The Chicago Tribune shines a light on the Chicago Police Department and how it handles police shootings:
Law enforcement officials at all levels, from the detectives who investigate cases to the superintendent, as well as the state’s attorney’s office, have failed to properly police the police.
Promises to improve the system also haven’t touched another fundamental flaw: the hasty meetings, known as roundtables, led by police commanders in the charged hours after a Chicago officer shoots a civilian. Witnesses are not sworn. The discussions are not recorded. When the sessions conclude, officials nearly always decide the officer was justified in pulling the trigger.
And if evidence eventually contradicts the officers’ versions of events, the Tribune found that cases aren’t reopened and the officers escape serious punishment.
Chicago police shoot a civilian on average once every 10 days. More than 100 people have been killed in the last decade; 250 others have been injured. But only a tiny fraction of shootings are ruled unjustified — less than 1 percent, police records and court testimony indicate.
I strongly suspect that similar findings would be found in many other cities. Kudos to the Tribune for this reporting.
Hat tip: Radley Balko.