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The [Wednesday] Papers

"In the midst of an almost deafening national and local outcry over police abuses, the Illinois Supreme Court may order the City of Chicago to destroy all records of complaints against police officers that are more than five years old, potentially undermining attempts to identify problematic officers," WBEZ reports.

"A decision is scheduled to be issued Thursday in a legal challenge brought by the union representing Chicago police officers, asserting that their contract with the city requires the destruction of old complaints."


The crux of it:

"University of Chicago Law Professor Craig Futterman said the case is fundamentally about a question being asked all over the country, whether police unions and city governments should be able to bargain away the rights of the public to have effective oversight of police officers."


"Attorneys for the Chicago chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents about 12,000 rank-and-file Chicago cops, agree there may be important public policy reasons for preserving police complaint records, but argue that 'as important as those concerns may be' they do not give the city the right to ignore the contract, which requires complaint records be destroyed after five years. "Changes . . . must come through bargaining, not fiat,' a union motion reads."


There's a lot more layers to the issue, so I recommend reading the whole thing.

But here's where, to my way of thinking, the union is wholly disingenuous:

John Catanzara, the recently-elected president of the Chicago chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents about 12,000 rank-and-file cops, said he "absolutely" supports destroying complaint records after five years.

"If you have a not-sustained complaint, why should that stay in your file forever?" Catanzara asked.

Yes - because unusually large numbers of unsustained complaints signal that something may be wrong with those reviewing the complaints, as the piece notes. It's also telling that certain officers rack up a large number of complaints, sustained or not.


Protestors vs. Looters
"New data released by the Chicago Police Department from the weekend following the death of George Floyd shows that just 20% of arrests during the first few days of unrest were for looting-related crimes, contradicting earlier claims by CPD that looting made up the majority of arrests that weekend," the Chicago Reporter has found.

"Most of the 1,052 arrests were actually for protest-related charges. CPD provided the updated figures after the Reporter shared an analysis of arrest records that called CPD's numbers into question."

In other words, the Reporter did a better job analyzing the data than the cops did.

"In the days following the unrest, the Chicago Police Department maintained that the majority of the arrests that weekend were for 'criminal conduct tied to looting.' A report issued by CPD at the end of the week following the initial protests stated "1,258 individuals were arrested" during that weekend and, of those, '699 arrests were related to criminal conduct tied to looting and destruction of property."

"But according to updated numbers provided by the department Tuesday to the Reporter, only 213 of the 1,052 arrests were for looting-related incidents, about 70% less than the CPD's initial figures."

This, too, is a piece you should click through to.


New on the Beachwood . . .

How (Not) To Negotiate A Labor Deal
"The art of the delayed deal is pretending you are negotiating when you actually aren't," writes our very own David Rutter, drawing on his experience being in the room during newsroom union talks.


Chicago's Matriarch Of Medical Examiners
Daughter of wealthy industrialist changed the forensic science game.


Hollywood's Long History Of Police Myth-Making

I added a relatively long comment to this that I hope you'll read.


Amazon Ring's Police Problem
Technology companies must rethink how the tools they design and sell to police departments minimize accountability and exacerbate injustice.



Hi, has anyone tried to get an antibody test yet? If so, where at? from r/chicago





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Posted on June 17, 2020

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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