Once again, Chicago’s Mayor and its Administration have their heads in the sand. To believe that hiring a former Prosecutor or US Attorney to review how the Chicago Law Department handles police shootings and defends the City against claims of excessive force, it is hiring someone still vested in the same system, with past and/or present connections. Nothing new will happen or become exposed for real change or corrective action. The status of the Department will stay the same.
Sure, a ‘Report’ will issue but will it possibly tap into the harsh reality that City Attorneys routinely work with the Police Department to conceal evidence or pretend material evidence has literally disappeared? All evidence should have been secured with plain and strict marching orders from the Chain of Command, at the outset of any raised issues of wrongdoing.
Here, there was misconduct as determined by the Presiding Judge, to wit, concealing of evidence. This is not a new situation for Plaintiffs’ Attorneys in civil cases, anywhere. It does not even take a fatal Police shooting to raise such an issue. It could have been a much simpler case of discrimination or retaliation or wrongful discharge, where the Police Department would rally to hide evidence in Internal Affairs Division vaults or elsewhere, which would have revealed the wrongdoing amongst superiors and officers. Bluntly stated, it takes a covert but planned conspiracy within the Chain of Command to pull this off and then the Legal Department accepts the excuses by reason of being on payroll or paid by the hour as outside Counsel.
In truth, Plaintiffs’ Attorneys everywhere have come to know they will become frustrated by discovery processes by reason that surveillance results are being manipulated to dull and edit the visual effect of wrongdoing or a crime scene. Despite all the advances in technology and highly improved equipment, Police Departments deliberately produce grainy, substandard photographs or video. Moreover, they pretend they must reuse dispatchers’ tapes so that communications remain hidden or become destroyed proving inside knowledge.
In all these cases, there must be a zero tolerance for the intentional spoliation of evidence. Pretending there is no conspiracy for the aiding and abetting methods between the Police Department and the Law Department, mocks our intelligence! All the parties involved are constrained by ethical rules, not just the Attorneys. Reading any Police Manual stating the Rules and Regulations, and, the updates set forth in formal protocol, whether Superintendents or Directors Memorandum, General Orders or the like will educate anyone to their official duties and requirements and the punishment which issues for mistakes or ignorance.
Both the Advocate’s Section of the Police Department along with the Internal Affairs Division and its professional standards subunits, have definite requirements to collect and preserve evidence. Together, their requirements extend to the public, and also, for the purpose of establishing an overall, progressive discipline system. Officers are meant to have corrective action and more particularly for their failings. They cannot render false reports or ignore their obligations to collect immediate interviews or hide behind poor camera and surveillance results.
Officers with complaints from the public, and, more specifically, for excessive force, have an unfounded belief they are calculated to be protected by Contract or the Attorney General Guidelines from having their complaint or discipline history exposed. These officers also believe that no one can access their history so long as there is an ongoing internal investigation or outside investigation being performed. The Superintendent or Director may actually be reaching out to external investigators including the FBI or County to keep an investigation open so as to protect the Officer involved. Obviously, this is not permitted under the Rules and is an exercise in undue influence
Take heed Chicago, Newark and other Cities, corruption will not end by hiding behind US Attorney review or Consent Decrees. The same corrupt methods will haunt your Administration. Independent expertise from outside the locale must be brought in to fix your problems.
The Workplace Fixer continues to offer her services for consultation and real training. No simple remedy will present itself from a review…
The Workplace Fixer has solutions based on three decades of litigating Police failings. Continue to follow my blogs at my website www.workplacefixer.com
The Workplace Fixer for Hire and Consultation Service
Former Labor Attorney Specializing in Police and Social Reform
Biases drive some of the worst tendencies and behaviors in any group. The Police Department is not an exception. The Workplace Fixer has already blogged concerning our hidden bias or unknown biases – More training in this critical area is being offered, and more particularly, as it impacts Police Officers, at all ranks. We need to know how to switch off our conditioned or automatic responses and reflect on actions which are acceptable in these difficult times.
My goal is to re-train to a new model or ideal type cop, using applied rationality methods, a focused grit based on the Rules and Regulations, real policies of every Police Department… We can no longer afford to send cops into the street, with dubious or vague thoughts or old habits.
I Am Prepared to Brainstorm with a Small Group:
This is not talk therapy nor counselling; but aims to teach a fundamental recalibration so partners or Units can bond for more reliable work together, and, to build public trust and confidence. Exercises have been specifically developed by this former Labor Attorney, who knows police failings and what drives “poor decisions”. The goal is to obtain a new and acceptable realization throughout the workforce… for each individual to become more confident and to listen to all the other responses from colleagues and their superiors.
Fears can be stubborn, unmanly and appear unproductive; but keeping silent does not erase the problem. Hiding from the painful changes within the world or this locale does not prevent anything from happening. The idea is to remove susceptibility to an unknown fear, bring it out and martial the tension and, hence, to establish real supports within the Department!
There is nothing over the top planned – no self-help groups or advice to offend. I want to teach the tools of real police reform and accountability.
This program is designed to penetrate beyond garden variety crimes and to expose the current fear variables, which no one really wants to talk about…unexpected violence, terroristic threats, things or people out of control…
The foregoing program evolves, in part, from behavioral studies and modification programs cropping up around the Country. These intensive seminars have been quite costly and are aimed to certain limited worker groups. I have developed a practical, cost-efficient program for the police and I can tailor these programs to organizations or other institutions, government or business based.
The Workplace Fixer has solutions based on three decades of litigating Police failings and other workplace issues. Continue to follow blogs at my website www.workplacefixer.com.
The Workplace Fixer
Former Labor Attorney Specializing in Police and other Social Reform