Law enforcement officers are supposed to keep us safe and protect us, and for the most part they do that. Unfortunately, there are some police officers who fail to understand that they are supposed to act responsibly even when interacting with a “suspect.”
In June 2011, Flint Farmer was infamously shot and killed by a Chicago police officer during a traffic stop. The officer’s dashboard camera recorded him standing over Farmer and shooting him in the back. A total of 16 shots were fired, and seven hit Farmer, who was unarmed. Read the rest »
Violent crime in Chicago is a serious epidemic that has been on the rise in recent years, leaving law enforcement scrambling to find new solutions. Turning to technology has opened up new options that provide better information and help police target certain locations in their fight on crime.
Unfortunately, this can end up just sending the violence and crime elsewhere, as criminals learn to avoid the targeted areas and move their operations to the next neighborhood. Community outreach and involvement seem to be the best answer: many hope law enforcement will come together with community leaders to forge stronger relationships and work together. Read the rest »
A petition has been filed with the court calling for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate and prosecute the Chicago police shooting of Laquan McDonald.
The current Cook County State’s Attorney waited over a year to formally charge the police officer accused in the fatal shooting. This delay has been brought under severe criticism and scrutiny especially since there was video evidence documenting what happened at the scene. This delay has driven some civil rights attorneys, elected officials, and clergy to seek a special prosecutor to replace the Cook County State’s Attorney as prosecutor in this police brutality matter. Read the rest »
Only hours after it was announced that the U.S. Department of Justice was initiating a sweeping examination of police practices in Chicago, video was released showing a prisoner being tased while in police lock-up and then dragged from his cell. The 38 year old man later died from an adverse reaction to an antipsychotic drug he was administered in the hospital. Although the medical examiner found that the death was the result of this severe reaction to Haloperidol, the report also detailed a fractured rib, as well as dozens of abrasions and bruises on his body. Within 12 hours of his arrest, the victim was pronounced dead. Read the rest »
Chicago police commander Glenn Evans was recently found not guilty after a criminal court bench trial. The case was prosecuted by the Cook County State’s Attorney. It had been alleged that the commander shoved a gun down the throat of a suspect while questioning him about a criminal case. This finding of not guilty occurred despite the fact that DNA testing of the officer’s gun revealed the suspect’s DNA on the gun itself. Although the suspect, Rickey Williams, swore under oath that the police officer had forcefully thrust the gun into his mouth during a brutal interrogation, the Judge said that his testimony was unbelievable. Read the rest »
To say that the credibility of the Chicago Police Department and city government has been compromised is a bit of an understatement. Like so many other police departments, Chicago PD has a long road ahead of it.
Regaining the public trust after such a flagrant abuse of power will take years, not months. There have been many suggestions on how to do this – some more realistic than others. One approach, while expensive, may help provide a certain level of transparency that didn’t exist before. Read the rest »
Historically speaking, police officers in the United States have always had complicated relationships with the communities they serve. It seems for every step forward, many departments take a step back. Despite countless reforms and vast improvements in enforcement technology, some officers still abuse their position. 2015 was particularly brutal. As a country, we saw police officers punching, tazing, and shooting innocent people. Read the rest »
In a day when anyone can record just about anything on their smart phones, it is hard to image the police not being able to do the same thing at crime scenes. Despite the fact Chicago has had the largest network of cameras in the country since 2003 and access to one of the fastest broadband services in the world, law enforcement has remained dramatically behind in terms of live streaming. That is – until recently. Read the rest »