FOP Wins a Big Victory
- A labor arbitrator has said the city must destroy Chicago police disciplinary records dating back decades, the latest blow to activists’ attempts to get access to misconduct files from as far back as the late 1960s.
A ruling issued Tuesday in a labor grievance case between the city and the Fraternal Order of Police states the city’s contract with its largest police union requires it to destroy most disciplinary records four years after complaints are filed.
Arbitrator George Roumell Jr. ordered the city to begin negotiations with the FOP on which records were due for destruction — files in pending lawsuits would be exempted — and said he would issue a final order in mid-April.
The usual persons are upset:
- Monday, State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, said he planned to introduce legislation that would require police departments across the state to keep all disciplinary files permanently, a move he said would pre-empt any union contract.
Hey Ford, why not work on trying to pass a budget? And leave local matters to local authorities?
- Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago Law School professor who has joined litigation seeking to make the decades of disciplinary records public, said Friday he was concerned that the ruling leaves just a few months before a court-ordered “bonfire” of data that could be used as the Chicago Police Department makes reforms in the aftermath of the Laquan McDonald shooting and a looming federal investigation of the department.
A "bonfire" decades in the making:
- City officials have testified they maintain more than 3,600 boxes of investigative files and several computer databases, holding police disciplinary records dating back to 1967.
Fully 60% (or more) of the Department wasn't even born in 1967. Yet these files exist in violation of numerous contractual agreements, thru assorted political administrations and not a few FOP regimes. We wonder if some sanctions might be assessed against the City at some point.