Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Chicago Police Scandals Get Worse

See inside for more on this Chicago Tribune story, but aside from the obvious misconduct and mishandling by the Daley regime, we found it interesting to see the tactics being used to intimidate media.

Police spokesman and Daley aide Monique Bond should explain how she's going to magically make parking tickets go away.


chicagotribune said...

By David Heinzmann
Tribune staff reporter

March 27, 2007, 10:16 PM CDT

Chicago Police Supt. Philip Cline said Tuesday he mishandled allegations against six officers involved in a videotaped bar beating as he vowed to take cops accused of misconduct off the street quickly when prosecutors indicate they might bring criminal charges.

The six officers allegedly involved in the Dec. 15 melee at the Jefferson Tap and Grille have remained on active duty for three months despite evidence of misconduct captured on video that was viewed by police officials five days after the incident, Cline said Tuesday night.

"In hindsight this incident should have been handled differently, and these officers should have been stripped of their powers sooner," Cline said. "The incident has made me realize we need to tighten up our process to ensure that officers that participate in this type of behavior do not remain on the street."

From now on, when the Police Department refers accusations against officers to the Cook County state's attorney's office, police officials will meet with prosecutors within two days to follow up, Cline said. If prosecutors say they are pursuing a criminal case against the officers, Cline said those officers will be stripped of their police powers immediately.

One alleged victim of the Jefferson Tap beating required reconstructive surgery on his face and another suffered four broken ribs, a lawyer for the men has said. During the incident, patrons at the downtown bar called 911. When patrol officers responded, the off-duty officers involved allegedly spoke to them and the patrol officers left without intervening, sources have said.

Cline's announcement came at the end of a topsy-turvy day for the department, which began with uniformed officers interfering with the news media at a court hearing for Anthony G. Abbate, the officer accused in another videotaped bar beating—the Feb. 19 attack on a female bartender.

In that case, Abbate is accused of beating bartender Karolina Obrycka, who suffered head, arm and rib injuries, because she refused to serve him another drink at Jesse's Short Stop Inn on the Northwest Side.

The hearing was held at a branch courtroom at the Grand Central Area police headquarters, and several on-duty officers used their squad cars to block media access to the facility, Cline said. Officers also issued parking tickets to media vehicles parked in the headquarters lot.

Cline said he had already decided to demote the watch commander—a captain—who he said told the officers to harass reporters and camera crews covering the Abbate hearing.

The captain "misused the police resources out there. It was a terrible lack of judgment and leadership," Cline said.

At the end of a news conference Tuesday night, police spokeswoman Monique Bond told reporters to bring the parking tickets to her and she would make sure they were nullified.

Abbate was first charged with misdemeanor battery by the Police Department. Those charges were dismissed at Tuesday's hearing but the state's attorney's office had upgraded the charges to felony aggravated battery.

In recent days, the department has been rocked by one embarrassing revelation after another.

Cable news networks have repeatedly aired the videotaped beating of bartender Obrycka's beating. The department also is bracing for developments in a state's attorney's investigation of a 2005 fatal police shooting in which new evidence emerged last week that challenges the department's version of what happened.

"The past two weeks have been disheartening and embarrassing for me, personally and professionally," Cline said.

The scandals are demoralizing for good officers, as well. "They too are sickened by the actions of their fellow officers, who have blemished the reputation of this department," Cline said.

Anonymous said...

The cry baby was the superintendents best friend son i'm sure that as soon as this blows over he will be promoted but this is not a shaleman violation