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Lawsuit For Fired Police Investigator Who Refused To Change Findings Dismissed

By aaroncynic in News on Feb 11, 2016 9:40PM

Chicago Police Protest.jpg
Chicago Police officers follow one of the many marches demanding the resignation of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the wake of the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video. Photo by Aaron Cynic/Chicagoist

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by a former investigator with the Independent Police Review Authority Wednesday, rejecting claims that his free speech rights were violated.

U.S. District Judge Charles P. Kocoras ruled that Lorenzo Davis’s constitutional rights were not violated when he was dismissed from the agency. Davis says he was fired from IPRA after refusing to reverse his findings in several cases involving police shootings that found officers unjustified.

“Davis has no First Amendment claim because he was not speaking as a citizen when he wrote reports detailing his findings concerning accusations of police misconduct,” wrote Kocoras, according to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. “The written reports and findings, as well as Davis’ verbal refusals to alter his reports and findings, were intimately connected to his job as an IRPA investigator.”

The judge however, did not make a ruling on Davis’s allegations that he was pressured to change his findings in police shootings or that he was ultimately fired by then chief administrator Scott Ando.

In a statement emailed to the Tribune, Davis’s lawyer Torreya Hamilton said:

“We are disappointed in the judge's ruling, particularly his finding that the issues of police accountability and IPRA's broken system for investigating police shootings are not matters of public concern. We will still be pursuing Mr. Davis' claims in state court to the fullest extent of the law. This is not the end of Mr. Davis' fight to prove that his firing was illegal."