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Brutal Report on CPD

By Margaret Lyons in News on Nov 15, 2007 7:24PM

Kind of a CPD-heavy day today. University of Chicago Law School professor Craig Futterman released a new study today titled "The Use of Statistical Evidence to Address Police Supervisory and Disciplinary Practices: The Chicago Police Department's Broken System." (Download the .pdf here.) The report is only 40 pages long, and it's un-fucking-believable. In it, Futterman and his co-authors H. Melissa Mather and Melanie Miles outline a blistering analysis of the CPD's "fundamental and systemic" problems, a "culture of not knowing" and a "machinery of denial" when it comes to charges of police abuse. We'll pull out some highlights here, but the entire report is really, really worth reading:

2007_11_15.policebrutality.jpg"The odds are two in a thousand that a Chicago police officer will receive any meaningful discipline as a result of being charged with abusing a civilian."
The report then goes on to explain that police brutality is under-reported, which means the odds of a Chicago police officer ever facing real consequences for brutality is even lower than 2 in 1,000; the report puts it at 2 in 10,000.

"While few police departments are known for effectively policing themselves, Chicago is, on a number of accountability measures, significantly worse than the norm.... The average sustained rate for excessive force cases in major metropolitan police departments was 8 percent, compared to Chicago’s 0.48% "
This is the point in the report that's garnering the most attention.

"We found that standard CPD police abuse investigations violate virtually every canon of professional investigation."
Evidence is destroyed, complaints ignored, witnesses never questioned.

"The data... paint a picture of an institution... that enables certain officers to operate with impunity in certain communities of the City. The CPD goes to great lengths not to know about or address its “bad apples” and the harm that they inflict on the police, public, and justice system."
Seriously, read the whole thing. Especially the part about "Apartheid Justice."

Photo by Quinn.anya