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The [Monday] Papers

"In the fallout from the Laquan McDonald shooting, Mayor Rahm Emanuel trumpeted a new policy requiring that videos of shootings by police be released within three months, calling it a shift toward transparency for a city that long fought to keep evidence of wrongdoing by officers hidden from the public," the Tribune reports.

"Now, a little more than a year later, Emanuel's top lawyer has agreed for the first time to delay the release of a video of a police shooting beyond the 90-day limit set by the city's own policy."

In other words, there is no new policy.

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"The Cook County state's attorney's office sought the delay, arguing that releasing the video would jeopardize the right of Dwane Rowlett to a fair trial on charges he faces after police shot him early this year. Further, Rowlett's lawyer said he and prosecutors plan to seek a court order that could keep the video from public view for even longer."

Back to square one.

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"Emanuel took heated criticism for fighting to keep that video hidden for more than a year before a judge ordered its release. The policy he announced three months after it came out requires that audio and video from shootings and other clashes involving officers be made public within 60 days. The rules developed by Emanuel's handpicked Police Accountability Task Force allow for one 30-day extension that can be invoked at the request of law enforcement officials.

"The policy, though, sets a firm deadline of 90 days, specifying that the city 'will not honor any further requests to delay release beyond the initial request.'"

That certainly sounds firm. No room for ambiguity there. But this is Chicago.

"Yet Corporation Counsel Edward Siskel cited that very policy March 31 in agreeing to an additional 30-day extension beyond the 90 days in connection with Rowlett's Jan. 1 shooting, according to correspondence posted to a city website."

And with Jeff Sessions in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice, there won't be a consent decree enforcing what we might as well now call fake policy.

Rahm will continue to publicly declare he's moving ahead with reform even without the DOJ looking over his shoulder, but look for a new level of flexibility in just what that reform entails.

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Just to further establish:

"Sergio Acosta, a former federal prosecutor who helped create the policy as a member of Emanuel's task force, said it would be 'problematic' if the city returns to blocking videos for months at a time because of ongoing investigations. Allowing delays beyond 90 days was not the intent of the policy, he said."

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And now comes Bill McCaffrey, Today's Worst Person In Chicago (and not for the first time):

"'Since this is the first policy of its kind (in the country), it should be expected that unforeseen situations will arise that require a careful consideration of whether an exception is warranted,' McCaffrey wrote in a statement.

"City officials don't anticipate granting more requests for similar delays, McCaffrey said, 'but situations vary and we must always consider the facts, including requests from prosecutors, when releasing these materials.'"

In other words, again, there is no policy.

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And in case you're wondering:

"'How does it obstruct an investigation?' Jon Loevy, a civil rights attorney who often sues Chicago police, asked of the timely release of shooting videos. "That's the excuse that was given for a long time about why things had to be concealed, but it doesn't really make sense."

"Neither Law Department officials nor prosecutors detailed precisely how the video could compromise Rowlett's right to a fair trial or obstruct the investigation.

"Other cities, meanwhile, sometimes post videos within days of shootings by police."

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Also, note that the request to withhold the video came from prosecutors arguing that the defendant's right to a fair trial could be infringed upon if released. Shouldn't that be the concern of the defendant's attorney, who agreed to the request but did not seek it?

Something doesn't add up.

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New on today's Beachwood . . .

Chicagoetry: Fresh Hell
Scorned lovers, spurned suitors, scammed marks, improbable revenge plots.

The White Sox Report: What About Avi?
The next David Ortiz or the next Thad Bosley?

Car Insurance Industry Denies Proven Structural Racism
An industry representative disputed ProPublica's findings that many disparities in auto insurance prices between minority and white neighborhoods - including in Chicago - are wider than differences in risk can explain. His analysis is flawed.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production.

ICYMI: Last Week In Chicago Rock . . .

Featuring: Clearance, Machineheart, Mykele Deville, Negative Scanner, Mike Mains, Motherfolk, Omni, Bastille, Xoe Wise, Razorhouse, UK Subs, Slapshot, Sohn, Melkbelly, Sleaford Mods, Nana Grizol, Xiu Xiu, Le Butcherettes, and Aretha Franklin.

SportsMonday
Will return next week.

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BeachBook

The Utter Uselessness Of Job Interviews.

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The Media Loved Trump's Show Of Military Might. Are We Really Doing This Again?

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CIA Had Evidence Of Russian Effort To Help Trump Earlier Than Believed.

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Growing Tensions Between DeVos Education Department & Reporters.

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How ESPN Is Changing The Game With SportsCenter.

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White Sox Offer Contest Winner Used Gordon Beckham Shoe.

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NPR: Chicago Mayor's Plan To Update H.S. Graduation Has A Fatal Flaw.

Just one? See The [Thursday] Papers. (More fake policy.)

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: No good guys.



Permalink

Posted on April 10, 2017


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Trump's Disastrous FCC Chair.
POLITICS - Filing: Walmart CEO Made $22.4 Million Last Year.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Pace Pantsed.

BOOKS - America, We Need To Talk.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Bus Stop.


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