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The [Wednesday] Papers

"After her teenage son died in a police-chase crash, Jondalyn Fields' lawyers asked the Chicago Police Department for the videos from their cars and along the route to try to find out what happened," the Tribune reports.

"While her lawsuit dragged on for six years, the city finally made a startling claim: Some of the videos it had long denied existed had been erased or recorded over.

"The city didn't care - they were just, 'Go away, go away, go away,'" said Fields, who last month won a $2.75 million verdict against the city from a Cook County jury.

Rahm Emanuel couldn't be reached in Cuba for comment. Former police chief Garry McCarthy couldn't be reached because he's too busy leaking to patsy reporters about how Rahm was really the bad guy to come to the phone.

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Isn't that destruction of evidence? That would be a crime, no?

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"Time and again, lawyers suing over alleged police misconduct have found that the Police Department failed to produce crucial video or audio from the storage system the city spent millions of dollars to implement."

Dear DOJ . . .

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"The Police Department has had a written policy on the use and maintenance of its dashboard camera video system since November 2006, but it largely has not followed those rules, especially when it comes to maintaining working microphones to capture audio."

But you said your men always follow orders . . .

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"The department made video public from five of the police cars at the McDonald shooting, but the audio did not work on any of them, a remarkable failure given the marketing emphasis the camera maker, Coban Technologies, devotes to the performance and reliability of its audio . . .

"Coban officials, including the vice president who signed the company's $12 million contract with the city, declined to speak to the Tribune about their system. David Hinojosa, vice president of sales, cited the pending federal investigation of the McDonald shooting for the company's stance.

"But in promotional videos posted online, the company highlights the audio capabilities of its TopCam G2 system - the portable, battery-powered microphones that Chicago police officers wear clipped to their bodies. Through testimonials from several company officials and law enforcement officials among Coban's clients throughout the country, the company touts the audio as one of the system's main selling points, largely because of the record it creates for police to rely on in court."

In fact, the first thing you see on Coban's website is the slogan "Tell The Whole Story."

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From their site:

"Capturing video evidence for law enforcement with exact precision. Transferring it where you need it, when you need it. Managing video evidence intuitively. Storing and retrieving it sensibly. It's what we do. Whether it's the police officers on patrol or a lieutenant in the back office, COBAN excels at meeting customers' needs because we address every phase of digital evidence management. And our customer service is second to none. Pioneering many of the industry's breakthrough features, COBAN sets precedents for meeting and anticipating customer requirements with features such as unlimited pre-event/post event recording and fail-safe recording. We provide the whole picture. Get the evidence today. "

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The Coban Difference:

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Indisputable Evidence:

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"Police officers and other law enforcement sources who talked to the Tribune on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly said the microphones routinely don't operate because of negligence by the department. The mics are lost or broken, or the batteries wear out or are removed, the officers said. But the inoperable ones are rarely replaced or fixed, they said."

So the department spent $12 million on a system it can't be bothered to maintain.

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The consequences:

"So far this year, only three of the 22 police shooting or excessive force cases referred to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office for possible prosecution had been captured on dash-cam videos, yet none had functioning audio, said Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for the office.

Testifying under oath during a 2014 deposition in an excessive force lawsuit, a Harrison District sergeant, Jeffrey Truhlar, said that 70 to 80 percent of the in-car video systems in that high-crime district are not working on any given day, according a partial transcript of the deposition.

A Police Department spokesman acknowledged this week that the vast majority of microphones don't work.

"Currently, 80 percent of cameras don't record audio due to technical or human error and in some cases intentional destruction to microphones," said the spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi.

Eighty percent is not an accident - it's sabotage.

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Reminds of that time when police officers in Jefferson Park threw their microphones onto the roof of their station.

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Also, Coban's big selling point is its customer service. If the CPD wasn't going to use it, maybe they could have negotiated a cheaper contract. Does Coban offer a "When You Don't Really Want It To Work" option?

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"Guglielmi was unable to provide any records showing if any officers had been disciplined for damaging equipment before the McDonald fallout, and the department declined to make police leaders available to answer questions on that point."

Rahm took all the "owning it" sweaters with him to Cuba.

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Go read the rest.

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The Beachwood Radio Hour Is Back!

* The Beachwood Radio Hour #69A: The Media & Laquan McDonald.

The reporting is still under review, but the pundits have already been convicted.

* The Beachwood Radio Hour #69B: The Beachwood Is 10 And I'm Exhausted.

I want out. The sad, sorry saga of the Chicago digital news-o-sphere. Millions of dollars flushed down the toilet. Plus: Rahm's Future; Inside Chi-Town Rising; Lynn Sweet's Trumped-Up Poll and more!

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BeachBook

Interesting story out of Chicago.

Posted by The Beachwood Reporter on Tuesday, December 22, 2015

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Fun story out of St. Paul.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Audio optional.



Permalink

Posted on December 23, 2015


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Vizio Settles Spying Complaints.
POLITICS - WikiLeaks Reveals Staggering Breadth Of CIA Hacking.
SPORTS - Fantasy Fix Draft Guide Pt. 3: The Professor!

BOOKS - Bannon, The Best And The Brightest.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: Ray Rayner & Friends.


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