Candidates challenging Chicago police union leaders are promising a tougher approach to contract negotiations — and the media.
Last Friday, the “Blue Voice” slate’s candidate for president, Kevin Graham, forced incumbent Dean Angelo into a run-off election.
Graham declined to talk to WBEZ on Tuesday.
“My decision to decline an interview arises from my concerns that WBEZ has not fairly covered police issues, particularly in wrongful conviction cases and the criminal case against Commander Glenn Evans,” Graham said in a note forwarded by a spokesman.
Last weekend, Angelo told WBEZ that he expects to win the run-off election, which Angelo said would likely happen by the end of March.
Letters to members posted on Blue Voice’s blog focused mostly on issues like pension benefits and health care co-pays.
However, one letter promised to “fight new, unfair disciplinary procedures” and to “restore due process rights.” The letter referred to a 2015 move by the police department to confine officers to desk duty for at least 30 days after they are involved in a shooting.
The success of the “Blue Voice” slate comes after many months of public focus on police accountability issues following the Nov. 2015 release of a dashcam video that showed a white police officer fatally shooting black teen Laquan McDonald.
The blog also promises to confront what it calls the local media’s deception and anti-police bias. A post on the group’s Facebook page included a “note to all Chicago media” that promised media outlets “will be held accountable.”
Dan Weissmann is a reporter for WBEZ. Follow him at @danweissmann.
Correction: WBEZ misstated the number of runoffs in the elections for the union representing Chicago police officers. The only race that has been forced into a runoff is the race for president of the Fraternal Order of Police. We apologize for the error.