WBEZ | Criminal Justice http://www.wbez.org/news/criminal-justice Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Man Seeks Justice for Nearly Three Decades of Wrongful Imprisonment http://www.wbez.org/news/man-seeks-justice-nearly-three-decades-wrongful-imprisonment-114815 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_322425402157.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A man who spent 29 years in prison for a crime he did not commit is suing the Village of Park Forest and Cook County.</p><p>In a federal lawsuit, Christopher Abernathy, 49, claims he was coerced into confessing to the 1984 rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl. He claims two Park Forest police officers interrogated him for 36 hours, during which they physically abused him and promised that he could go home, if he adopted their version of events.</p><p>According to the lawsuit, Abernathy had his 19th birthday during the interrogation. He was a high school dropout with developmental and learning disabilities.</p><p>In 2014, Cook County State&rsquo;s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced she was reopening the investigation to test DNA evidence.</p><p>The DNA left behind at the crime scene belonged to two distinct men: Neither of them were Christopher Abernathy.</p><p>He was released from prison in February 2015.</p><p>Abernathy&rsquo;s attorneys say the near-three decades behind bars has caused such immense emotional damage, their client will never be the same.</p><p>The lawsuit names Cook County, The Village of Park Forest, former officers Carl Kuester and Donald Meyers and the prosecutor on the case, Paul Perry.</p><p>A press release from Abernathy&rsquo;s attorneys, Torreya Hamilton and Damon Cheronis, says they hope the lawsuit will bring some justice and some security as he learns to navigate the world.</p><p>&ldquo;A corrupt investigation into the horrific death of Kristina Hickey led to Chris Abernathy&rsquo;s<br />wrongful conviction,&rdquo; the release reads. &ldquo;The cell doors locked him into the brutal world of a maximum-security prison when he was just a teenager, and last year he walked out as a nearly 50-year-old man.&rdquo;</p><p>A spokesman for the village confirmed that officers Kuester and Meyers no longer work for Park Forest, but declined to comment further.</p><p>The Cook County State&rsquo;s Attorney&rsquo;s press office did not respond to questions.</p><p>No one else has been arrested for the rape and murder 15-year-old Kristina Hickey is still free.</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer and reporter. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/pksmid">@pksmid</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 16:23:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/man-seeks-justice-nearly-three-decades-wrongful-imprisonment-114815 Federal Grand Jury Said to Begin Hearing Evidence in Eric Garner Case http://www.wbez.org/news/federal-grand-jury-said-begin-hearing-evidence-eric-garner-case-114806 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/nycgarner.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A federal grand jury is said to have begun hearing evidence in the case of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died after he was placed in a chokehold by a white police officer, NPR&#39;s Joel Rose reports, citing two sources familiar with the investigation.</p><p>The grand jury is determining whether Officer Daniel Pantaleo violated Garner&#39;s civil rights as he moved to arrest him for allegedly selling loose cigarettes.</p><p>If you remember, a New York grand jury&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2014/12/03/368249828/reports-nyc-grand-jury-does-not-indict-officer-in-chokehold-case">declined to bring charges</a>&nbsp;against Garner back in December. Protestors took to the streets and in Washington, the Justice Department announced that it would launch a civil rights investigation into the case.</p><p>The Garner case first gained national attention in part because of video captured by a bystander. It showed Garner in headlock repeatedly telling Pantaleo that he could not breathe.</p><p>The New York Daily News,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/feds-case-cops-involved-eric-garner-death-article-1.2527515">which first reported the federal grand jury story</a>, says that the Justice Department brought in Forrest Christian, a veteran civil rights division prosecutor, to handle the case.</p><p>The paper adds:</p><blockquote><div><p>&quot;The convening of the grand jury is a monumental step in the federal investigation that was launched in December 2014 immediately after a state grand jury declined to prosecute Pantaleo. It is unclear whether Pantaleo will testify before the federal grand jury, but federal prosecutors can use his testimony before the state grand jury.</p><p>&quot;Christian is considered a rock star in the Justice Department. He received the Attorney General&#39;s Award for Exceptional Service for the successful prosecution of 10 New Orleans police officers convicted of fatally shooting innocent citizens on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina.&quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>Last summer,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/07/14/422881194/eric-garner-s-family-urges-justice-department-to-prosecute-officer">New York City reached a $5.9 million settlement</a>&nbsp;with Garner&#39;s family. During a press conference the, the family said they wanted Pantaleo to face federal charges.</p><p>&quot;They deserve to be prosecuted. They treated my husband like an animal,&quot; Garner&#39;s widow, Esaw Garner, said.</p><p>It&#39;s important to note that empaneling a grand jury does not guarantee that charges will follow.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/11/466407190/federal-grand-jury-said-to-begin-hearing-evidence-in-eric-garner-case?ft=nprml&amp;f=466407190"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 12:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/federal-grand-jury-said-begin-hearing-evidence-eric-garner-case-114806 Chicago Settles Bias Lawsuit Filed by Department of Justice http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-settles-bias-lawsuit-filed-department-justice-114800 <p><p>CHICAGO (AP) &mdash; Chicago&#39;s City Council has approved a $3.1 million settlement of a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Justice Department that alleged the police department&#39;s residency requirements discriminated against foreign-born applicants.</p><p>The agreement approved Wednesday requires Chicago to hire eight immigrants and compensate 47 others who were denied employment because of a rule requiring applicants to have lived in the United States for the previous 10 years.</p><p>The deal had its opponents. Alderman Nick Sposato, a former firefighter, said because it involves policing, the city needs to &quot;know what these people are like.&quot;</p><p>The Justice Department alleged the policy requiring applicants to live in the United States for at least 10 years was discriminatory. In 2011 the city lowered the requirement to five years.</p></p> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 16:45:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-settles-bias-lawsuit-filed-department-justice-114800 Charged with Murder, Indiana Politician Sits in Jail Collecting Paycheck http://www.wbez.org/news/east-chicago-not-sure-how-oust-councilman-accused-murder-114786 <p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">The East Chicago City Council began its Monday night meeting this week in usual fashion. With roll call. Eight council members were called. All answered present but a ninth did not. That&rsquo;s because Councilman Robert Battle did not attend the meeting.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">In fact, Battle hasn&rsquo;t been present for any meetings since October when he was charged with drug possession and murder. Despite the murder charges Battle won re-election to a second four-year term in November. He was sworn into office in January in the jail and according to the city attorney for East Chicago, the 42-year-old Battle, whose nickname is &ldquo;Coop,&rdquo; is currently collecting his $41,000 a year salary via direct deposit.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">Father seeks to oust councilman accused of murdering his son</span></strong></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Robert-Battle-3-web_0.jpg" style="float: right; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" title="Reimundo Camarillo Sr. holds up a photo of his son Reimundo Jr. who was allegedly murdered by East Chicago Councilman Robert Battle. Camarillo wants Battle removed from office. Camarillo is surrounded by family members, include his son’s widow, Maria (right). (By WBEZ/Michael Puente)" />&ldquo;What is he doing? Where is he at? Where can we get ahold of him,&rdquo; asks Reimundo Camarillo Sr. of East Chicago. Camarillo wonders how Battle can still be on the City Council while sitting in a jail an hour away.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">For Camarillo, this issue is personal. It was his son Reimundo Camarillo Jr., 31, who was allegedly shot in the back by Battle back in October.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">Camarillo showed up to a city council meeting this week to demand that Battle be thrown off the council. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>&ldquo;He&rsquo;s using our taxpayer&rsquo;s money for his lawyer,&rdquo; Camarillo said. &ldquo;I figured they could vote him out.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">But the East Chicago City Council hasn&rsquo;t voted him out and isn&rsquo;t likely to do so for a while. Council attorney Stephen Bower said Indiana state law is vague when it comes to the removal of an elected official. If the council makes the wrong move, it could be sued by Battle.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">&ldquo;The dilemma is the state statute only calls for automatic removal when convicted of a felony, not just charged,&rdquo; Bower said.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">Innocent till proven guilty</span></strong></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Robert Battle 1.jpg" style="float: right; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" title="East Chicago City Councilman Robert Battle (City of East Chicago)" />That&rsquo;s true in many places, including Chicago. A number of public officials have faced indictment but didn&rsquo;t step down until conviction. But often those indicted officials have been released on bond and are free to move around. Battle is not. He&rsquo;s being held at the Porter County Jail in Valparaiso where he will remain, since Indiana does not allow those charged with murder to bail out.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">Battle cannot accept phone calls and you have to be on a list to see him, according to Porter County Sheriff spokeswoman Sgt. Jamie Erow. All this adds up to Battle being unable to perform his duties as a councilman. But that may still not be enough, according to Bower, to remove him from office.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">&ldquo;You tell me where it is in the law that amount to unable to perform his duties. You see it&rsquo;s not defined,&rdquo; Bower said.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">Bad politics</span></strong></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">But the chairman of the Democratic Party of Lake County, Indiana isn&rsquo;t buying it.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">&ldquo;I think that&rsquo;s ridiculous,&rdquo; chairman John Buncich said. &ldquo;They are worried about being sued by him.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">Buncich, who also serves as the elected sheriff of Lake County, which includes East Chicago, said there is a state law that would allow Battle to be removed from office. He said he&rsquo;s tried to tell that to East Chicago officials but they have essentially ignored him.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">Buncich says the entire situation is making the Democratic party in Northwest Indiana look bad and he wants it to end.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">&ldquo;They should look out for the citizens of East Chicago and that&rsquo;s just not happening,&rdquo; Buncich said. &ldquo;Take the action that you have to take so that you can provide the service to the city of East Chicago and quit playing with this.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">Buncich says he has reached out Northwest Indiana&rsquo;s delegation at the Indiana Statehouse to pass a law in the coming weeks that would clearly define when an elected official can be removed from office.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">Meanwhile, in a</span> letter to constituents, Battle says he won&#39;t be &ldquo;shamed&rdquo; into inaction and will continue to work on issues that need to be addressed. He also writes in a second letter to his colleagues on the East Chicago City Council that he wants to continue to serve, maybe via video phone.</p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc4ed73d-cb91-5de0-6896-a62ae86208e9">Battle tells residents to email him or call him on a number provided in the letter. He did not return several voice mail messages and emails from WBEZ requesting comment. His attorney, Jack Friedlander of Chicago, says he has instructed his client not to talk to anybody. Friedlander also offered no comment.&nbsp;</span></p></p> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 08:23:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/east-chicago-not-sure-how-oust-councilman-accused-murder-114786 Dean Angelo Sr. Responds to Chicago Reader Article http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-09/dean-angelo-sr-responds-chicago-reader-article-114783 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/FOP_Flickr_Michael Kappel.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>Yesterday we discussed the Chicago Reader and City Bureau&rsquo;s detailed look at the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police&rsquo;s control of the local media narratives given by spokesman Pat Camden and how they perpetuate throughout the city&rsquo;s investigative process in the courtroom.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Dean Angelo Sr., president of the FOP, responds to the piece titled &ldquo;Fraternal Order of Propaganda.&rdquo;</div></p> Tue, 09 Feb 2016 22:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-09/dean-angelo-sr-responds-chicago-reader-article-114783 Fraternal Order of Propaganda http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-08/fraternal-order-propaganda-114769 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/FOP_Flickr_BigBull6.jpg" alt="" /><p><div><p>The immediate police account of what happened in the police-involved fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald has been proven false, and it&rsquo;s not the first incident.</p><p>There have been statements from the Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden on separate scenes about what transpired that contradict what videotapes have shown. City Bureau and the Reader detailed the FOP&rsquo;s control of the local media narratives and how they perpetuate throughout the city&rsquo;s investigative process into the courtroom. Yana Kunichoff of City Bureau explain their findings.</p></div><div class="truncatedAudioInfo__license" style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'Lucida Sans', Garuda, Verdana, Tahoma, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 15.2727px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;</div></p> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 22:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-08/fraternal-order-propaganda-114769 Could Hospital ERs Provide Missing Data On Police Shootings? http://www.wbez.org/news/could-hospital-ers-provide-missing-data-police-shootings-114759 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/istockER.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For the past two years, Joseph Richardson has been trying to figure out how to keep young black men with knife and gunshot wounds from turning up again with similar injuries at Prince George&#39;s Hospital Trauma Center outside Washington, D.C.</p><p>Richardson is director of the Violence Intervention Research Project at the trauma center. When these men are admitted, he shows up at their rooms to ask them to take part in his ongoing study on risk factors for repeat violent injuries. Sometimes he finds them handcuffed to a hospital bed, guarded by a police officer or two. Richardson has to walk away. The patients are under arrest and off-limits to him.</p><p><a href="http://aasd.umd.edu/facultyprofile/Richardson,%20Jr./Joseph">Richardson</a>&nbsp;is also a criminologist and associate professor at the University of Maryland. And recently, in the context of a national discussion about police violence, he got to thinking about the lack of access that kept him from asking these men what happened. How many of those handcuffed shooting victims had taken a bullet from a cop, he wondered?</p><p>With&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/09/08/how-many-police-shootings-a-year-no-one-knows/">scant data</a>&nbsp;on how many people are shot by police across the country every year, Richardson sees potential in hospital emergency departments. As a researcher he might not have direct access to patients under arrest, but the doctors and nurses certainly do. He&#39;s proposing that emergency departments step in and capitalize on that unique access to compile an alternative data source.</p><p><strong>Doctors And Nurses Could Ask: &#39;Who Shot You?&#39;</strong></p><p>Richardson views police violence as a public health issue and believes health care providers have a role to play in addressing it. The concept seems simple: At some point during a patient&#39;s visit, emergency department staffers ask patients who shot them, record their answers and report the information to state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p><p>He&#39;s not suggesting doctors and nurses investigate their patients&#39; claims, or that this self-reported data would even be completely accurate. After all, in quite a few cases it could be impossible to know who shot you.</p><p>Even so, Richardson says that some data are better than none. Hospital-reported numbers along with those recorded by police and media outlets could help define the true scope of police shootings.</p><p>In December, around the time Richardson floated his idea in the<em>&nbsp;Journal of Urban Health</em>,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/fbi-to-sharply-expand-system-for-tracking-fatal-police-shootings/2015/12/08/a60fbc16-9dd4-11e5-bce4-708fe33e3288_story.html">the FBI announced plans</a>&nbsp;to expand its database on violent police encounters. For the first time, the agency will collect information on serious injuries, not just fatalities. But it will continue to lean on voluntary reports by local police departments.</p><p>Richardson is skeptical that the federal government can solve the data problem. &quot;There has to be a more pioneering, innovative approach to doing it,&quot; he says. That&#39;s what he&#39;s trying to figure out. He notes that information about people who survive police shootings is especially elusive. &quot;The only way we would know that is either the police would have to report that or the hospitals would have to,&quot; he says. &quot;Up to this point, neither entity has done it.&quot;</p><p>Richardson points to a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19104090">2009 survey of academic emergency physicians</a>&nbsp;that found that almost all of them believed they&#39;d seen cases of excessive use of force by police but had largely failed to report them.</p><p>In interviews with the emergency department staff at Prince George&#39;s, he found that the overwhelming majority said the hospital has an ethical responsibility to record and report police-involved shootings. But doctors and nurses raised concerns about the logistics and consequences.</p><p>Some said it would be difficult to put into practice a standardized approach to collecting the information. Others felt patients weren&#39;t likely to open up to trauma staff &mdash; especially given the presence of police anytime a victim is under arrest. Still others worried they&#39;d be dragged into court to testify if they implicated the police.</p><p><strong>Can Hospitals Balance Care And Reporting On Shootings?</strong></p><p>Logistics aside, what looms over Richardson&#39;s proposal is a philosophical divide over the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-02/working-shift-ask-er-doctor-114674">role of the hospital and its staff.</a></p><p>As American College of Emergency Physicians board member James Augustine sees it, muddling a hospital&#39;s mission is bad for patients. &quot;The hospital is not a good place for legal and law enforcement activities to infringe on people&#39;s rights for health care,&quot; says the veteran emergency medicine doctor. &quot;In the emergency setting, this is not a priority.&quot;</p><p>But he doesn&#39;t dismiss the idea outright. The health care system plays a vital role in amassing data, he says. In fact, many trauma centers already collect reams of information and submit it to the National Trauma Data Bank. Stripped of names, it&#39;s used to track everything from auto accidents to clothing-related burns. It might be feasible to add information about violent police encounters to those data collection efforts, Augustine says.</p><p>David Livingston, chief of trauma at University Hospital in Newark, agrees that when it comes to collecting information, hospitals could help. &quot;Emergency departments are the canary in the coal mine of health in our communities,&quot; he says. &quot;They&#39;re a unique public health resource to gather data.&quot;</p><p>But there are serious limitations. Two years ago, Livingston and his colleagues analyzed more than 6,000 gunshot wounds treated at his hospital and found that his own trauma unit&#39;s database didn&#39;t account for nearly 20 percent of them. It turned out the emergency department, not trauma, had handled these relatively minor injuries and Livingston and his co-workers only discovered them when they scoured that department&#39;s billing records.</p><p>As for Richardson&#39;s proposal, Livingston says it could work in theory. &quot;Is it economically and logistically feasible?&quot; he asks. &quot;We&#39;d like to think it is, but I have my doubts.&quot; Getting detailed information would probably require dedicated staff, he says, and that&#39;s expensive. But he&#39;s quick to point out that similar data on cancer, heart disease, smoking, obesity and other conditions has been collected, with the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation footing the bill. &quot;In that respect,&quot; he says, &quot;Dr. Richardson&#39;s contention to put this on trauma centers is shirking the government&#39;s responsibility.&quot;</p><p>Still, Richardson suggests a place to start:&nbsp;<a href="http://nnhvip.org/">hospital-based violence intervention programs</a>. Only about 30 hospitals in the U.S. have these special programs aimed at curbing readmission for violent crimes, but Richardson sees them as prime candidates for pilot projects.</p><p>For University of California, San Francisco trauma surgeon Rochelle Dicker, who heads up the&nbsp;<a href="http://violenceprevention.surgery.ucsf.edu/">violence intervention program</a>&nbsp;at San Francisco General Hospital, keeping tabs on police violence seems like a natural extension of the work her team already does. &quot;Part of our responsibility as physicians is to not just to do the traditional &#39;treat and street,&#39; but to really get to the issues at hand and address violence in a more comprehensive way.&quot; In order to do that, she says, accurate information is key.</p><p>&quot;The work is provocative,&quot; she says of Richardson&#39;s proposal, and it will get people talking. &quot;I applaud the author for taking that first step and opening the door.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/02/04/465568899/could-hospital-ers-provide-missing-data-on-police-shootings?ft=nprml&amp;f=465568899" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 13:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/could-hospital-ers-provide-missing-data-police-shootings-114759 Chicago Teen's Death Shines Light on Police 'Code of Silence' http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-teens-death-shines-light-police-code-silence-114758 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/3828403109_4e3bb2576c_z_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>CHICAGO (AP)-For more than a year after an officer shot and killed a black teen named Laquan McDonald, the Chicago Police Department had video footage that raised serious doubts about whether other officers at the scene tried in their reports to cover up what prosecutors now contend was murder.</p><p>Not until 15 months later was one of those officers and a detective who concluded the shooting was justified put on desk duty. At least eight other officers failed to recount the same scene that unfolded on the video. All of them remain on the street, according to the department.</p><p>The lack of swift action illustrates the difficulty of confronting the <a href="https://soundcloud.com/wbez/emanuels-testimony-sought-in-federal-code-of-silence-lawsuit">&quot;code of silence&quot; </a>that has long been associated with police in Chicago and elsewhere.</p><p>The obstacles include disciplinary practices that prevent the police chief himself from firing problem officers and a labor contract that prevents officers from being held accountable if a video surfaces that contradicts their testimony.</p><p>&quot;If they are not going to analyze officers&#39; reports and compare them to objective evidence like the video,<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/how-fed-source-sparked-federal-investigation-chicago-114105"> why would the officers ever stop lying</a>?&quot; asked Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor who helped force the city to release the video.</p><p>Of the eight officers, six said they did not see who fired, and three depicted McDonald as more threatening than he appeared. One claimed the teen tried to get up with a knife still in his hand. The footage clearly showed him falling down and lying motionless on the pavement.</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/jason-van-dyke">Jason Van Dyke,</a> who emptied his entire 16-round magazine into McDonald, is now awaiting trial on first-degree murder charges. He has been suspended without pay while the department tries to fire him.</p><p>City officials say they are cracking down on traditions associated with the code and even questioning applicants for police superintendent about how they would stop officers from lying to protect colleagues.</p><p>Chicago isn&#39;t the only major city where officers sworn to tell the truth are suspected of covering for each other. In Los Angeles, three sheriff&#39;s deputies were convicted last year of beating a handcuffed jail visitor and then trying to cover it up. In that case, a plea bargain with two former deputies helped prosecutors expose what they said was a code of silence.</p><p>The head of Chicago&#39;s police union dismisses<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-releases-thousands-emails-fatal-police-shooting-114334"> talk of a code</a>.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s not 1954 anymore,&quot; Dean Angelo said. &quot;With cameras everywhere, in squad cars, on everyone&#39;s cellphone ... officers aren&#39;t going to make a conscious effort to engage in conduct that puts their own livelihoods at risk.&quot;</p><p>But the scrutiny that followed McDonald&#39;s death reveals a system that makes it difficult to fire problem officers and reduces their punishment or delays it for months or years after their reports are exposed as lies.</p><p>The code of silence also figured into another video: footage of off-duty officer Anthony Abbate pummeling a bartender. Officers who responded to the 911 call did not include in their reports the bartender&#39;s contention that she was attacked by an officer named Tony, according to testimony in federal court. A jury in 2012 awarded her $850,000 and concluded there was a code of silence.</p><p>Like other police departments, Chicago&#39;s police force has long insisted that it doesn&#39;t tolerate dishonesty. When <a href="https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20160106/downtown/inside-chicago-police-union-contract-document-shows-rules-of-force">allegations surface about officers lying</a> in a report, they are stripped of their police powers and assigned to desk duty pending the outcome of an internal probe, department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.</p><p>If the investigation determines the officer was, in fact, dishonest, the department says it moves, without exception, to have that person fired.</p><p>However, unlike New York, Baltimore and other cities, Chicago&#39;s police superintendent cannot independently dismiss an officer. That decision belongs to the Chicago Police Board, whose nine civilian members are appointed by the mayor.</p><p>It is not unusual for the board to reject recommendations of the superintendent and the city&#39;s Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates police shootings.</p><p>That happened when former Superintendent Garry McCarthy recommended sergeant and a lieutenant be fired for lying in their reports about the accidental discharge of pepper spray in a restaurant. The board agreed that the two had lied but decided to suspend them each for 30 days.</p><p>Critics say officers are emboldened to cover up their own misdeeds and those of others because the code extends to City Hall. In the case of the beaten bartender, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel&#39;s administration responded to the verdict by asking a judge to throw out the jury&#39;s finding because it would set a precedent for potentially costly future lawsuits.</p><p>The police union contract also plays a role. It includes a provision that officers who are not shown video of alleged misconduct before being interviewed cannot be disciplined for lying about the recorded events.</p><p>&quot;All of this sends a message to police who abuse their police powers that they can operate with impunity,&quot; said the Rev. Marshall Hatch, a prominent local minister.</p><p>The issue came to a head in the McDonald case. Weeks after the shooting, Futterman, the law professor, and a journalist publicly urged the city to release the video. A few months later, a detective concluded that the shooting was justifiable homicide by an officer trying to protect his own life, and that the dashboard camera video was consistent with witness accounts.</p><p>Emails between City Hall and the police department and others make it clear that the mayor&#39;s office was aware of concerns about the officers&#39; truthfulness. But there is no indication in the emails that Mayor Rahm Emanuel&#39;s office demanded or even suggested that someone compare the video with the police reports. Instead, Emanuel&#39;s office chose to wait for the results of federal and local probes, mayoral spokesman Adam Collins.</p><p>Guglielmi said that the McDonald case highlights the need for the department to pay closer attention to any discrepancies between videos and written police reports.</p><p>Hatch is skeptical, pointing out that not only are all the officers still getting paid, but Van Dyke himself drew a paycheck while working for 13 months until he was charged.</p><p>&quot;Nobody ever said, &#39;Wait a minute, these officers who filed reports inconsistent with the facts are all still working, including the officer who shot the kid 16 times,&#39;&quot; he said. &quot;Accountability in cases of police misconduct, it just doesn&#39;t exist.&quot;</p></p> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 12:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-teens-death-shines-light-police-code-silence-114758 No Comment From Grinning Martin Shkreli at House Hearing on Drug Prices http://www.wbez.org/news/no-comment-grinning-martin-shkreli-house-hearing-drug-prices-114734 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/drugs.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res465557408" previewtitle="Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, smiles beside Nancy Retzlaff, Turing's chief commercial officer, during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, smiles beside Nancy Retzlaff, Turing's chief commercial officer, during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/02/04/gettyimages-508357106_wide-5bdb51c7a02e95576bc7d2952a642b40ed4eb70e-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, smiles beside Nancy Retzlaff, Turing's chief commercial officer, during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical executive who inspired wrath <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-09-22/drug-used-cost-1350-tablet-now-costs-750-can-be-justified-113032">when he raised the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000 percent</a>, appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday for a hearing on prescription drug prices.</p></div></div></div><p>But his testimony was far from fruitful.</p><p>You may remember that Shkreli, the founder and former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, became infamous last year. His company bought the rights to the drug Daraprim, which treats a deadly parasitic infection, and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/09/23/442907028/turing-pharmaceuticals-retreats-from-plan-to-raise-price-of-daraprim">raised the price from $13 a pill to $750 a pill</a>. The company later backed off that increase, but Shkreli defended the decision as simply a good business decision.</p><div id="res465557843"><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>Separately, he&#39;s been&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/17/460092620/reports-fbi-arrests-turing-pharmaceuticals-ceo-shkreli-on-fraud-charges">arrested for fraud</a>&nbsp;over a hedge fund he managed from 2009 to 2014. In December, he&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/18/460288856/martin-shkreli-resigns-as-turing-pharmaceuticals-ceo">resigned as Turing&#39;s chief executive</a>.</p><p>Shkreli appeared before the House committee on Thursday to discuss drug pricing. The hearing also featured testimony from Dr. Janet Woodcock and Keith Flanagan of the FDA, Howard Schiller of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (which also&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/12/09/458976680/senate-questions-egregious-price-hikes-for-specialty-medicines">has been criticized over its price hikes</a>), Nancy Retzlaff of Turing and Mark Merritt of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.</p><p>In Turing&#39;s defense, Retzlaff said that two-thirds of patients receive Daraprim at a steep discount through government programs, and that the company funds an assistance program for uninsured, low-income patients.</p><p>Shkreli was much more tight-lipped. His lawyer had advised him to plead the Fifth. And Shkreli followed that advice to the letter.</p><p>After Shkreli declined to give an opening statement, here&#39;s how the first exchange went:</p><blockquote><div><p>Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the committee:&nbsp;&quot;What do you say to that single pregnant woman who might have AIDS, no income, she needs Daraprim in order to survive. What do you say to her when she has to make that choice? What do you say to her?&quot;</p><p>Shkreli:&nbsp;&quot;On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and respectfully decline to answer your question.&quot;</p><p>...</p><p>Chaffetz:&nbsp;&quot;Do you think you&#39;ve done anything wrong?&quot;</p><p>Shkreli:&nbsp;&quot;On the advice of counsel,&quot; (pausing for a moment) &quot;I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and respectfully decline to answer your question.&quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>Shkreli confirmed the pronunciation of his name, but otherwise refused to answer all questions directed his way &mdash; even one about his exclusive hip-hop album. (Shkreli bought&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/09/459059359/sole-copy-of-latest-wu-tang-album-was-sold-to-pharma-bro">the sole copy</a>&nbsp;of the Wu-Tang Clan album&nbsp;Once Upon A Time In Shaolin.Months after he bought it,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-martin-shkreli-wu-tang-clan-album/">he said</a>&nbsp;he still hadn&#39;t listened to the album, but&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vice.com/video/drinking-wine-and-playing-chess-at-martin-shkrelis-midtown-apartment">he did play it for a Vice reporter</a>.)</p><p>Shkreli isn&#39;t usually so reticent. He has been&nbsp;<a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2015/12/03/what-martin-shkreli-says-now-i-shouldve-raised-prices-higher/#298d30321964">outspoken</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2015/12/03/what-martin-shkreli-says-now-i-shouldve-raised-prices-higher/#298d30321964">unapologetic</a>&nbsp;in his conversations with reporters &mdash; and his&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8gjB1PSXv_oAUSAQ16S0fA">live video streams</a>&nbsp;from his apartment.</p><p>In fact, his new lawyer has said he agreed to represent Shkreli on one condition: The 32-year-old had to stop granting interviews with the press.</p><p>A visibly frustrated Rep. Trey Gowdy pointed out that Shkreli could answer a wide range of questions without incriminating himself.</p><p>&quot;I intend to follow the advice of my counsel, not yours,&quot; the former pharmaceutical executive said with a tight smile.</p><p>&quot;Well, Mr. Chairman, I am vexed,&quot; Gowdy said, pointing to Shkreli&#39;s readiness to talk to the press, but not to Congress.</p><p>Rep. Elijah Cummings, for his part, didn&#39;t even attempt to question Shkreli, and instead pleaded with him &mdash; arguing that Shkreli could use his position, and his influence over his former company, as a force for good. Cummings said Shkreli could use his influence to advocate for patients&#39; rights and could &quot;make a difference in so many people&#39;s lives.&quot;</p><p>&quot;I know you&#39;re smiling,&quot; Cummings said, &quot;But I&#39;m very serious, sir. The way I see it, you can go down in history as the poster boy for greedy drug company executives, or you could change the system.</p><p>&quot;Yeah,&nbsp;you.&quot;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="437" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BPPerZLjp4M" width="777"></iframe></p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/04/465548279/no-comment-from-grinning-martin-shkreli-at-house-hearing-on-drug-prices?ft=nprml&amp;f=465548279"><em>&mdash;via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/no-comment-grinning-martin-shkreli-house-hearing-drug-prices-114734 Bodies of Six People Found Inside Home on Chicago's South Side http://www.wbez.org/news/bodies-six-people-found-inside-home-chicagos-south-side-114707 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/3828403109_4e3bb2576c_z_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Death investigation underway. 57th and California . Interim Superintendent is on scene <a href="https://t.co/a6hedmJSEY">pic.twitter.com/a6hedmJSEY</a></p>&mdash; Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) <a href="https://twitter.com/Chicago_Police/status/695351271184687104">February 4, 2016</a></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><p>CHICAGO&nbsp;(AP) &mdash;&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;police say the bodies of four men, one woman and a child have been found inside a home on the city&#39;s South Side.</p><p>The Latest on six people found dead in a house on&nbsp;Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;South Side (all times local):</p><p><strong>12:50 p.m.</strong></p><p>A woman who lives next door to a&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;home where six people were found dead says the victims were &quot;nice, quiet people.&quot;</p><p>Chicago&nbsp;police found the bodies of two children, ages 10 and 13, two men and two women in a home Thursday on the city&#39;s South Side. Authorities say the victims suffered blunt force trauma.</p><p>On Friday, next-door neighbor Mayra Diego said the family members were peaceful people who would come over and visit her mother.</p><p>Diego remembered the children playing with a ball and the family having summer gatherings. She lamented that neighbors like herself couldn&#39;t have done something or noticed anything that would have stopped the killings.</p><p>Autopsies on the victims were planned Friday.</p><p><strong>8 a.m.</strong></p><p>Chicago&nbsp;police say the six people found dead in a home on the city&#39;s South Side appear to be members of the same family.</p><p>Chief of Detectives Eugene Roy says investigators believe they know the victims&#39; identities. But he says authorities won&#39;t release that information until a relative has formally identified them and an autopsy has been finished.</p><p>Roy told reporters Friday that there were no signs of gunfire at the scene and that the victims died of blunt force trauma. He added that officers found the home&#39;s doors locked and there was no sign of a break-in.</p><p>Officers discovered the bodies Thursday, and police said the case was being treated as a multiple homicide.</p><p><strong>7:45 a.m.</strong></p><p>Chicago&nbsp;police say two women, two men and two children aged 10 and 13 were found dead inside a home on the city&#39;s South Side.</p><p>Chicago&nbsp;Police Chief of Detective Eugene Roy said Friday morning that the victims suffered blunt trauma. The bodies were found Thursday afternoon. Police initially said four men, a woman and a child were killed.</p><p>Roy says the victims&#39; identities will be released after the Cook County medical examiner performs autopsies Friday morning.</p><p>He says there was no sign of forced entry to the residence. He says the victims weren&#39;t bound and that the home didn&#39;t appear ransacked.</p><p>Interim&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Police Superintendent John Escalante said Thursday that the case appeared to be an isolated incident and that there was no wider threat to the community.</p></p> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 15:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/bodies-six-people-found-inside-home-chicagos-south-side-114707