Chicago City Wire

Chicago City Wire

Monday, January 20, 2020

Chicago FOP demands U.S. Attorney investigate new findings that show consent decree based on manufactured evidence

Politics

By W.J. Kennedy | Aug 28, 2019

Cpd

The union representing the Chicago Police is demanding that the Department of Justice consider new findings that the Obama Administration relied on manufactured evidence in an investigation of the CPD that led to a consent decree. The consent decree, a court order that forces the overhaul of the department’s policies and practices, went into effect in March of this year.

The FOP Lodge 7 is asking the Trump DOJ to “grant Chicago Police Officers equal treatment under the law,” in an Aug. 21 letter to John Lausch, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. The letter was signed by FOP President Kevin Graham and Second Vice President Martin Preib.

“The Obama investigation was politically motivated, and evidence coming out now surrounding some past murder cases shows that there has been a pattern of trumping up allegations of misconduct against the police,” Preib told Chicago City Wire.

Preib said that Lausch’s office has yet to respond to the letter.

In one wrongful conviction case cited in the letter, Armando Serrano v. City of Chicago, city lawyers discovered that vital evidence went missing, evidence that would have bolstered the city’s case.

The missing evidence cited in a motion by city attorneys consists of videotapes, audio tapes and memoranda of key witnesses compiled in 2003 by Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism professor David Protess, journalism students and a private investigator.

“Defendants discovered that Plaintiff Serrano’s agents deliberately destroyed and/or intentionally lost inculpatory audiotapes, memos, and notes relating to key witness interviews,” city attorneys said in the motion.

“As a direct result of Plaintiff Serrano’s spoliation [intentionally hiding or destroying evidence], defendants have lost the ability to develop and present critical evidence, which has prevented Defendants from fully defending a case in which each Plaintiff seeks tens of millions of dollars in damages.”

Other revealing wrongful conviction cases, Tyrone Hood v. City of Chicago and Stanley Wrice v. City of Chicago, likewise show that misconduct accusations against the police were groundless.

In the Wrice case, a judge in 2014 rejected his petition for a Certificate of Innocence – finding his claims in the face of overwhelming evidence “absurd.”

In the Hood case, no evidence ever surfaced that showed Hood was innocent.

The FOP letter said that the investigation into the CPD is similar to the investigation into President Donald Trump over charges his campaign colluded with the Russians.

“President Trump’s call for an investigation in the face of what he has endured from Obama’s DOJ is exactly what the FOP is demanding for Chicago Police Officers,” the letter states. “This is a matter of fairness and equal justice.”

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