MAP #381 Statement
(Very long post - sorry about that)
We have received from sources the letter that MAP #381 (Metropolitan Alliance of Police, representing the UIC rank-and-file) sent to the Chief of the UIC Police and the UIC Board regarding the unbelievable orders given by the UIC police brass to not arrest, to actively release arrestees, and pretty much stand-down, giving the Trump protesters what we'll refer to as "room to destroy."
- Date: 14 Mar 2016
To: Chief Booker
From: MAP 381
Subj: Safety Issues at the University of Illinois at Chicago Police Department
We’d like to begin by thanking you for taking the time to read our letter. We chose to draft this letter in order to address an issue that has been brought to our attention due the Donald Trump rally here on campus. We feel it is important that you be made aware of our concerns regarding some of your decisions and actions with respect to this event. More specifically, we are very concerned by the lack of preparation for and questionable decisions made during this event which expresses to us a complete disregard for our safety.
We believe it's fair to say this event would have been strategically challenging for even the most highly regarded security experts. For this reason, planning for an event like this normally begins immediately after it is booked and always includes properly training and preparing the security/police personnel for the event specific concerns. It also includes having a contingency plan in place in case there is a riot or complete turmoil. This could be something as simple as making sure riot gear is on scene so that it is readily available in the event it is needed. For some reason, none of this took place. For this event, the only guidance and instruction we received before it was the following:
We were ordered to leave our O.C. Spray, a tool we have trained extensively with and that is extremely useful in crowd control situations, in our lockers. This order left us with our baton and handgun as the only tools available to us.
We were ordered to leave our dark colored gloves in our lockers because they looked too aggressive. This meant our hands were left uncovered, much more easily cut/scraped, and exposed to any number of various fluids (blood, spit, etc.). We were not offered or supplied with any alternatives such as latex gloves which were readily available at the hospital or our station.
We were told not to place our hands on anyone. Even when escorting out hostile attendees, we were advised to not make physical contact with them. This is contrary to our Controlled F.O.R.C.E. training which the department has invested a significant amount of money and time training us on. More importantly, it placed officers in a situation where they had to choose between their safety and following an order.
We were given specific instructions on how to arrest someone, if we had to. We were told to have the hired security company ask troublemakers to leave first. If that did not work, Trump staffers were to then ask. If that did not work, we were to then ask them to leave. If they still refused, then we were to ask them to leave again and inform them that their failure to do so would constitute criminal trespass and they would be arrested. This was the only plan given to us and we followed these instructions as given. As a result, we arrested three individuals. Unfortunately, you later decided that you wanted no arrests and ordered that we release any and all arrestees. This created significant issues of liability for us (which are addressed below).
While we find what we received before the event unacceptable, what happened during the event is equally as troubling. You, our leader, stayed far away from the actual event and never once thanked any officers for their hard work and effort, while CPD Commissioner Escalante was on scene assisting his officers, shaking their hands, and thanking them. However, at 8:40pm, you found the time to give a public statement about the event indicating that there was an orderly exit from the pavilion with no arrests or injuries. Putting aside that this statement is false, it was given at a time when we were radioing in an emergency situation to UICPD Dispatch and requesting any available additional units come to our aid. Unfortunately, there were no additional UICPD units available. This was due to the establishment of arrest teams and that caused what little manpower we had to be spread even thinner. We feel it is important to note that these “arrest teams” proved to be pointless as you later ordered all arrests be voided and arrestees released without ever informing us why. Additionally, at least eight of our specialty officers were ordered to be in plainclothes, when only two were requested by the secret service, thereby unnecessarily placing them in increased danger as combatants inside the event could not easily identify them as police officers. We feel that, at every single turn, what we, your officers, needed to perform our job safely and to the best of our abilities was disregarded and ignored. By allowing this, it also placed each and every attendee, student, and VIP in unnecessary danger as we could not provide the appropriate level of protection and safety they deserved. All of this is unacceptable.
Still, there is another issue to address. It wasn't just our physical safety that was disregarded at this event; it was our economic security as well. We executed the arrest plan (described above) exactly as it was given to us. As a result, there were three arrests each of which was performed on signed complaints from victims. This means that several officers placed their hands on people, took away freedoms, and transported people from one place to another in accordance with the law. Then, you later ordered that each of these three people be let go. If there was a reason, it was not shared with us so that we could document it in the appropriate report and explain to each complainant why we were disregarding their signed complaints. As a result, any officer involved in the arrests of these individuals is now exposed to the possibility of a lawsuit for doing exactly what they were told to do.
We hope it is understood that this email is not meant to be malicious and it is not an attack on you. It is an explanation of our frustration and concerns which came about as a result of what we believe is the constant disregard for our safety and security. It is also meant to create dialogue and give you an opportunity to respond to our concerns while having a better understanding of them. We hope this prompts a desire in you to explain to us what it is that we are missing. As always, we appreciate you taking our concerns in to consideration and for taking the time to understand what they are. We look forward to hearing from you and will be anxiously awaiting your response.
MAP 381 Executive Board
It sure sounds like the Chief pretty much sold his officers outr and compromised the safety of everyone in the area, including citizens attending a political rally and the CPD and ISP contingents that were stuck with his bad decisions. This level of incompetence is unacceptable from someone tasked with maintaining order and public safety. We would hope that he is sent packing in short order.