The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

And you thought bad teachers were hard to get rid of

Posted by Bill Nance on September 7, 2008

Corrupt or brutal police officers in Chicago don’t get fired, they just…get suspended.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Police Board has repeatedly refused to fire police officers convicted of wrongful shootings, abuse of authority, brutality and habitual drunkenness on the job.

Some examples:

  • Two officers who were later charged criminally in federal court, one for unrelated weapons violations and another for the on-duty beating of a man in a wheelchair.
  • An officer who allegedly printed 13 photos of a woman from the Police Department’s arrest database and gave them to a friend who was later convicted of attempted murder for shooting her and another man.

But before cop-haters get outraged… The police department is the one crying foul. They want to fire these bad apples. The bottleneck? A police board appointed by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. Does that name sound familiar in the context of police misconduct? It should.

The board hears cases brought by the police department against allegedly errant officers, decides them in secret, and releases no justifications for their decisions. Police department management is outraged. Their only recourse is to file a lawsuit and prove that the board’s decision is against the “manifest weight of the evidence.” But they still can’t fire the cop in question. The case just goes back to the board.

The Juice:

Of 80 officers the superintendent sought to fire over that five-year period, just 21 were dismissed. Thirty-nine were suspended — some for as long as three years — even though the Police Board found them guilty of violating department rules. Twenty officers were restored to duty after being found not guilty by the board.

So this board thinks that when the Chicago Police Department seeks to get rid of one of it’s own for misconduct, they are only right in one out of four cases?

This mayor-appointed board makes teachers unions look like the very model of public accountability and responsibility.


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