The [Friday] Papers
"A Chicago man won a $1 million verdict this week in a lawsuit that accused police of rigging a photo lineup to ensure he would be wrongly identified as an armed robbery suspect," AP reports.
"Jermaine Durdin was 18 when he was charged in the 2010 robbery of several hundred dollars from an ice cream truck in the Lawndale neighborhood on the city's West Side. He spent nearly two years awaiting trial in the Cook County Jail before he was found not guilty - an experience he said in court this week deeply affected him and left a 'stain' on his brain."
So not only did police rig a lineup in order to charge an innocent teenager, but then the kid had to sit in the stinkin' Cook County Jail for two years before he was finally exonerated.
Imagine if that was you. Or your kid. Or someone you knew.
"A Cook County jury on Wednesday found the city and police officer Catherine Rolewicz responsible. She is the detective who put Durdin in the lineup, according to Foutris. Rolewicz has no listed phone number and could not be reached for comment.
Foutris initially sought an $880,000 settlement, but said the city "didn't offer a penny."
"As for why Durdin was targeted, Foutris said, he believes detectives searching a mugshot database landed on his client, who has a prior robbery conviction, and thought Durdin matched the description enough to make the case go away.
"Features that did not match the description - hair color and a large, plainly visible neck tattoo - were concealed in the photo with a hat and a bandage.
"The city's Law Department said it would seek a new trial."
"A photo of the police lineup shows Durdin, a light-skinned African-American, sitting on a bench with four other black males, all of whom have dark complexions," the Tribune reports.
"Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for the city's Law Department, said the city is disappointed with the jury's decision.
"'We believe it was the result of erroneous jury instructions, as well as other legal errors, and we intend to file a motion seeking a new trial,' he said in a statement."
Speaking of rigged lineups . . .
"Lt. Denis Walsh has resigned from the Chicago Police Department one week after interim Supt. John Escalante moved to fire him over his role in the 2011 reinvestigation of David Koschman's killing - a case that was closed without charges against a nephew of then-Mayor Richard M. Daley," the Sun-Times reports.
"Escalante had accused Walsh of violating eight departmental rules - including 'making a false report,' 'inattention to duty' and 'incompetency or inefficiency' - regarding the Koschman case.
"He was tied to case files that disappeared, then reappeared. Walsh also exchanged 'unprofessional e-mails' joking with his boss about the case, according to Escalante."
I'm sure it was hilarious. But not quite as funny as this:
"After the Chicago Sun-Times asked to see Koschman case files in 2011, Walsh told his bosses he couldn't find the original files, leading to the reinvestigation. Webb reported that Walsh was involved in four different sets of missing files, including some that ended up at Walsh's house.
"Walsh - a 29-year department veteran who comes from a family of Chicago cops - was suspended for 30 days in 2004 after being arrested in Michigan on a criminal sexual conduct charge. While fighting that felony charge, he was promoted to lieutenant. He ended up pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery."
Speaking of filing false reports . . .
"The Chicago police squad car that captured the October 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald had no audio on its dashboard camera because the vehicle had 'no MICs (microphones) because they were in the glove compartment with the batteries inserted upside down - disabling them,'" NBC5 Chicago reports.
Lineups, files and batteries - either our police aren't trained very well or, far more likely, they're trained too well.
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Posted on February 12, 2016
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