Tribune Telegraphs '17 Negotiations
- In Chicago, police officers rarely pay for their misconduct. Taxpayers do.
Again and again, cops accused of abusing civilians have gotten a pass from the police oversight system and the state's attorney's office. They're back on the street, with nary a blemish on their records, while their victims collect millions in civil damages from the city.
That's largely because the contracts between the city and its police unions are loaded with provisions that shield bad cops from accountability. An officer involved in a shooting has 24 hours to coordinate stories with others at the scene before giving a statement, for example — and can amend that statement later after viewing video of the shooting. Disciplinary records older than five years are supposed to be destroyed. Anonymous complaints against an officer are disregarded. Findings of misconduct that don't result in significant punishment are purged from an officer's record. Investigators are absurdly constrained in how they may question an officer: "The primary interrogator will not ask any questions until the secondary interrogator has finished asking questions and invites the primary interrogator to ask follow-up questions …" That's not about due process; it's about tying the hands of investigators or generating a technical violation that could get a complaint tossed.
- The lawyer will ask a question, then a quick follow-up (sometimes a "question-within-a-question) without allowing a pause so that the witness can give a proper and lucid response to the first question that they heard. In open court, a judge or a smart defense attorney will make the attorney wait for an answer. Or make him break it down into a series of questions, each asked and answered in sequence. But when typed out, court reporters can't document that fast, things get garbled, answers to a first question get lost in the cross-talk as the witness attempts to answer while the lawyer has asked a second question, which usually has a completely different answer, often contradicting the first answer.
We've had it done to us.
- The collective bargaining agreements allow rogue officers to run amok, out of reach of the department's disciplinary bodies or the criminal justice system. Both sides know those protections must be scrubbed from the contracts when they expire next year. But guess what? The head of the city's largest police union wants taxpayers to pay for that, too.
Then the article has the nerve to allege that police "cost" the city money in terms of payouts when it's the city that refuses to fight lawsuits. Under J-Fled, payouts dried up - they were minimal. When Rahm was elected, he did away with fighting obviously frivolous lawsuits because (surprise!) the plaintiff attorneys were kicking back to his campaign. The city wanted to settle with Anthony Porter, but as Martin Prieb has documented many times over, the involved detectives fought the case...and won. The city has paid out time and time again to cases that don't pass the laugh test. That $500 million tab would be less than $200 million if the city fought some of these cases.
And the "code of silence" crap? That's Rahm opening his yapper and saying the wrong thing. And with his "merit" supervisors fucking up nine ways to Sunday and costing the city money because (A) the cheating clowns don't know the job and (B) you put them in positions where their stupidity comes to the fore. How long until Nakia or Davina or Maryet cost the city a few hundred thousand (or millions) for declaring something to be so, in direct contradiction of an Order, an Ordinance or a Law? We give it a year or two and someone will be getting paid "Marianne Perry money" like ten or fifteen years ago.
And finally, the McDonald video. The Tribune is outright lying describing the investigation, about "coordinating" stories and "closing ranks." No one in the media has seen the reports, but we know people who have and guess what? They don't match, they aren't "one story," there is no "coordinating."
You know why?
Because half-a-dozen cops, from half-a-dozen vantage points, are going to have half-a-dozen differing versions of the event! No one is watching the same thing and everyone has a different vantage point from which to recall events as they unfolded. You can't coordinate that.
But you can coordinate suppressing a video for fourteen months to win an election. That chain of events can be pretty simple to prove - cops uploaded video from the car, anyone viewing it has to log into the system, anyone burning a copy has to log into the system. And at some point, the copy (copies) are forwarded to either the States Attorney or Corp Counsel - those dates are recorded somewhere when the Detectives "call it in." And then it sat for a period of time until a judge compelled its release - after an election, if you can believe that.
That isn't a "code of silence" among cops - that's a "conspiracy" among political actors.