lawyer.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/wbezoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/three-police-officers-asian-salon-raid-recommended-suspension-112786 New law limits bail profits Cook County can take from poor http://www.wbez.org/news/new-law-limits-bail-profits-cook-county-can-take-poor-112725 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/cook county jail.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A new Illinois law is going to cost Cook County $5 million in revenue each year. That&rsquo;s according to Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown&rsquo;s office. But the local politician who pushed the law says those profits were being taken out of the pockets of the poorest residents in the county.</p><p>The law caps processing fees for posting bond at $100.</p><p>Here&rsquo;s how it works: After someone is arrested a judge will often set bail. If the defendant puts up a certain amount of money they can be released from jail until trial. Currently Cook County charges a 10 percent processing fee for this service, so if someone has to post a $5,000 bond, the county keeps $500 dollars of that whether the defendant was found guilty or not.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/innocent-defendants-still-have-pay-court-fees-cook-county-97311">Innocent defendants still have to pay court fees to Cook County</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>&ldquo;The county should not be using bond being posted by non-convicted individuals as a revenue source. It&rsquo;s a tax on poor black and brown people primarily,&rdquo; said Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey.</p><p>Fritchey pushed the $100 cap through the state legislature, which creates the statutes that control Circuit Court Clerk offices statewide.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s one thing to talk about reforming the criminal justice system,&rdquo; Fritchey said. &ldquo;This was a substantive step towards doing that. Now granted there are a lot more to go, but one step at a time.&rsquo;</p><p>He says he&rsquo;d like to push a future law that would refund 100 percent of the bond posted by people who are found not guilty or whose cases are dropped or dismissed.</p><p>Fritchey says he&rsquo;s also not convinced it&rsquo;s going to cost the county the $5 million estimated by Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s very realistic that it will cost the county a couple of million dollars a year,<br />but to the extent that that is the price of doing things the morally and economically smart way, that&rsquo;s fine by me,&rdquo; he said.</p></p> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 17:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/new-law-limits-bail-profits-cook-county-can-take-poor-112725 Predicting police misconduct before it happens http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-21/predicting-police-misconduct-it-happens-112704 <p><p>Every day there are thousands of interactions between police officers and citizens across the country. While most are uneventful, a small number leave a member of the public disrespected, unprotected, harassed or &mdash; in all too many cases seen recently &mdash; hurt or even killed.</p><p>This summer, fellows with <a href="http://dssg.io/">Data Science for Social Good</a> &mdash; a program at the University of Chicago that connects data scientists with governments and nonprofits &mdash; are working to predict when officers are at risk of misconduct, the goal being to prevent problems before they happen.</p><p>The effort&rsquo;s part of the <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/05/18/launching-police-data-initiative">White House Police Data Initiative</a>, which aims to increase transparency and community trust, while decreasing inappropriate uses of force. (That DSSG was approached by the White House wasn&rsquo;t surprising; its program director, Rayid Ghani, was the Chief Data Scientist for Obama for America in 2012.)</p><p>Police departments around the country &mdash; 21 in all &mdash; are participating in the national effort. (Chicago police were not one of the departments picked to participate.) The White House matched DSSG with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Like many agencies, CMPD has early intervention systems. The challenge for DSSG was to find ways to improve them and avoid misconduct.</p><p>&ldquo;So we&rsquo;re trying to identify these opportunities to give them the information and training they need to avoid these negative interactions,&rdquo; said Joe Walsh, a mentor with DSSG overseeing the project.</p><p>CMPD currently looks at measures such as use of force, accidents and injuries, and sets a number of incidents that should trigger a response from the department. Officers who are flagged by the system will meet with a supervisor to review an incident, receive counseling or additional training.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not the most effective system,&rdquo; said CMPD Capt. Stella Patterson. &ldquo;We realize there&rsquo;s some enhancements that need to be made to it.&rdquo;</p><p>Working through the partnership was sometimes intense. The Charlotte City Council had to <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/06/21/white-house-police-data-initiative-privacy-concerns/28952215/">approve an ordinance to share the data with DSSG</a> (fellowship staff traveled to the city to make that happen), and some officers &mdash; including Patterson &mdash; were anxious sharing so much information with people outside the department. Still she feels that the project will help in the long run.</p><p>&ldquo;As a police officer, I&rsquo;m going to tell you personally, it was a little uncomfortable, because now you&rsquo;re exposing yourself really to the world,&rdquo; Patterson said. &ldquo;People will look at this project as a model for the rest of law enforcement. But the benefit we&rsquo;re going to get from it is going to be great. While some of us may feel like we&rsquo;re opening up ourselves, I feel like law enforcement today and moving forward is going to require that.&rdquo;</p><p>To find common patterns, the DSSG team analyzed incidents and anonymized data of the officers involved. They considered things like: when and where an arrest or traffic stop occurred; had the officer worked extra shifts; how long had they been on the force; even what the weather was like at the time.</p><p>&ldquo;Because it&rsquo;s sort of a new problem, we spent a lot of time trying to grasp what was important and what wasn&rsquo;t, and that&rsquo;s something we&rsquo;re still working on,&rdquo; said fellow Kenny Joseph, a computer science student at Carnegie Mellon.</p><p>That explains why the group of data analysts got face-time with CMPD, meeting department top brass and even going on ride-alongs with officers.</p><p>&ldquo;We would not be able to do a good job had we not gone down,&rdquo; said fellow Ayesha Mahmud, a demography student at Princeton University. &ldquo;None of us had any idea coming in what the everyday life of a police officer was like.&rdquo;</p><p>Mahmud said she was struck by how much time a police officer spends during each shift just speaking with residents to gather information and diffuse problems.</p><p>&ldquo;I think we all came to the realization that the data can only capture a very small part of that story,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I think that really helped us think about this problem.&rdquo;</p><p>With the fellowship finishing up next week, DSSG has identified a few indicators they hope can identify possible problem officers &mdash; such as previous uses of force, working extra shifts, or responding to other stressful calls &mdash; all before they create problems.</p><p>Still, each fellow was careful to point out they haven&rsquo;t tested and refined the model enough to draw any causal conclusions just yet.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s just so much that could be at play here and we only have three months,&rdquo; Walsh said. &ldquo;So while we may be able to improve the system that they have, there&rsquo;s still a long way to go.&rdquo;</p><p>Patterson said CMPD plans to review the proposed model before they update their current system, but is open adding the findings to their discussions.</p><p>&ldquo;We may realize, looking at all the data and the research, that the thresholds we have now are inadequate,&rdquo; Patterson said. &ldquo;That piece of it is still to be determined, and we are certainly going to work with University of Chicago as well as our other partners, other agencies, to see what the best practices are.&rdquo;</p><p>While they remain cautious, the fellows believe the model they&rsquo;ve created can help the department do a better job identifying problems before they happen.</p><p>&ldquo;It can&rsquo;t solve everything, but I do think our data can help CMPD do a better job targeting their interventions,&rdquo; Mahmud said. &ldquo;Even if we can help prevent 25 more adverse events in a year, that&rsquo;s better than their current system.&rdquo;</p><p>Walsh said that DSSG plans to continue the project next year, and he&rsquo;s hopeful they can get data from more police departments. The next up is Knoxville, Tennessee.</p><p><em>Chris Hagan is a web producer and data reporter with WBEZ. Follow him at </em><a href="https://twitter.com/chrishagan"><em>@chrishagan</em></a><em>.</em></p></p> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 12:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-21/predicting-police-misconduct-it-happens-112704 Rauner signs police guidelines for body cameras http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-signs-police-guidelines-body-cameras-112641 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/body-cameras_0.png" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois has become one of the first states nationwide to establish wide-ranging law enforcement rules for body cameras, bias-free policing and more data collection on arrests under a measure signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Bruce Rauner.</p><p>The plan beefs up reporting guidelines for officers making pedestrian stops and arrests, largely prohibits chokeholds and adds guidelines for training to help officers become aware of bias and cultural competency. The new law doesn&#39;t mandate body cameras, but does specify how they should be worn, when they have to be turned on and how long recorded videos should be kept. Illinois would help departments pay for the cameras and training for officers with grants funded by a $5 increase in traffic tickets.</p><p>&quot;We are taking steps to strengthen the relationship between our law enforcement officers and the public they protect,&quot; Rauner, who signed the bill in private, said in a statement. &quot;It will have a lasting and positive impact on the people of Illinois.&quot;</p><p>Dozens of U.S. states have passed police reform measures in the wake of two fatal police encounters last year: the shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and the death of a black man in New York who died after being placed in a white officer&#39;s chokehold.</p><p>But only three states &mdash; Illinois, Colorado and Connecticut &mdash; have approved comprehensive plans, according to a recent Associated Press analysis. Supporters said the Illinois law could be a model for other states as police practices come under heightened scrutiny.</p><p>The Illinois measure had strong bipartisan support as well as backing from police unions, the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP. Members of those groups attended a closed-to-reporters bill signing at Rauner&#39;s state Capitol office. The legislation takes recommendations offered by President Barack Obama&#39;s police task force.</p><p>State Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Chicago Democrat, was one of the bill sponsors.</p><p>&quot;Illinois has set the standard, set the standard nationally,&quot; he said at a news conference in Springfield.</p><p>The law, which fully takes effect in January 2016, also calls for independent reviews of all police-involved deaths and creates a database to help track officers dismissed for misconduct. Effective immediately is the forming of a commission that will review training requirements and other issues and report to legislators and the governor by the end of January.</p></p> Thu, 13 Aug 2015 08:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-signs-police-guidelines-body-cameras-112641 Fired investigator: Policy change could help cover up police misconduct http://www.wbez.org/news/fired-investigator-policy-change-could-help-cover-police-misconduct-112614 <p><p>I spent months trying to reach Lorenzo Davis, an investigator at the Independent Police Review Authority, the Chicago agency that looks into shootings by officers and police-brutality complaints. I had heard that Davis, a former police commander for the city, was clashing with his bosses, the folks in charge of the agency.<br /><br />When Davis finally called me back last month, IPRA had fired him. He had something big to tell me, and there was written evidence.<br /><br />The bosses, according to his final performance evaluation, had ordered him to change findings in at least a dozen cases, all shootings or alleged excessive-force incidents.</p><p>His findings were that the officers had violated laws or police department rules, he said. The bosses included Scott M. Ando, promoted to be chief administrator by Mayor Rahm Emanuel last year.<br /><br />Davis also wanted to tell me about IPRA&rsquo;s internal procedure for handling disagreements, between the investigator and superiors, about a case&rsquo;s findings.<br /><br />For years, the procedure was for the investigator to attend a meeting with the higher-ups. &ldquo;You would discuss the case and come to some sort of consensus,&rdquo; Davis said. &ldquo;But if you did not agree or refused to change your findings, there would be what we call an internal non-concurrence.&rdquo;<br /><br />The &ldquo;non-concurrence&rdquo; meant a boss was overturning the findings with a written explanation. That memo &mdash; an actual sheet of paper &mdash; would go on top of the case file. And the investigator&rsquo;s findings would stay in the file for all to see.<br /><br />&ldquo;This year,&rdquo; Davis said, &ldquo;Ando decided that he did not want to write a non-concurrence.&rdquo;<br /><br />The new policy, disseminated by Ando in March, says investigators &ldquo;do not have the right to refuse to make changes as directed by a superior. Anyone who refuses . . . will be considered insubordinate and may be subject to discipline.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-08-10%20at%2011.51.32%20PM.png" style="height: 309px; width: 620px;" title="Screencap of an email informing IPRA staff of the March policy change." /></div><p><br />The policy&rsquo;s purpose was to eliminate certain paper trails, Davis said. &ldquo;There would not be a record of what the findings were, initially, before they were changed.&rdquo;<br /><br />IPRA&rsquo;s chief administrator, of course, has always made final decisions about the agency&rsquo;s findings.</p><p>But Davis pointed out that some of these cases end up in court, which can be problematic. &ldquo;Often times, investigators and supervisors are called to do either depositions or actually appear in court to testify about a finding that they were forced to make [and] did not initially make and that they do not believe in.&rdquo;<br /><br />Davis said his bosses ordered him to change findings in six shooting cases, three of them fatal.<br /><br />Those are among nearly 400 shootings by officers that IPRA has investigated since its 2007 creation. The agency has found that just one, an off-duty incident, was unjustified.<br /><br />We asked IPRA to explain how it handles internal disagreements but did not get answers. We kept asking for the information and went ahead with our story, which broke the news of Davis&rsquo;s termination and led to a protest at the agency&rsquo;s headquarters three days later.<br /><br />&ldquo;The firing of Lorenzo Davis is yet another example of how IPRA continues to cover up crimes by officers of the Chicago Police Department,&rdquo; a protest leader said.</p><div class="image-insert-image">Later that day, IPRA delivered a written statement from Ando that said some of Davis&rsquo;s findings left out important evidence. The statement also included this line: &ldquo;No one at IPRA has ever been asked to change their findings.&rdquo;</div><p>That left us scratching our heads. We had already reported about Davis&rsquo;s final performance evaluation, which focused on his resistance to &ldquo;management directing him to change improper findings.&rdquo; We had seen the policy Ando had sent out, which threatened discipline for any investigator who refused to change a finding.<br /><br />Why would an agency&rsquo;s chief ban something he says never happens?<br /><br />We did everything we could to get an answer from the city. We called IPRA and Mayor Emanuel&rsquo;s office. We sent written questions to both. We asked to interview Ando.<br /><br />Almost a week later, IPRA sent us what it called a &ldquo;revised&rdquo; statement from Ando. It was the same as the other one &mdash; except it was missing the part about the agency never ordering investigators to change their findings.<br /><br />That left us wondering whether IPRA ought to be changing an investigator&rsquo;s findings in the first place.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Ando8cropsmall.jpg" style="float: left; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" title="Scott M. Ando, IPRA’s chief administrator. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" />Ando reports directly to Emanuel so we took the question to one of the mayor&rsquo;s press conferences.<br /><br />Emanuel listened to the question but did not specifically answer it. Instead he referred to a study he had commissioned. He called the study, completed last December, &ldquo;a total review of both IPRA, the Police Board, any kind of the oversight of police actions and misconduct.&rdquo;<br /><br />So we went to the study&rsquo;s main author, Ron Safer, a former top official of the U.S. attorney&rsquo;s office in Chicago.<br /><br />We asked again whether IPRA should be directing investigators to change their findings or whether it should stick to the practice in which a boss who disagrees with an investigator writes up an explanation for overturning the findings and leaves them in the file.</p><p>Safer pointed out that his study did not look at these questions. But he shared what he called his &ldquo;uninformed&rdquo; view: &ldquo;Often these are investigations where there are shades of gray and, always, where there are two sides to the story. The ultimate conclusion can be a matter of honest disagreement.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a good idea to have the investigators&rsquo; original thoughts &mdash; at least factual findings &mdash; in the record because the investigator is the closest person to the facts,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />Safer, again, is the expert the mayor led us to.<br /><br />And he is not the only one with that view. We found police-accountability agencies in other big cities that handle their internal disagreements that way. The Chicago Police Department&rsquo;s Internal Affairs Division does too.<br /><br />At IPRA, nevertheless, an investigator&rsquo;s findings will not stay in the record unless the agency&rsquo;s leaders want them to.<br /><br />That brings us back to Lorenzo Davis, the investigator IPRA fired after he did not go along with the bosses. &ldquo;Usually what they want said is [a finding] that the officer had a reasonable fear for his life and, therefore, the officer used deadly force,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />In some of his shooting cases, Davis insists, deadly force was not necessary.</p><p>What worries him now is not just that those findings will be overturned but that they will be erased &mdash; that there will be no sign they ever existed.</p><p><em>WBEZ&rsquo;s Lauren Chooljian contributed. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/cmitchell-0">Chip Mitchell</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s West Side bureau reporter. Follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/ChipMitchell1">@ChipMitchell1</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>, and connect with him through <a href="https://www.facebook.com/chipmitchell1">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://plus.google.com/111079509307132701769" rel="me">Google+</a> and <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/in/ChipMitchell1">LinkedIn</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 10 Aug 2015 23:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/fired-investigator-policy-change-could-help-cover-police-misconduct-112614 Gunfire erupts in Ferguson, Mo., on anniversary of Michael Brown shooting http://www.wbez.org/news/gunfire-erupts-ferguson-mo-anniversary-michael-brown-shooting-112605 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/ferguson-shooting_wide-39fb0c1d2e6e9195e94bcd91fb40712eebdb1c8c-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As events marking the anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown were winding down Sunday night, gunfire erupted in Ferguson, Mo., leaving a gunman in the hospital. Police say the suspect was not part of the weekend&#39;s rallies, which have been peaceful.</p><p>The shooting, in which dozens of rounds were reportedly fired, began near the intersection of Ferguson Avenue and West Florissant Avenue, the epicenter of last summer&#39;s standoffs between protesters and police.</p><p>Police say that the initial outburst of gunfire seemed to be between two groups, with as many as six people firing. Photos from the scene show two unmarked police cars with bullet holes.</p><p>St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said in a news conference that plainclothes officers pursued one of the suspects, who then fired upon them. Other officers were on the street, wearing riot gear.</p><p>The plainclothes officers returned fire, striking the suspect, Belmar said.</p><p>Belmar said the suspect is in surgery in &quot;critical ... unstable condition.&quot;</p><p>The four officers have been placed on administrative leave.</p><p>The shooting began around 11:10 p.m. local time, says&nbsp;<a href="http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/shots-fired-west-florissant-near-protest-one-year-after-michael-browns-death">St. Louis Public Radio</a>. The station reports, &quot;Protesters and police both ran toward Ferguson Avenue, away from West Florissant, after the shots rang out, leaving the streets mostly clear by 11:30.&quot;</p><p>Demonstrator Roberta Lynch, who held a cane as she ran from the shooting, told St. Louis Public Radio, &quot;We need to stop, too much has been going on, too many people getting murdered already. This is senseless.&quot;</p><p>Belmar described the individuals involved in the incident as &quot;criminals&quot; and distinguished them from protesters who are calling for positive changes in the community.</p><p>The shooting disrupted a march that was one of several events this weekend to mark the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black Ferguson resident who was unarmed when he was shot and killed by (now former) police officer Darren Wilson, who is white.</p><p>St. Louis Public Radio reports that another shooting &mdash; a drive-by attack &mdash; took place at a nearby apartment building several hours after the violence at West Florissant Avenue. That shooting left two young men injured.</p><p><u><em>&mdash; via <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/08/10/431135030/gunfire-erupts-in-ferguson-mo-following-anniversary-of-michael-brown-shooting">NPR&#39;s The Two-Way</a></em></u></p></p> Mon, 10 Aug 2015 09:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/gunfire-erupts-ferguson-mo-anniversary-michael-brown-shooting-112605 Whether History Or Hype, 'Hands Up, Don't Shoot' Endures http://www.wbez.org/news/whether-history-or-hype-hands-dont-shoot-endures-112603 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/gettyimages-453549732_wide-e8e7fa49d8f416119052d05d0f429dfc4cdff0d0-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>No one is certain exactly how the protest chant &quot;hands up, don&#39;t shoot&quot; got started, though Tory Russell says he has a good idea. Russell is co-founder of Hands Up United, an activist group which formed after the death of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., last August.</p><p>&quot;It came after Dorian Johnson, the guy that was with Mike Brown, and others said that Mike Brown had his hands up,&quot; Russell says.</p><p>As residents gathered where Brown&#39;s body lay for hours in the street, Russell says, a local activist, Brother Anthony Shahid, was on the scene. Russell recalls that as more police came, with dogs and weapons, Shahid said, &quot;My hands are up; don&#39;t shoot me.&quot; He and others began to chant.</p><p>&quot;So it&#39;s very organic, but it comes actually out of the story of the life and the death of Mike Brown Jr.,&quot; he says.</p><p>The idea of Brown being shot while his hands were raised in surrender would spread like wildfire on social media, and became a rallying cry and a mantra that inspired demonstrations across the country &mdash; even as the debate about the accuracy of the phrase continues.</p><p>The chant was used at a rally last August near the courthouse in Clayton, Mo., where civil rights activist Al Sharpton spoke to demonstrators.</p><p>&quot;And if you&#39;re angry, throw your arms up,&quot; Sharpton said. &quot;If you want justice, throw your arms up. If you want answers, throw your arms up, because that&#39;s the sign Michael was using.&quot;</p><div id="res430418543"><div>But Jeff Roorda, a spokesman for the St. Louis Police Officers&#39; Association, says that&#39;s not true.</div></div><p>&quot;Folks that want to cling to this &#39;hands up, don&#39;t shoot&#39; myth, it&#39;s just silly,&quot; Roorda says.</p><p>Roorda says he knows that the grand jury investigation, which concluded that Officer Darren Wilson should not be charged, included different sets of eyewitness accounts of the encounter between Wilson and Brown.</p><p>&quot;But the one set of accounts, including Darren&#39;s version of what happened out there, completely squares up with the physical evidence, with the ballistic evidence, with the forensic evidence, with the autopsy, and the other version just doesn&#39;t,&quot; he says.</p><p>Following its investigation, the Justice Department issued a scathing report about police practices and the court system in Ferguson, but it also cleared Darren Wilson of any civil rights violations in Brown&#39;s shooting death.</p><p>Then-Attorney General Eric Holder threw cold water on the hands-up scenario. But, Holder added, &quot;It remains not only valid but essential to question how such a strong alternative version of events was able to take hold so swiftly and to be accepted so readily.&quot;</p><p>Montague Simmons, head of the Organization for Black Struggle, a long-time activist group in St. Louis, says there&#39;s a reason why the hands-up chant continues to resonate. Simmons says frustration still lingers after George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon in February 2012,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/07/27/206023607/justice-for-trayvon-movement-struggles-to-find-focus">was acquitted</a>&nbsp;in July 2013.</p><p>&quot;I think it keyed into something that everybody&#39;s been feeling for a very long time,&quot; he says. &quot;I remember after Trayvon, and after the verdict, people just felt helpless.&quot;</p><p>Ferguson Mayor James Knowles says people are stuck in their positions about the hands-up issue &mdash; but the focus needs to be elsewhere.</p><p>&quot;At the end of the day, we want to make sure that our police officers and our community are safe,&quot; Knowles says, &quot;that our police officers engage the community in a way that&#39;s productive and respectful; that we can avoid incidents [like the one] that happened, if at all possible.&quot;</p><p>Roorda says a widespread acceptance of the hands-up narrative has caused problems.</p><p>&quot;Suddenly we have kids that are emboldened, and more than ever are non-compliant with the police and turning violent against the police, and that just means we&#39;re going to have more Michael Browns, not fewer,&quot; he says. &quot;That is the real tragedy here. Let &#39;hands up, don&#39;t shoot&#39; mean something positive. Let it mean, &#39;Hey, obey cops; comply with traffic stops.&#39; &quot;</p><p>Simmons has a much different take.</p><p>&quot;Just because I&#39;m black and male, and you may have thoughts that I am criminal or I am a threat, doesn&#39;t make it so, and doesn&#39;t give you an excuse to kill or injure me,&quot; he says. &quot;So I think that the slogan is still valid.&quot;</p></p> Sun, 09 Aug 2015 22:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/whether-history-or-hype-hands-dont-shoot-endures-112603