Chicago Cops Back Trump

This isn’t the most shocking news of the day, but given the way politics in Chicago have been my whole life, it is a little surprising. Backing Trump Re-Election A ‘No-Brainer’ For Chicago Police Union

The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police board of directors’ unanimous endorsement of Trump last week came within days of the national FOP backing Trump, just as it did four years ago. Catanzara characterized the decision by the Lodge 7 board as a “no-brainer” given all Chicago police officers have endured in recent months, he said.

Chicago Cops have problems, and most of them have the fingerprints of the Democratic Party on them. A Mayor (Groot) who won’t support them. A State’s Attorney (Crimesha) who won’t prosecute crimes, and especially won’t prosecute resisting arrest. (She’s only talked about that last bit.) Both are Democrats blessed by the national party.

Chicago Police Chief Kills System Known for Abuse

And the politicos thinks it will harm minorities most. Beck’s decision to abolish merit promotions could shortchange blacks and Hispanics, aldermen warn.

Okay, okay… He’s the interim police superintendent.

Politics and who you’re friends with as a basis for promotion, will be replaced with written tests. And so the alderman don’t like that. Objective standards? We can’t have that!

Taliaferro acknowledged merit promotions have been fraught with politics over the years and a bitter source of contention among the rank-and-file because the standards are so murky.

But just because a system has been abused for years doesn’t mean that Chicago should get rid of it. Or something.

Not everyone will be sad to see it go. Interim Chicago Police Supt. Charlie Beck suspends merit promotion system.

The union didn’t like it.

Critics claim it allowed the unqualified to move up — since officers could be promoted to the ranks of detective, sergeant and lieutenant, based on time of service and recommendations — regardless of their exam scores.

Two years ago, even the justice department criticized the practice for lacking transparency.

Second City Cop was not so delicate in his denunciation of the “merit” system. Well Well Well.

Well, we can say with a high degree of certainty, that upwards of 90% of CPD scandals centered on or were led by a “merit” pick. We hope you don’t doubt us. Special Ops, Broken Star, Flagg’s crew, pederast “merit” Sgt Elkins, “merit” Sgt Lesner’s gun, Johnson’s IRS scam, “merit” Sgt Elizondo, the continuing Escamerit follies, Johnson’s johnson, the list is near endless and in every case, a “merit” supervisor or someone brought onto a team by a “merit” supervisor, even if the supervisor avoided direct responsibility.

But since Charlie Beck is only in Chicago for a short while…

Abuse of Power in the Chicago PD?

Color me shocked. Chicago police investigating if sergeant forced transgender woman to perform sex act.

Of course this guy shouldn’t even be on the job. 20 years ago he was caught in an internal affairs sting over an illegal weapon, and recommended for firing.

The Cook County state’s attorney’s office declined to file criminal charges against the three officers, but Internal Affairs recommended they all be fired.

Months later, though, the Police Department handed down its punishment: 30-day suspensions for the sergeant and his partner and 15 days for the third officer.

That will only convince the bad-actors that there are no real consequences to being bad actors. And that was 20 years ago. Do you think that was the last time he did something without “following department procedures?”

Chicago’s Recipe For More Corrupt Cops

Don’t have repercussions for bad behavior. On-duty Chicago cops used as chauffeurs, babysitters for supervisor’s child: OIG.

The Office of Inspector General recommended possible firing for the supervisor, but the Chicago Police Department opted instead for a seven-day suspension.

Seven days of unpaid time off. Gee, however will he survive?

And it isn’t like this didn’t impact policing in Chicago.

In one instance, an officer hung up the phone on a domestic-violence victim because the child needed attention, according to the report.

Hat Tip to Second City Cop, who has identifying information (via the Tribune.)

identified by sources as Grand Central District Cmdr. Anthony Escamilla

The Fallout from the Laquan McDonald Shooting Is Still Falling

Jason Van Dyke shot McDonald, but the crime didn’t stop with the shooting. (Or so it is alleged.) 3 cops accused in conspiracy to cover up McDonald shooting head to trial.

Jason Van Dyke was found guilty of Second Degree Murder. “The first time a Chicago Police officer had been convicted of murder in an on-duty shooting in more than 50 years.” But then there is the Blue Wall of Silence.

The indictment alleges the three men filed false reports that said McDonald assaulted Gaffney, Walsh and Van Dyke and which portrayed the 17-year-old McDonald as moving aggressively at the officers before he was shot — an account that contradicts dashboard-camera video of the shooting.

The case is an indictment of the way the department has handled accusations of misconduct, large and small, for decades, said activist and independent journalist Jamie Kalven, who sued the city to get access to the dashcam footage.

This is more than a rouge cop. This is more than one cop having a bad day. This is a group of cops wanting to make sure that a “brother in blue” didn’t have to face the consequences of his actions. Allegedly. The trial starts Tuesday.

That’s Quite a Retirement Package

Or it would have been if he didn’t get caught. Ex-Chicago police commander charged with stealing $360,000 from Social Security.

A one-page criminal information filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court accused Kenneth Johnson of bilking the Social Security Administration out of $363,064 from about June 1994 to November 2017.

Hat tip to Second City Cop, who did the math.

If we’re reading this correctly, this asshole was crooked for at least 24 of his 32 years on the job – 75% of his career:

Not a cop having a bad day, if he was stealing for 24 years.

The Politically-motivated War Against Police

If you read this blog, you know that I am not a mindless supporter of the cops. But the war on policing in places like Baltimore and Chicago (and others) isn’t right. And it is political. Lawsuit: IPRA investigator told to lie to make police shooting look unjustified.

A former longtime police misconduct investigator claims in a new lawsuit he lost his job last year after he refused to give false testimony to make a shooting by an officer seem like it was not justified.

Because politically the Left has to continue to demonize all cops, and all police shootings MUST be unjustified because the political is more important than the truth. And it is political.

Also mentioned throughout the lawsuit, but not named as a defendant, is Lori Lightfoot, the former Police Board president now challenging Mayor Rahm Emanuel for his job. The complaint alleges that Lightfoot, in December 2015, told then-IPRA head Scott Ando she “wanted to fire that motherf—er Lett.”

Cops who break the law should be punished. But cops who do not break the law, should not be railroaded to further the political career of a politician.

Cops Running a Protection Racket in Chicago? Say It Ain’t So

JusticeI’m shocked – shocked! – to discover corruption in the ranks of Chicago PD. Cook County prosecutors toss more convictions tainted by corrupt ex-Chicago police Sgt. Ronald Watts – Chicago Tribune

OK, I’m not that shocked. Chicago – still putting the “Criminal” in the Criminal Justice System.

So Sgt. Watts would charge folks a “protection tax.” Fail to pay, and you ended up in jail on a drug charge.

Watts, who was convicted on federal charges, has repeatedly been accused of forcing residents and drug dealers alike to pay a “protection” tax and putting bogus cases on those who refused to do so.

15 people have had their convictions set aside (on one day). A total of 22 convictions have been overturned. Attorneys are calling for 500 cases to be examined.

In case after case, when Watts’ targets complained of his corruption, judges, prosecutors and internal affairs investigators all believed the testimony of Watts and other officers over their accusers, records show.

So cops, lawyers and judges gave the benefit of the doubt to the cop. In Chicago, home of Jon Burge and the Midnight Crew (tortured suspects for confession), The Special Operations Section (Extortion, kidnapping, and maybe murder-for-hire) and others.

Seven other cops – part of Watts’ unit – have been relieved of street duties pending an investigation. (Because the IA investigations were so good in the past. Not.)

Why did all this happen? Because the Criminal Justice System is not interested in Justice. It is interested in perpetuating itself. It does that by winning cases, even if they are bogus. Cops and prosecutors are not judged on Justice, but on arrests and convictions. Justice be damned.

I’m Shocked – Shocked – to Discover Chicago Cops Extorting Citizens.

JusticeOK, I’m not that shocked. 15 Men Cleared in First-Ever Mass Exoneration in Cook County.

Not just 1 bad apple. An entire “tactical team” was responsible for this.

They would extort residents of a housing project. Pay up or go to jail.

The police misconduct was spearheaded by [Chicago Police Department Sgt. Ronald] Watts, CPD Officer Kallatt Mohammed and other officers on their tactical team, who would routinely extort residents at the housing project. If they didn’t pay up, the cops would then allegedly plant felony-level drug amounts on them and lie about it under oath.

Watts was arrested by federal agents when he went after an undercover fed. He was sentenced to 22 months. Considering some of these guys spent years in prison, that doesn’t seem like justice.

26 people have had convictions voided, and more are being investigated.

Chicago PD – Still putting the “criminal” in “Criminal Justice System.” (Does the name Jon Burge ring a bell?)

News Flash: Chicago Cops Can Be Out of Control. (So says the DOJ)

JusticeFrom Jon Burge, to the Special Operations Section, the Chicago PD has had its share of problems. To treat it like it is breaking news, is laughable. US Department of Justice report says CPD engages in pattern of using excessive force |

The investigation portrayed a police force corroded by the use of unreasonable force – many times prompted by a factor of racism – and protected by a code of silence. The deadly force and racism issue went uncontrolled because of a lack of training, according to the DOJ report.

The article lists an abbreviated time-line of some of the issues that came to light in the past. It isn’t comprehensive.

I have a somewhat regular feature on this blog of “Cops Behaving Badly.” Here and in the archives, this designation is heavily concentrated on Chicago – because it was and is so easy. 10s of millions of dollars of settlements paid, the occasional gaffe by the Chicago’s finest, and the incidents caught on video.

Chicago Pays $6.5million for 2 Wrongful Death Suits

The police could probably bankrupt the city all by themselves. City Council Approves $6.5M Settlement in Wrongful Death Suits Involving Chicago Police | NBC Chicago

One guy they tasered 16 times. They did that even though they were told he was having “mental episodes.” But cops don’t do hospitals; they do jail. (That is a near quote.)

The other case should go to trial under the heading of depraved indifference to human suffering.

In the second case, the Finance Committee approved payment of $1.5 million to the family of Justin Cook, who died while suffering an asthma attack during arrest. Witnesses at the scene said Cook begged for his inhaler, and that one of the officers sprayed it in the air, rather than letting him use it.

No one was fired, let alone brought up on charges.

Chicago Cop Sentenced to 2 Years in Beating

He was caught on video. (Cops still haven’t figured out that cameras are everywhere.) Chicago police officer gets 2 years for beating store clerk | Chicago Sun-Times

federal jurors convicted veteran police officer Aldo Brown of using excessive force when he pummeled and kicked a South Side store clerk in front of a camera.

His lawyer says that this “sends a message” that cops can’t do “proactive” police work. Translation: The law shouldn’t apply to cops.

But the judge saw things differently.

Chicago PD – Putting the “Criminal” in “Criminal Justice System” Since the 1940s: Concealing Evidence from Defense Attorneys

“Street Files” that differed from the official files. Witness statements not turned over to the defense. Altered statements. The list goes on. Did Chicago police hide evidence? – Chicago Tribune

In the 60 cases she’s been able to compare, Gorman said she has found that more than 90 percent have information in the street file that was not in the defense file. The discrepancies run the gamut, she said, including names and accounts of eyewitnesses that apparently were never disclosed, statements in detectives’ notes that contradict later versions of typed reports and lineup cards that were missing or different from what the defense eventually saw.

The City of Chicago is denying that evidence was withheld improperly. Since the cases in question go back 60 or 70 years, they really can’t do anything else.

Video Will Rip Chicago Apart

Video of another police shooting. Hasn’t been released. Chicago is fighting to keep it from being released. The Video that will Rip Chicago Apart

October 20th of last year Chicago police responded to a report of someone slashing tires. Backup with tasers were called for. That isn’t what happened.

Only one cop opened fire, shooting 16 times in all, and the video is said to show the rounds hitting McDonald in the back, the legs, arms, neck and head, the bullets making the body jump again and again.

On Nov. 19, Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama is expected to rule whether the video should be released.

The police unions story doesn’t match that account, but instead say that the dead guy – whose family has received a $5 million settlement – lunged that officer. I guess if we ever get to see the video we will know.

Chicago Cops Likely Violated Constitutional Rights. Cook County Prosecutor May Have Lied Under Oath

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has been aiding and abetting the Chicago Police for decades. Looks like this time one got caught in a lie. Secret recording divulged by defense in shooting of Chicago cop – Chicago Tribune

It turns out the mother of a suspect in a shooting of a police officer – where a search was done without bothering to get a search warrant – recorded the interaction with authorities. She was in her own home after all.

The judge had been expected to rule as soon as Friday on whether officers violated Sadler’s constitutional rights when they entered his mother’s South Side home soon after Pearson was shot. But with the disclosure of the recording, Wilson postponed his decision. He banned Chicago police and prosecutors from seeking a search warrant for the iPad, ordering that it remain in the possession of Sadler’s attorneys, who told the judge they would provide prosecutors with a copy of the video as soon as that same day.

The mother is claiming that her statement the SA’s office presented is not the statement she made. In particular it omits the bit where she asked to see an attorney. Now that we know there is a recording, some Assistant DA is likely gonna lose a license to practice law.

“If the video … proves that the state’s attorney did in fact lie under oath, some strong action should be taken to discourage that from ever happening again,” [Cook County Public Defender Amy] Campanelli said.

One sad thing is that the kid who shot the cop will likely go free because the Chicago Police department didn’t bother to abide by the Constitution. I guess they think it doesn’t apply to them.

The powers that be – and the Tribune – are wondering why it took 3 years for this recording to surface. That isn’t hard. Until a recent Supreme Court ruling, it was illegal to video cops doing their jobs in Illinois. No longer.

DNA from Chicago officer’s gun is evidence

This was a stupid motion to begin with, and I’m glad the judge saw it for the smokescreen it was. Judge rules DNA from Chicago officers' gun can be evidence – Times Union.

It is alleged that Chicago police Commander Glenn Evans stuck his gun in a suspects mouth and threatened to kill him. His lawyers held that testing the gun for DNA violated his 4th amendment rights. (Would be the first thing in a long time that violated ANYONE’S fourth amendment rights! But that is a subject for another day.) The judge didn’t buy that argument. The testing is valid, and will be presented as evidence. “Innocent until proved guilty…”

Judge Diane Cannon rejected the argument that taking a swab from Commander Glenn Evans service weapon was an unconstitutional violation of the Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Cannon said a swab from the gun was justified, comparing it to the routine practice of testing an officer’s service weapon after a shooting.

You won’t see the usual suspects screaming about this case, because it doesn’t fit the narrative of the brutal white cops oppressing the poor minorities, because Evans is black African-American, as is the person whose DNA apparently ended up on the end of the gun. (“Innocent until proved guilty in a court of law.”)

Chicago Cops Delete Security Camera Video

Because operating in the dark is what cops like to do. Missing Minutes From Security Video Raises Questions | NBC Chicago.

Chicago police officers deleted footage from a security camera at a Burger King restaurant located fewer than 100 yards from where 17-year old Laquan McDonald was shot and killed, according to a Chicago-area district manager for the food chain.

McDonald was shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer on the night of October 20, 2014. Nine of the shots struck McDonald in the back, according to the Medical Examiners report

86 minutes of video were “missing” after a group of cops spent 3 hours reviewing the security video.

My guess is that there will be no impact on anyone for this shooting. Except of course for the dead guy and his family. No cops will be found guilty of anything. Not murder. Not destruction of evidence. Nothing.

In a civil rights case filed in federal court, Gorman contends IPRA investigations are a whitewash.

“Their policy is to exonerate any officer that’s involved in a shooting and the officers all know it,” she said. “They have complete impunity, and they know they will never be called on the carpet by the city of Chicago or the so-called independent investigative unit.”

Video of Chicago Police Officer Asleep on the Job

This almost feels like a cheap shot. Almost. Facebook video shows Chicago Police officer asleep on job | Chicago.

In the video — shot in broad daylight at 63rd and Campbell streets — a man first pans to the intersection, then walks up to a police SUV to tape the officer.

He is still on the job. The incident is “under investigation.” My guess is that nothing will happen to him aside from the crap he is taking in the squad room.

The guy is dead-to-the-world. A bus drives by and he doesn’t budge.

Stop and Frisk not just a New York thing

Chicago actually does more of it than NYC, though that is adjusted for population. Editorial: Huge number of stops by cops hard to justify | Chicago.

Chicago averaged about 93.6 stops per 1,000 residents from May through August of 2014, compared with just 22.9 in New York for the same months in 2011, the year police in that city made the most stops. And a disproportionate number of those stopped in Chicago were African-American.

I don’t expect anything to change. Chicago PD will continue to be Chicago PD.

The Ongoing Case Against Jon Burge and Chicago Police Corruption

In case anyone is interested, this is a nice summary of the state of what is going on, from a law professor working to get wrongly convicted people out of prison. Here’s the Latest from the Case Against Jon Burge | Chicago magazine | Politics & City Life November 2014.

The basic story:

Can you give us a brief primer on Burge’s history of misconduct?

The allegations against Jon Burge go back well into the ’70s, but they weren’t well recognized until the late ’80s and early ’90s. He was suspended from his job in 1991 and was fired in 1993, when the police’s internal investigation came to the conclusion that he had been engaged in torture and other misconducts. That was the first official acknowledgement of what he had done. Since then, many individuals sought the post–conviction review or filed civil action. I believe there’s been $100 million or more paid out in settlements to victims of Burge and people who worked for him.

There are at least 20 and probably many more people still in prison that were put there by Burge and Company – not because they were guilty, but because it was easier to coerce confessions than it was to actually do the police work to find the bad guys. And it is (was?) all about winning. It is not about justice.