WBEZ | Chicago Police Department http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-police-department Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en How strictly do Chicago police enforce bike traffic laws? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/how-strictly-do-chicago-police-enforce-bike-traffic-laws-112992 <p><p>If you ride a bike, ask yourself: Do you stop at every stop sign? How about every red light? If the answer is no to either of those, well, technically you&rsquo;re breaking the law.</p><p>But it&rsquo;s the more egregious behavior from cyclists &mdash; weaving through cars, cutting people off, running red lights despite oncoming traffic &mdash; which our questioner,<a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/how-strictly-do-chicago-police-enforce-bike-traffic-laws-112992#lowy"> Chicagoan Ron Lowy</a>, sees all too often.</p><p>Sometimes he&rsquo;s even looked on as cyclists bike the wrong direction down a bike lane, no hands on the handlebars, while text messaging. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not making this up,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>Lowy is a cab driver, usually considered the sworn enemy of bicyclists. But here&rsquo;s the thing: Lowy is also a dedicated cyclist. He commutes by bike almost everyday and rides for pleasure and exercise. But what he sees around him, at times, looks incredibly dangerous, enough for him to ask Curious City:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>How strictly do Chicago police enforce bike traffic laws?</em></p><p>Getting an answer to Lowy&rsquo;s question matters because, for one, Chicago streets are not as safe as they could be. <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-bike-deaths-illinois-met-20141027-story.html">A 2014 safety report found that Illinois</a> had the fifth-highest number of bicyclist fatalities in the nation, a total of 29 in 2012, a steady increase from previous two years. In Chicago, the number of deaths of bicyclists has<a href="http://www.redeyechicago.com/news/local/redeye-fatal-bike-crashes-chicago-20150111-story.html"> surged in the past two years</a>, from three in 2013 to eight in 2014. It&rsquo;s a troubling shift the city&rsquo;s transportation commissioner calls &ldquo;significant.&rdquo; If one aim of bike traffic law is to prevent dangerous behavior on the part of bicyclists, it&rsquo;s fair to ask how often police nab offenders.</p><p>But here&rsquo;s another reason to consider how strictly the city enforces its bike rules: The city&rsquo;s encouraging residents to ride bikes and even commute by bike. If those long-term plans pan out, Chicago could see more and more bicyclists on the road, competing with cars and pedestrians for space.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Measuring enforcement</span></p><p>First, some bad news. Ideally, it would be best to answer Lowy&rsquo;s question with precise figures about how many bicyclists are on Chicago streets, then follow with an apples-to-apples comparison of how often police ticket riders versus how often they ticket motorists. The data we have in hand can&rsquo;t tell that story, but &mdash; and here&rsquo;s the good news &mdash; we did obtain data on how often the city enforces bike traffic laws and what types of behavior attract tickets.</p><p>Responding to<a href="http://llnw.wbez.org//bike%20laws%20CPD%20FOIA%20response%201.pdf" target="_blank"> our Illinois Freedom Of Information request</a>, the Chicago Police Department reports issuing 13,150 traffic-related tickets to bicyclers between 2006 and August of this year. &nbsp;(<a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/how-strictly-do-chicago-police-enforce-bike-traffic-laws-112992#trends">Here are the trends</a> and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/how-strictly-do-chicago-police-enforce-bike-traffic-laws-112992#type">breakdown by ticket type</a>)</p><p>What to make of this figure, though? Have the thousands of tickets issued by the CPD translated into an awareness of bike traffic enforcement?</p><p>To get a better sense of this, we head to <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoCriticalMass">Critical Mass</a>, a monthly mass ride through downtown Chicago that doubles as a rally for greener modes of transport. There, we ask folks their impressions of bike laws and how the city enforces them.</p><p>Among the crowd, we ask a cyclist named Lily whether she&rsquo;d ever gotten a ticket on her bike.</p><p>&ldquo;No, you can get a ticket? I didn&rsquo;t know you could get a ticket,&rdquo; she says.</p><p>When asked what she thinks might warrant a ticket for a traffic violation, she provides a short list: &ldquo;Improper crossing? Improper turning? Running stop signs. Running over people?&rdquo;</p><p>(Yup, yup, yup, and yup. These are all ticketable.) &nbsp;</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/TICKET%20DUO%20FOR%20WEB.png" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Michael Gilewicz got a $70 ticket at the intersection of Addison and Clark streets and carries it around with him. (WBEZ/John Fecile)" /></div><p>At the same Critical Mass event, we manage to find Michael Gilewicz, who got a $70 ticket at the intersection of Addison and Clark streets. The ticket is such a novelty to him that he carries it around, almost like a trophy. Whipping it out, he explains that he&rsquo;d gotten pulled over for speeding, biking against the flow of traffic and disobeying red lights. Michael says when the judge read off the list of infractions, he looked at her and laughed.</p><p>&ldquo;Yeah, I was,&rdquo; he laughs.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://llnw.wbez.org//bike laws indesign.pdf" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rulestobikeby.png" style="height: 225px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Continue to see our own version of Chicago's bike rules" /></a></div><p>The apparently low level of awareness of tickets or ticketing comes as no surprise to Ron Burke, the executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance, a local organization advocating for better biking, walking and transit.</p><p>&ldquo;There is too little enforcement of traffic policies across the board in Chicago and even in the suburbs,&rdquo; Burke says. &ldquo;Whether that&rsquo;s the case for people driving, walking and even riding a bike.&rdquo;</p><p>Burke says that while well over 90 percent of traffic injuries and fatalities are caused by motorists, bike behavior factors in, too. It&rsquo;s important, he says, that we encourage good behavior across the board. And that, he adds, is done by enforcing the road rules and issuing hefty fines for those who don&rsquo;t follow them.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><a name="type"></a>When city police enforce bike laws, what are they targeting?</span></p><p>In Illinois, traffic laws apply to cyclists, so when CPD targets cyclists, it&#39;s for those state statutes as well as city ordinances that apply to bikes.</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/Number_of_reported_bicycle_violations_by_type%2C_2006-2015-__chartbuilder.png" style="height: 299px; width: 620px;" title="" /></div><p>Within the 9 years of CPD data available to us, &nbsp;the most frequent violation is <a href="http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/title9vehiclestrafficandrailtransportati/chapter9-52bicycles-operation?f=templates$fn=altmain-nf.htm$q=[field%20folio-destination-name:%279-52-010%27]$x=Advanced#JD_9-52-010">9-52-020, &ldquo;Riding bicycles on sidewalks and certain roadways.&rdquo;</a> (The ordinance covers riding on certain non-bikeable roads like Lake Shore Drive, but the vast majority of infractions involve sidewalks). Similar data obtained from Chicago&rsquo;s Department of Administrative Hearings show that over the past year, tickets for riding on the sidewalk are way up. In fact, between 2013 and 2014 sidewalk-riding violations more than doubled, to 4,467 from 2,082.</p><p>Burke says that while enforcement is lacking everywhere, when cyclists do get ticketed it&rsquo;s usually the riders who are doing the most dangerous types of riding.</p><p>&ldquo;Riding fast on a sidewalk in a crowded pedestrian environment,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Blasting through an intersection and potentially hitting a pedestrian.&rdquo;</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><a name="trend"></a>A trend in Chicago&rsquo;s bike enforcement</span></p><p>In recent years, as the number for cyclists rise, Chicago and other cities around the country have started to ticket more frequently.</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/Number_of_reported_bicycle_violations_by_year%2C_2006-2015-_Amount_chartbuilder.png" style="height: 349px; width: 620px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" title="" /></div><p>The Chicago Department of Transportation and city police have been conducting stakeouts around the city, targeting intersections with high crash rates. There, they crack down on risky behavior of bicyclists and motorists.</p><p>CDOT and the police are conducting more and more of these safety stakeouts. According to CDOT data, they&rsquo;ve already hit a record so far this year: 126 stakeouts, with more than 2,000 warnings given to cyclists. The first year the city began recording the events, in 2011, they conducted just 62 such stakeouts. &nbsp;</p><p>Incidentally, some Chicago-area suburbs are seeing the same trend in enforcement. Several North Shore communities have also started cracking down on group cycling. This summer, from late July and into August, the <a href="http://www.cityhpil.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=429">Highland Park Police Department joined forces with four other city police departments</a> to conduct enforcement and education stops for cyclists and motorists. The action came after the departments received numerous citizen complaints about cyclists&rsquo; behavior along several well-traveled North Shore paths.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Fostering a cycling culture</span></p><p>As Chicago ramps up its bike enforcement, it&rsquo;s also encouraging more residents to bike. It&rsquo;s busy building a better cycling infrastructure with two-way bike lanes with their own traffic lights. It also launched <a href="https://www.divvybikes.com/about">the bike sharing program, Divvy</a>, and placed bike borrowing stations across the city.</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/flickr-chicago%20bicycle%20program%20infrastructure%20making%20FOR%20WEB.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="Chicago bicycling infrastructure is improving, but cyclists are often confused about bike laws. (Flickr/Chicago Bicycle Program)" /></div><p>Still, all this momentum raises the question: If the city is investing so much in a better biking culture, shouldn&rsquo;t it be even more explicit and consistent about what type of behavior it expects from cyclists?</p><p>Burke says it should and he credits the city for conducting the high-profile stakeouts. He says he&rsquo;s impressed with how much the city has increased them while at the same time including the ATA and their <a href="http://chicagocompletestreets.org/your-safety/education-encouragement/ambassadors/">Bike Ambassador program</a> in the stakeouts. This approach, he says, makes these enforcement actions educational as well.</p><p>But Burke also predicts that over time, more and more cyclists will follow the rules of the road. He chalks it up to &ldquo;pack mentality.&rdquo;<a href="http://www.ucdenver.edu/about/newsroom/newsreleases/Pages/More-cyclists-on-road-can-mean-less-collisions.aspx"> As more people bike, they are more likely to comply</a> with common sense safety and less likely to be influenced by the few rogue cyclists who choose to ignore the law.</p><p>&ldquo;You get more people on bikes. You actually start to get better behavior on average of cyclists,&rdquo; Burke says.</p><p>What&rsquo;s more, data suggest that<a href="http://www.cpr.org/news/story/some-cyclists-obey-laws-some-dont-cu-denver-researcher-wants-know-why?utm_source=Facebook&amp;utm_medium=Social&amp;utm_campaign=FBCPR5434"> better biking infrastructure also builds more complaint riders</a>. Just six months after the city built the two-way protected bike lanes on Dearborn Street, complete with their own traffic signals, compliance with red light traffic laws<a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-06-10/classified/ct-met-getting-around-0610-20130610_1_cyclists-signals-bike-traffic"> was up 161 percent</a>, according to the city.</p><p><a name="lowy"></a>Our questioner, Ron Lowy, says he thinks despite the shiny new bike lanes, some folks will always choose to break the law. That is, until Chicago takes a stand.</p><p>&ldquo;They ride carelessly because they know they&#39;re not going to get fined for it,&rdquo; Lowy says of reckless cyclists. &ldquo;But the bottom line is you can&#39;t blame anybody but the city of Chicago.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/question%20asker%20FOR%20WEB_0.jpg" style="height: 394px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="Questioner Ron Lowy at WBEZ. " /><span style="font-size:24px;">About our questioner</span></p><p>A self-described &ldquo;man about town dude&rdquo;, Ron Lowy is a musician, cab driver and bicycle advocate.</p><p>Lowy lives in Uptown, but drives his cab all around the city. And over the years, he&rsquo;s seen quite a few accidents of bicyclists hitting cars, cars hitting cyclists, cyclists hitting pedestrians. &ldquo;A majority of them,&rdquo; he says, &ldquo;was not the car&#39;s&rsquo; fault.&rdquo;</p><p>Lowy agrees with the ATA&rsquo;s Ron Burke; more enforcement would make cyclists, pedestrians and motorists safer. But he is also more nuanced about whether bikes and cars should be treated as equals&mdash;subject to all of the same rules of the road.</p><p>&ldquo;Depending on the situation, bikes are a different story than cars,&rdquo; Lowy says. He believes crowded and highly trafficked thoroughfares should be tightly enforced. But side streets, during off peak hours when there is little traffic, not so much. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;I&#39;d be lying if I said I never disobeyed the law,&rdquo; Lowy says. &ldquo;[But] I don&#39;t run red lights. I&#39;ll run neighborhood stop signs, but I slow down dramatically and look&hellip;common sense is a big part of this.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Meribah Knight is a freelance journalist in Chicago and reports for WBEZ&rsquo;s Curious City. Follow her at<a href="http://meribahknight.com"> meribahknight.com</a> and on Twitter at <a href="https://www.twitter.com/meribah">@meribah</a>.</em></p><p><em>Curious City intern John Fecile provided research and reporting for this story.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 18 Sep 2015 16:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/how-strictly-do-chicago-police-enforce-bike-traffic-laws-112992 Mayor Emanuel refuses to weigh in on discipline for cops in salon video http://www.wbez.org/news/mayor-emanuel-refuses-weigh-discipline-cops-salon-video-112884 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Salon IPRA_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is refusing to discuss a 25-day suspension being recommended for a cop caught on video yelling racist comments.</p><p>&ldquo;Well the review process is not done, so I&rsquo;m not going to weigh in,&quot; Emanuel said at a press conference Wednesday. &quot;Once IPRA made its recommendations that process of analysis as well as, shall we say, what type of punishment, if any should be done, is not finished and when that&rsquo;s done I&rsquo;ll comment on that.&rdquo;</p><blockquote><p><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 17.5636348724365px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/three-police-officers-asian-salon-raid-recommended-suspension-112786" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150); outline: 0px;">Three police officers in Asian salon raid recommended for suspension</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>In the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/asian-american-activists-seek-firing-cops-parlor-video-112848">videotaped arrest</a> of Jessica Klyzek, an Asian American woman working at a tanning salon raided by police in July 2013, Detective Gerald Di Pasquale yelled at Klyzek, &ldquo;You&rsquo;re not f***ing American. I&rsquo;ll put you in a UPS box and send you back to wherever the f*** you came from.&rdquo;</p><p>Di Pasquale also threatens to shut down the tanning salon where Klyzek worked and said, &ldquo;Then whoever owns it, will f***ing kill you because they don&rsquo;t care about you, OK! I&rsquo;ll take this building. You&rsquo;ll be dead and your family will be dead.&rdquo;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9bwfdIrb3i0" width="420"></iframe></p><p>Another officer, Frank Messina, struck Klyzek on the head while she was handcuffed and on her knees, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/three-police-officers-asian-salon-raid-recommended-suspension-112786">according to the Independent Police Review Authority</a>, which investigates allegations of police misconduct. IPRA is recommending a 25-day suspension for Di Pasquale and an 8-day suspension for Messina.</p><p>Asian-American community members are <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/asian-american-activists-seek-firing-cops-parlor-video-112848">calling on</a> Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to fire the officers.&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 09 Sep 2015 22:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/mayor-emanuel-refuses-weigh-discipline-cops-salon-video-112884 Asian-American activists seek firing of cops in parlor video http://www.wbez.org/news/asian-american-activists-seek-firing-cops-parlor-video-112848 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Amy Tran.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Asian-American activists in Chicago are expressing outrage over the lack of punishment being recommended by the city agency that investigates police misconduct. Their anger goes back to a 2013 raid on a massage parlor where police arrested Jessica Klyzek, the manager of the salon. The incident was caught on tape, and Klyzek can be heard screaming hysterically.</p><p dir="ltr">Police respond by yelling at her that she is acting like an animal; they threaten her and her family with death and one yells, &ldquo;You&#39;re not f****** American. I&#39;ll put you in the UPS box and send you back to wherever the f*** you came from.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">A half-dozen officers stand by watching.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fHTTy9D8x2w?rel=0" width="420"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">According to a spokesman for the Independent Police Review Authority, the agency is recommending suspensions of 25 days and 8 days for two officers involved and a one-day suspension for the sergeant supervising them who never stepped in to stop the abuse and never reported it, according to an attorney for Klyzek.</p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><strong>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/three-police-officers-asian-salon-raid-recommended-suspension-112786">Three police officers in Asian salon raid recommended for suspension</a></strong></p></blockquote><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="line-height: 1.38;">Viveka Ray-Mazumder was one of 15 people protesting those recommendations Friday morning outside police headquarters.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">&ldquo;How could you watch that video and not recognize that this is horrifying and that something major needs to happen? That&rsquo;s the question that we&rsquo;re all asking ourselves,&rdquo; said Ray-Mazumder.</p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">Activists from several Asian American community groups are demanding that police Supt. Garry McCarthy fire the officers involved. The police department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.</p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><em>Robert Wildeboer is a WBEZ criminal and legal affairs reporter. Follow him at <a href="https://twitter.com/robertwildeboer">@robertwildeboer</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 04 Sep 2015 17:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/asian-american-activists-seek-firing-cops-parlor-video-112848 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 Morning Shift: August 21, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-21/morning-shift-august-21-2015-112703 <p><p>On one side you have aspiring data scientists eager to put their knowledge to work. On the other side, you have non-profits and other groups trying to come up with innovative ways to make the world a better place. We talk to a couple of guys who are putting those sides together at the University of Chicago. Then, remembering your lines for a play is hard. Remembering them without any cues from other actors has got to be really hard. Actor Ronald Keaton talks about flying solo on stage when he becomes Winston Churchill. Plus, some soaring harmonies from the DuPont brothers. And we start the show by speaking with Chicago Police Department communications director about the department&#39;s tweetalong.</p></p> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 12:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-21/morning-shift-august-21-2015-112703 Chicago police host “tweetalong” to show a night on the job http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-21/chicago-police-host-%E2%80%9Ctweetalong%E2%80%9D-show-night-job-112702 <p><p>The Chicago and Baltimore Police Departments teamed up Thursday night and hosted a tweet-along...a virtual ride-along for people to get an inside look into a night on the job for a police officer. Many residents are pushing for Chicago and other departments to be more transparent. But online activists, including the hacking group Anonymous, used the tweetalong as an opportunity to criticize the police. Meanwhile, at last night&rsquo;s Police Board meeting, a group of protesters continued to call for detective Dante Servin to be fired for the shooting death of an unarmed woman, Rekia Boyd. The meeting was shut down, after just 20 minutes. Anthony Guglielmi, communications director for the Chicago Police Department, joins us with more. (Photo: Flickr/Arvell Dorsey Jr.)</p></p> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 11:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-21/chicago-police-host-%E2%80%9Ctweetalong%E2%80%9D-show-night-job-112702 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 Deal allows independent stop-and-frisk evaluations of CPD http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-07/deal-allows-independent-stop-and-frisk-evaluations-cpd-112592 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/stopandfrisk FlickrMichael Gil.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Under Chicago law, police can pat down &mdash; or frisk &mdash; anyone they stop on the street. But according to the American Civil Liberties Union, most of those stopped and frisked have been African American males...and that looks a lot like racial profiling.</p><p>The Chicago Police Department has said it does not allow racial profiling. Nonetheless, the CPD has agreed to make changes to its policy after an ACLU investigation raised questions about the legality of certain police stops. As part of an agreement announced Friday morning between the ACLU and the police department, there will be an independent evaluation of CPD&rsquo;s practices and procedures. There will also be more transparency and public disclosure when it comes to police stops, as well as additional training for officers.</p><p>We speak with Harvey Grossman, legal director for the ACLU&rsquo;s chapter here in Illinois, about the deal, and why it was needed in the first place.&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 07 Aug 2015 11:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-07/deal-allows-independent-stop-and-frisk-evaluations-cpd-112592 Chicago Police wraps up listening tour http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-21/chicago-police-wraps-listening-tour-112438 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/listening tour APFile.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Last night was the final stop for Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy&rsquo;s listening tour. This one took place on the city&rsquo;s south side: Temple of Glory Church on 95th Street in the Roseland neighborhood. Most of these dozen or so meetings have taken place in churches and, like every other meeting, this one was invite only. WBEZ&rsquo;s Patrick Smith was at last night&rsquo;s event. He joins us with a recap of the listening tour and an update on what happens next. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 21 Jul 2015 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-21/chicago-police-wraps-listening-tour-112438 City fires investigator who found cops at fault in shootings http://www.wbez.org/news/city-fires-investigator-who-found-cops-fault-shootings-112423 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Lorenzo Davis 3 crop.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A Chicago investigator who determined that several civilian shootings by police officers were unjustified was fired after resisting orders to reverse those findings, according to internal records of his agency obtained by WBEZ.</p><p>Scott M. Ando, chief administrator of the city&rsquo;s Independent Police Review Authority, informed its staff in a July 9 email that the agency no longer employed supervising investigator Lorenzo Davis, 65, a former Chicago police commander. IPRA investigates police-brutality complaints and recommends any punishment.</p><p>Davis&rsquo;s termination came less than two weeks after top IPRA officials, evaluating Davis&rsquo;s job performance, accused him of &ldquo;a clear bias against the police&rdquo; and called him &ldquo;the only supervisor at IPRA who resists making requested changes as directed by management in order to reflect the correct finding with respect to OIS,&rdquo; as officer-involved shootings are known in the agency.</p><p>Since its 2007 creation, IPRA has investigated nearly 400 civilian shootings by police and found one to be unjustified.</p><p>WBEZ asked to interview Ando, promoted last year by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to head the agency. The station also sent Ando&rsquo;s spokesman questions about sticking points between IPRA investigators and managers, about the agency&rsquo;s process for overturning investigative findings, and about the reasons the agency had reversed many of Davis&rsquo;s findings.</p><p>The spokesman said there would be no interview and sent this statement: &ldquo;This is a personnel matter that would be inappropriate to address through the media, though the allegations are baseless and without merit. IPRA is committed to conducting fair, unbiased, objective, thorough and timely investigations of allegations of police misconduct and officer-involved shootings.&rdquo;<br /><br />The performance evaluation covered 19 months and concluded that Davis &ldquo;displays a complete lack of objectivity combined with a clear bias against the police in spite of his own lengthy police career.&rdquo;</p><p>Davis served in the police department for 23 years. As a commander, he headed detective units, the department&rsquo;s Austin district and, finally, its public-housing unit. He retired from the department in 2004.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="100" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/215914655&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=true&amp;show_comments=false&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">▲&nbsp;</span><strong>LISTEN: </strong><em>Lorenzo Davis told host Melba Lara in a July 22 interview that he hopes there is a federal investigation into his claims about the Independent Police Review Authority.</em><br /><br />&ldquo;I did not like the direction the police department had taken,&rdquo; Davis said. &ldquo;It appeared that officers were doing whatever they wanted to do. The discipline was no longer there.&rdquo;<br /><br />After leaving the department, Davis says, he kept thinking about police conduct, especially shootings. Davis, who had a law degree, says he wondered how often the officers really faced life-threatening dangers that would justify deadly force.<br /><br />&ldquo;If there are a few bad police officers who have committed some shootings that are unnecessary or bad then it erodes the public&rsquo;s confidence in all the other police officers out there,&rdquo; Davis said.<br /><br />A series of police-conduct scandals, meanwhile, led Mayor Richard M. Daley to move a unit called the Office of Professional Standards from the police department to his direct control. He renamed the unit the Independent Police Review Authority.<br /><br />IPRA hired Davis as an investigator in 2008. Two years later, around the time he completed a master&rsquo;s degree in criminal justice, IPRA promoted him to lead a team of five investigators.</p><p>Through most of his IPRA tenure, Davis&rsquo;s performance evaluations showered him with praise. They called him an &ldquo;effective leader&rdquo; and &ldquo;excellent team player.&rdquo;</p><p>The final evaluation, issued June 26, said he &ldquo;is clearly not a team player.&rdquo;<br /><br />Davis, who earned $93,024 a year in the job, says he applied at different points for higher IPRA posts, including chief administrator. He says getting passed over for them did not affect his performance.<br /><br />&ldquo;Things began to turn sour, I would say, within the last year,&rdquo; Davis said. &ldquo;Chief Administrator Ando began to say that he wanted me to change my findings.&rdquo;<br /><br />Davis says he helped investigate more than a dozen shootings by police at the agency. He says his superiors had no objections when his team recommended exonerating officers. The objections came, he says, after each finding that a shooting was unjustified. He says there were six of those cases.<br /><br />&ldquo;They have shot people dead when they did not have to shoot,&rdquo; Davis said about those officers. &ldquo;They were not in reasonable fear for their lives. The evidence shows that the officer knew, or should have known, that the person who they shot was not armed or did not pose a threat to them or could have been apprehended by means short of deadly force.&rdquo;<br /><br />Davis says he can&rsquo;t go into detail about the cases because some are still pending and because the city considers them confidential. Emanuel&rsquo;s office did not respond to WBEZ questions about Davis&rsquo;s termination or about IPRA&rsquo;s record investigating shootings by officers.</p><p>Former IPRA Chief Administrator Ilana Rosenzweig, who hired both Ando and Davis before leaving the agency in 2013, declined to comment about the termination.<br /><br />Anthony Finnell, a former IPRA supervising investigator, says he considers Davis a mentor. He says the two would confer on cases.</p><p>&ldquo;When the investigators would bring cases to us, as supervisors, we would look, first, to see if the officer was justified in his actions,&rdquo; said Finnell, who now heads a police-oversight agency in Oakland, California.<br /><br />Finnell, who left IPRA last year, says the agency&rsquo;s investigators were better situated than its management to size up a case.</p><p>&ldquo;Many times we would look at the situation and say, &lsquo;Well, I don&rsquo;t think that reasoning makes sense or that officer is not being as truthful as I think he should be,&rsquo; &rdquo; Finnell said. &ldquo;In fact, many times we may have thought they had lied.&rdquo;<br /><br />Finnell, who worked at IPRA only 15 months, says he was never asked to change findings. If he had been, he says, he would have followed Davis&rsquo;s example.</p><p>&ldquo;As an investigator,&rdquo; Finnell said, &ldquo;I wouldn&rsquo;t just change findings because someone told me to.&rdquo;</p><p><em><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, 20 Jul 2015 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/city-fires-investigator-who-found-cops-fault-shootings-112423