WBEZ | Independent Police Review Authority http://www.wbez.org/tags/independent-police-review-authority Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago alderman questioning IPRA investigation of police misconduct http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-alderman-questioning-ipra-investigation-police-misconduct-113117 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/283201_187501511309757_7602640_n.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>Chicago aldermen are holding hearings over the next couple weeks to vet Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s budget. One of the departments funded by the city is IPRA, the Independent Police Review Authority. IPRA investigates serious police misconduct but several aldermen are expressing concerns about the effectiveness of that agency.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/ipra-fails-pursue-potential-crime-cops-caught-video-113018" target="_blank">One case involving the verbal and physical abuse of an Asian-American woman</a> has been getting particular attention because it was caught on tape. But it&rsquo;s also getting attention because when the officers realized the abuse was on tape they tried to take possession of the recording.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>That seeming attempted obstruction of justice was never investigated by IPRA.</div><div>To view police officer&#39;s attempts at finding and taking possession of the video click <strong><a href="https://youtu.be/fHTTy9D8x2w?t=32m30s" target="_blank">here </a></strong>and <strong><a href="https://youtu.be/fHTTy9D8x2w?t=38m34s" target="_blank">here</a></strong>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Ald. Ameya Pawar of the 47th ward joined WBEZ&rsquo;s Robert Wildeboer in studio Tuesday to talk about the case and its implications for community trust of police.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><hr /><p><strong>WILDEBOER</strong>: First off, IPRA is recommending a 25-day suspension for a police officer who told Jessica Klyzek, an Asian-American woman, that she wasn&rsquo;t American. The officer said he was going to put her in a UPS box and send her back to wherever she came from. Is a 25-day suspension appropriate?</p></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>PAWAR</strong>: I mean, I thought what was said on that tape was incredibly offensive and not just to the woman but to the broader Asian-American community, and I think if we&rsquo;re going to say that we are an immigrant-friendly city then our public safety agencies along with all our departments have to reflect that and I think the 25 days is light in my opinion.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>WILDEBOER</strong>: Asian-American community groups in Chicago are calling for the officers to be fired. You&rsquo;ve seen the video. Should these officers should be fired?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>PAWAR</strong>: I think what I want to know is what they&rsquo;ve done in the past and how they arrived at 25 days. Again, I&rsquo;m a process-oriented person so I want to know how they got from point &lsquo;A&rsquo; to point &lsquo;B.&rsquo; Looking at that tape in its entirety it doesn&rsquo;t seem to reflect the values of the police department. It doesn&rsquo;t seem to reflect the values of all the men and women who serve in the Chicago Police Department so my question is how they got to that penalty.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>WILDEBOER</strong>: After the verbal abuse officers realize that they are being recorded and they appear to try to destroy the video. You&rsquo;ve watched that portion of the video. What&rsquo;s your take? Does this look like an attempt to obstruct justice and is this something you think IPRA should have investigated?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>PAWAR</strong>: I think that second question is the right one, which is, why weren&rsquo;t there any questions asked about, it seemed to me that the conversation was, well, if we seize the video then it&rsquo;s better us than them. That to me is highly problematic. And again, I have a lot of questions on why there wasn&rsquo;t a broader investigation, or at least a question, a simple question as to why they were discussing seizing that surveillance video. I mean I think this is why people are suspicious of the people who are supposed to serve them. Remember, we&rsquo;re all supposed to be on the same team here.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>WILDEBOER</strong>: You&rsquo;ve previously said it&rsquo;s important to question and challenge police agencies and I wanted to see if you could talk a little bit more about that.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>PAWAR</strong>: So I&rsquo;ll give you some political context. I marched with a &lsquo;Black Lives Matter&rsquo; processional prior to the election and during the election that came up as me being anti-police, that I don&rsquo;t support police officers. Questioning a police officer or a police department is seen as being anti-police and I think that is really problematic because you have to be able to question your public institutions. That&rsquo;s what makes them stronger. That&rsquo;s what make democracy stronger. I think it&rsquo;s also important to know that as an alderman--and I support the police department, I&rsquo;m about to vote on one of the largest property tax increases in history to fund their pensions--so I just think we have to move beyond this idea of ...this being a binary conversation, that either you&rsquo;re with the police or you&rsquo;re against the police. It just doesn&rsquo;t make any sense. It doesn&rsquo;t lead to good results and it&rsquo;s going to continue to divide communities. And I think that also means that the FOP, the police department, the superintendent, city council, we all have a role in this and making sure we&rsquo;re addressing the legacy issues. We have to.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Robert Wildeboer is a WBEZ criminal and legal affairs reporter. Follow him at&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/robertwildeboer">@robertwildeboer</a>.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 29 Sep 2015 17:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-alderman-questioning-ipra-investigation-police-misconduct-113117 IPRA fails to investigate potential CPD criminal activity shown in video http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-22/ipra-fails-investigate-potential-cpd-criminal-activity-shown-video <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/CPD video.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Two years ago, a Chicago police officer used racial slurs during the arrest of a tanning salon owner. Another officer punched her in the head while she was handcuffed, and it was all caught on video.</p><p>WBEZ reported earlier this month that the city&rsquo;s Independent Police Review Authority is recommending the two officers be <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/three-police-officers-asian-salon-raid-recommended-suspension-112786">suspended</a> for those acts. But what the IPRA review doesn&rsquo;t mention are <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/ipra-fails-pursue-potential-crime-cops-caught-video-113018">other potential criminal activities</a> by the police during the incident.</p><p>WBEZ&rsquo;s <a href="https://twitter.com/robertwildeboer">Rob Wildeboer</a> has been looking into the issue and joins us with details.</p></p> Tue, 22 Sep 2015 11:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-22/ipra-fails-investigate-potential-cpd-criminal-activity-shown-video IPRA fails to pursue potential crime by cops caught on video http://www.wbez.org/news/ipra-fails-pursue-potential-crime-cops-caught-video-113018 <p><p>Video of a police raid on a tanning salon in 2013 shows Chicago Police officers engaging in potentially criminal activity. Some of that activity was reviewed by the Independent Police Review Authority, but other potential crimes by cops were ignored by the agency tasked with rooting out police misconduct in Chicago. It raises serious questions about IPRA and its commitment to police accountability, questions that IPRA has refused to answer.</p><p>The video comes from the surveillance system in the lobby of the Copper Tan Salon in Chicago. The camera is behind the counter near the ceiling so you see the top of the counter and some of the stuff behind the counter as well as the back of the employee working the desk. The lobby looks like any other waiting room, with a loveseat and chair by a glass-top coffee table. Soft rock plays.</p><p><a href="https://youtu.be/fHTTy9D8x2w?t=9m57s" target="_blank">Nine minutes and 57 seconds</a> into the video police enter the tanning salon. The woman working the front desk doesn&rsquo;t seem to realize the plainclothes officer is police and she asks if he called.</p><p>&ldquo;Did I have to?&rdquo; the officer responds. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think I had to &lsquo;cause I&rsquo;m the police.&rdquo;</p><p>Police grab the manager, an Asian woman named Jessica Klyzek, and she starts screaming hysterically. In an interview later with the Independent Police Review Authority Klyzek admitted that she also swung at officers and attempted to bite them.</p><p><strong>Officers realize they&rsquo;re on camera</strong></p><p>While officers restrain Klyzek, another cop walks behind the front desk and he notices a computer screen below the counter. He looks at it and realizes there&rsquo;s a video camera.</p><p>He points two fingers at his own eyes and calls out to everyone quote, &ldquo;Hey! Hey! There&rsquo;s eyes!&rdquo;</p><p>Det. Gerald Di Pasquale may not have heard that announcement because a couple minutes later he totally loses his cool with Klyzek, who is still yelling.</p><p><a href="https://youtu.be/fHTTy9D8x2w?t=15m53s" target="_blank">Di Pasquale starts yelling back at her</a>, saying,&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; He then says he&rsquo;s going to shut down the salon, &ldquo;and then whoever owns this place will f****** kill you because they don&rsquo;t care about you, okay? I&rsquo;ll make one call and I&rsquo;ll take this building and you&rsquo;ll be dead and your family will be dead.&rdquo;</p><p>Another officer hits Klyzek in the head while she&rsquo;s handcuffed and kneeling on the ground.</p><p><strong>The recommended discipline</strong></p><p>IPRA is recommending a 25-day suspension for Di Pasquale and an 8-day suspension for the officer who punched Klyzek.</p><p>Asian-American community members are unhappy with that recommendation and are demanding the city fire the officers. The head of IPRA, Scott Ando, has refused to explain the seemingly light discipline for the officers.</p><p dir="ltr">You may be familiar with all that part of the story because we&rsquo;ve been reporting on it for the past few weeks. &nbsp;But there&rsquo;s another whole layer to this video--and potential police misconduct recorded here. &nbsp;</p><p>And that&rsquo;s &nbsp;another thing Ando has refused to explain: Why didn&rsquo;t IPRA investigate the other potentially criminal activity that&rsquo;s recorded on the video?</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><strong>Is this thing on?</strong></p><p>Throughout the video officers can be seen hunched over the computer monitor looking at the video of the scene. They murmur and you can hear the word &lsquo;recording&rsquo; once in awhile. But eventually the officers stop whispering and they <a href="https://youtu.be/fHTTy9D8x2w?t=32m30s" target="_blank">can be heard arguing over whether they are being recorded or not</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;This right here is recording,&rdquo; says an officer.</p><p>&ldquo;That doesn&rsquo;t mean it&rsquo;s recording. Just the time on there doesn&rsquo;t mean it&rsquo;s recording,&rdquo; responds another.</p><p>The officers then argue about a DVR player and how there&rsquo;s no disc in it so it can&rsquo;t be recording.</p><p>The officers then start brainstorming ways to get the recording, if it actually exists. You can hear them talk about extracting data but needing a search warrant. They seem to agree that the best solution is to seize the computer as evidence and hold it for investigation.</p><p>&ldquo;Well I think you need a search warrant to extract the data out of it,&rdquo; says a female officer.</p><p>&ldquo;You can inventory it,&rdquo; suggests an officer.</p><p>&ldquo;Right, we&rsquo;re not pulling anything off of it. We&rsquo;re just inventorying it and we have it in our possession,&rdquo; offers another.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s evidence in a battery.&rdquo;</p><p>An officer suggests, &ldquo;You have to put a hold on it then.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Right. Hold for investigation.&rdquo;</p><p><a href="https://youtu.be/fHTTy9D8x2w?t=38m34s" target="_blank">At one point an officer says</a>, &ldquo;I&rsquo;d suggest we take the hard drive and inventory it. Just in case... I&rsquo;d rather it be in our hands than in theirs.&rdquo;</p><p>A number of attorneys I talked to said it&rsquo;s hard to see this as anything other than an attempt to obstruct justice.</p><p>IPRA chief Scott Ando won&rsquo;t talk to us about this case, but I asked a spokesman for the agency if they investigated the officers&rsquo; seeming attempt to take the video. Spokesman Larry Merritt says this was mediated discipline, which he says means there was no investigation of any sort. I asked him if IPRA interviewed a single officer about the attempt to get rid of the video. Merritt just repeated that this was mediated discipline and therefore there was no investigation.</p><p>We tried to reach out to the officers through the Fraternal Order of Police, which provides legal representation, but the FOP would not provide any information for the officers or the attorneys who represented them.</p><p><strong>&ldquo;Doesn&rsquo;t take a rocket scientist&rdquo;</strong></p><p>&ldquo;It doesn&rsquo;t take a rocket scientist to figure out what&rsquo;s going on there. There was some behaviour in there that the police did not want anyone to see,&rdquo; said Tom Needham in a recent interview at his office across the street from the federal court building.</p><p>Needham is the attorney who first got this video when he was hired by the woman who owned the tanning salon. But he&rsquo;s also represented cops accused of misconduct and he spent three years in the police department as general counsel and later was chief of staff to then-Superintendent Terry Hillard. He speaks of cops with great respect and empathy.</p><p>Needham says the video was being recorded at a remote location--and that&rsquo;s why the officers couldn&rsquo;t get it. He says it&rsquo;s not like the 80s when things were recorded on VHS tapes.&ldquo;It was a kind of a clumsy, ham-handed, and ultimately failed attempt to hide evidence of what happened in that store,&rdquo; he said.</p><p><strong>&ldquo;Complete failure of leadership&rdquo;</strong></p><p>I asked Needham how the public should feel about the fact that the agency responsible for investigating serious police misconduct in Chicago had this evidence of potential attempted obstruction of justice handed to them on a platter and didn&rsquo;t pursue it.</p><p>&ldquo;In my opinion there&rsquo;s a problem with the leadership at this agency,&rdquo; said Needham. &ldquo;For this kind of evidence to be given to the Independent Police Review Authority and for them to do this, you know, it looks like a half-assed investigation. I&rsquo;m sorry but that&rsquo;s all it is. It&rsquo;s, just, I don&rsquo;t understand it. There&rsquo;s some really basic questions that could be asked from the police officers and it wouldn&rsquo;t take that long and the fact that they didn&rsquo;t do it is mind-boggling to me. It&rsquo;s a complete failure of leadership.&rdquo;</p><p>Needham says when the system fails like it has in this case, the unintended victims are the police officers who risk their lives and do good work. Needham says IPRA chief Scott Ando needs to explain to the public exactly how his office investigated what happened in the salon that day.</p><p><em>Robert Wildeboer is a WBEZ criminal and legal affairs reporter. Follow him at&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/robertwildeboer">@robertwildeboer</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 21 Sep 2015 17:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/ipra-fails-pursue-potential-crime-cops-caught-video-113018 Detective’s recommended firing owes to public pressure, his attorney says http://www.wbez.org/detective%E2%80%99s-recommended-firing-owes-public-pressure-his-attorney-says-112970 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/CT Dante Servin trial 042005 03 smaller.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-17/ipra-recommends-dante-servin-be-fired-112968" target="_blank">A Chicago agency&rsquo;s recommendation</a> to fire a detective who fatally shot an unarmed African-American woman stems from &ldquo;public pressure,&rdquo; not the evidence, his lawyer says.</p><p dir="ltr">Independent Police Review Authority officials arrived at the recommendation &ldquo;because they&rsquo;re afraid of being in the gun sights&rdquo; of the woman&rsquo;s family and the media, according to Darren O&rsquo;Brien, an attorney for Det. Dante Servin.</p><p dir="ltr">The shooting took place in 2012 near the detective&rsquo;s home on the city&rsquo;s West Side. Servin, driving his car off duty, confronted a group walking from an outdoor party. Then, the detective said, a man in the group seemed to point a gun at him.</p><p dir="ltr">Servin shot several rounds over his shoulder. One hit the hand of the man, Antonio Cross. Another hit the head of a bystander named Rekia Boyd, 22, who died from the injury.</p><p dir="ltr">Prosecutors said Cross had no gun, just a cell phone. They charged the detective with felonies including involuntary manslaughter</p><p dir="ltr">During the trial this April, Cook County Judge Dennis Porter <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/after-detective%E2%80%99s-acquittal-fatal-shooting-prosecutors-face-criticism-111907" target="_blank">abruptly acquitted Servin of all charges</a>. Porter announced the verdict even before the defense presented most of its witnesses. He said prosecutors had failed to prove that the detective acted recklessly and that a more fitting charge would have been murder &mdash; claims disputed by State&rsquo;s Attorney Anita Alvarez.</p><p dir="ltr">The verdict sparked protests led by Boyd&rsquo;s family. The detective, meanwhile, still faced administrative charges.</p><p dir="ltr">A Wednesday statement from IPRA Chief Administrator Scott M. Ando says his agency is recommending the dismissal based on a thorough investigation. The detective, according to the statement, violated police policies including &ldquo;discharging a firearm into a crowd.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Of some 400 civilian shootings by police that IPRA has investigated since its 2007 creation, the one that killed Boyd is only the second the agency has found to be unjustified.</p><p>O&rsquo;Brien, the detective&rsquo;s attorney, told WBEZ that IPRA&rsquo;s recommendation was &ldquo;based on erroneous conclusions.&rdquo; Among them, O&rsquo;Brien said, &ldquo;there&rsquo;s never been any evidence that [Servin] ever fired into a crowd.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">O&rsquo;Brien insisted that Cross was apart from Boyd. He said the detective was shooting at him alone and feared for his life. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a terrible tragedy that Rekia Boyd was killed but, essentially, Dante Servin is being fired for defending himself,&rdquo; O&rsquo;Brien said.</p><p dir="ltr">The dismissal recommendation went to police Supt. Garry McCarthy, who has 90 days to decide whether to make the same recommendation to the city&rsquo;s nine-member Police Board, which would hold a trial-like public hearing before making the city&rsquo;s final decision behind closed doors.</p><p dir="ltr">McCarthy&rsquo;s decision will receive close scrutiny. After the criminal case, he said Servin should never have been charged.</p><p dir="ltr">A statement Wednesday from McCarthy spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said, &ldquo;We take the use of force by our officers, and the recommendations of IPRA, extremely seriously and we will carefully review the matter.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Martinez Sutton, a brother of Boyd, predicts that McCarthy will oppose the dismissal recommendation. &ldquo;In the family&rsquo;s eyes, it seems like he said my sister&rsquo;s death is a justified death,&rdquo; Sutton said Thursday on WBEZ. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s going around, saying that &mdash; with no remorse for the family.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The city settled a wrongful-death lawsuit with Boyd&rsquo;s family for $4.5 million in 2013.</p><div><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/cmitchell-0">Chip Mitchell</a>&nbsp;is WBEZ&rsquo;s West Side bureau reporter. Follow him&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ChipMitchell1">@ChipMitchell1</a>.&nbsp;</em></div></p> Thu, 17 Sep 2015 14:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/detective%E2%80%99s-recommended-firing-owes-public-pressure-his-attorney-says-112970 Asian-American community: IPRA not holding cops accountable http://www.wbez.org/news/asian-american-community-ipra-not-holding-cops-accountable-112932 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Salon IPRA (1)_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Members of Chicago&rsquo;s Asian-American community said their meeting with Scott Ando shows his agency, the Independent Police Review Authority, has a problem holding cops accountable. Ando is the head of IPRA, which investigates police misconduct.</p><p>In a 2013 police raid caught on video, an officer makes racists comments to an Asian- American woman he&rsquo;s arresting, and then he threatens her and her family with death. IPRA has recommended a 25-day suspension for the officer.</p><p>Andy Kang with Asian Americans Advancing Justice said Scott Ando defended that decision in a meeting Monday.</p><p>&ldquo;For those that engage in police brutality, I think the message unfortunately, what it tells us is that those officers will get a slap on the wrist,&rdquo; said Kang.</p><p>For weeks Ando has refused to discuss the case with WBEZ. Instead the agency sent a 12-sentence statement on the case to WBEZ on Monday.</p><p>According to the statement, the officers accepted responsibility for their actions. The statement goes on to say, &ldquo;The average discipline in a sustained case of verbal abuse with bias ranges from a reprimand to a 15-day suspension. If there are aggravating factors present, which we certainly believed to be the case here, discipline would generally range from 16 to 30 days.&rdquo;</p><p>Kang said, &ldquo;It really is just baffling how you could watch the video and think that those officers are fit to carry a badge and a gun.&rdquo;</p><p>Kang said Asian American community members are seeking a meeting with Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to demand that he fire the officers involved.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 15 Sep 2015 08:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/asian-american-community-ipra-not-holding-cops-accountable-112932 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 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 Independent Police Review Authority fires investigator http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-21/independent-police-review-authority-fires-investigator-112437 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Lorenzo Davis Chip.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Whenever there&rsquo;s a police shooting by a Chicago cop, it&rsquo;s investigated by the city&rsquo;s Independent Police Review Authority. Since its 2007 creation, IPRA has investigated nearly 400 civilian shootings by police and found one to be unjustified. Lorenzo Davis was a supervising investigator with IPRA. He joined the agency in 2008. According to IPRA internal records obtained by WBEZ, he was fired earlier this month after resisting orders to reverse his findings that several civilian shootings by police officers were unjustified. WBEZ&rsquo;s Chip Mitchell revealed the story Monday and joins us now with more details and the reaction from some elected officials.</p></p> Tue, 21 Jul 2015 13:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-21/independent-police-review-authority-fires-investigator-112437 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