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Articles Tagged with police misconduct

A recent shooting by two Chicago police officers has resulted in charges being filed and a judge’s order to prevent the withholding of a video that captured the event. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability announced plans to release the video to the public. The police union, which is defending the officers, filed a motion to suppress the video, which they say unfairly biases the public against the officers.

Authorities now believe that the two officers lied about being fired on first and actually were the first to shoot. The police claim that the video only shows half of what happened and fails to show a 17-year-old boy in a “two-point stance” holding a gun. No charges have yet been filed against a 17-year-old who was on the scene at the time of the shooting. Another man was hit and critically wounded, but it is unclear if the bullets came from police or the civilian. 

COPA says the video was edited to protect the privacy of the minor. It remains unclear if the video shows the minor in a two-point stance holding a weapon and firing on police officers or not. However, State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has stated that the officers lied about being fired on first. Superintendent David Brown concurred with Foxx’s findings that there was no exchange of gunfire prior to the officers opening fire on the suspects. At that point, the 17-year-old did pull a gun on the officers and returned fire. Both officers have been stripped of police duties and are now facing charges for the shooting.

An off-duty police officer accused a teen of stealing his son’s bike. The teen believes he was profiled only because he was Black. The ensuing altercation was caught on video and the family is calling for the DA to press charges. In the video, the officer can be seen pressing his knee into the teen’s back in a scene eerily reminiscent of the George Floyd incident. 

The teen’s friends intervened on his behalf as the officer accused the teen of stealing his son’s bike. The teen appears to be the only person with brown skin in the area at the time, according to the family. The officer works for Chicago P.D. but the incident happened in another jurisdiction, Park Ridge. The incident is being investigated by both Chicago and Park Ridge P.D. There has yet to be an announcement whether criminal charges against the officer will be pursued. 

It is completely unclear why the officer thought the boy had stolen his son’s bike, if the bike looked like a previously stolen bike, or what was going on in the officer’s mind at the time he chose to detain the boy while off-duty. What is clear is that the officer conducted no investigation, did not ask the boy any questions, and did not have the authority to pursue the matter without more information. 

A white Chicago officer has been officially charged after an altercation with a Black woman who was walking her dog. The defendant has since resigned from the police force and has been charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct. The 52-year-old officer resigned prior to an official disciplinary hearing. 

The altercation ensued when the officer found a woman walking her dog along the beach. The officer detained the woman and told her the beach was closed. The woman said she felt threatened and asked the officer to step back. At that point, the officer grabbed the woman. The incident was not only caught on bodycam but a bystander recorded much of the altercation. 

The victim told the press that she believed the incident was racially motivated. She also said that she did not believe that all cops were bad people, but this particular cop was a bad apple. As a criminal defense attorney, you wish that people remembered the entirety of the cliche. A few bad apples can spoil the bunch. 

Pursuit issues have long been a public safety problem, but the majority of these issues are related to vehicles. Police are afraid that pursuing vehicles can result in pedestrian deaths, personal injury lawsuits, auto injuries, and property damage. They are likewise afraid of making a bad situation worse. It is more complicated by the fact that fleeing a police officer is itself a criminal act and in some states, the stakes are very high. While you will not see prosecutions like this in Illinois, certain Southern states can charge you with murder if a police officer murders your friend who is also fleeing police. In other words, there is a lot of controversy over pursuit of suspects, how to do it safely, and how to avoid lawsuits.

What we have not seen is a foot pursuit policy. This is largely because if a police officer accidentally steamrolls a bystander, they are not critically injured in the process. Nonetheless, foot pursuits do result in avoidable shootings and one of the most recent examples of this involved a 13-year-old boy. 

It is believed that the new foot pursuit policy will help prevent shootings related to minor offenses. Police will now have an identifiable policy on when they are allowed to place themselves, bystanders, or the suspect in danger. This should help reduce the overall number of police interactions.

In a final push to revisit cases in which former Chicago police officer Ronald Watts was involved, the State Attorney’s office reversed course and agreed to vacate 44 convictions. Almost every case that was tied to the former officer has been reviewed. Many convictions have been vacated on appeal after allegations that torture and coercion led to convictions. Watts was also implicated in planting evidence.

Initially, prosecutors appeared ready to defend these cases due to the fact that other officers who were not involved with Watts also contributed to the conviction. However, the DA reversed course and decided to vacate the convictions on the basis that even his cursory involvement was enough to taint the case. A total of 100 convictions have been vacated against 88 defendants as part of an exoneration review of Watts’ cases. Three convictions not associated with exoneration efforts have also been vacated. According to the State Attorney’s office, 212 convictions have been vacated due to Watts’ criminal police work. Only a handful of convictions now remain before the court. 

The officers, many of whom remain on the force, were accused of running a protection racket from a South Side public housing complex. They forced drug dealers to pay a “tax” and pinned bogus charges on anyone who did not. 

The community of Grand Rapids Michigan is reeling after an officer-involved shooting shows that a suspect was shot in the back of the head while resisting during a routine traffic stop. The events of this shooting are clear as day, but it remains unclear if any officer will be charged with a crime. This comes after police officers involved in the George Floyd murder rejected pleas offered by state prosecutors.

Bodycam footage shows that the officer pulled over a vehicle for having a license plate that did not match the vehicle. The officer pulls over the vehicle and the suspect immediately gets out of the car. The suspect does not have a weapon, looks confused, and tells the officer he has a license, but does not produce one. Later, the suspect can be seen walking away from the officer and then running. The officer pursues, tackles the suspect, and a struggle ensues. The officer draws his taser, the suspect intercepts it with his hands and diverts it. A struggle ensues. The officer is on top of the suspect when he discharges his weapon into the back of the suspect’s head. The suspect dies immediately. An autopsy confirms that the cause of death is a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.

Police reform advocates are saying this is another example of ineffective policing leading to tragedy. Pro-police advocates say that the suspect was still reaching for the officer’s taser when he fired the weapon.

Two officers approach a suspect who opens fire on them. They return fire and strike the suspect. The suspect has now been shot. The police have him in cuffs and are searching him to determine where the gun is. The officer is patting him down. Another officer is standing near him. The officer who is doing the patdown hits his head on the other officer. Thinking it was the suspect who tried to strike him, he punches the man in the groin several times. 

Bodycam footage does not show the suspect threatening the officer at the time of the arrest. The officer was relieved of duty and then charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct. However, a grand jury declined to file charges against the officer and so, the case has been dismissed.

Understanding the Problem

Authorities allege that a Dixmoor police officer manipulated a police lineup in order to establish charges against a man who was later cleared of wrongdoing. The officer is now facing three felony counts of official misconduct. According to a witness, the officer suggested the correct answer to a witness in the lineup. The suspect was placed into lockup for 18 days. After his release, he pressed charges against the officer. 

According to his attorney, the man went into a store to buy a phone and was suddenly facing a 45-year sentence. Prior, an armed robbery had occurred at the store. An employee thought the man resembled the armed robber. The employee called the police. 

The officer who is now facing charges is accused of telling the witness which individual to pick from the lineup. The employee did as asked and the man was charged with armed robbery, a Class-X felony, the highest you can receive in Illinois. 

Under the law, police officers face the same consequences for committing crimes that the general public does. The issue that comes into play is the fact that police officers have more ability to manipulate the law to their advantage than the general public does. When they commit crimes, they understand how an investigation will unfold, they can cover their tracks, and they have the support of their brothers in blue to back them up.

Recently, an off-duty Chicago police officer was charged with discharging her weapon at Sam’s Club when a team of thieves attempted to swipe her SUV. She was in the parking lot with her husband when the theft occurred. The officer opened fire on the thieves and has since been charged with a crime: Reckless discharge of a weapon. Did she really commit a crime?

Analyzing the Charges

The third Chicago police officer accused of excessive force over the past week has now been charged with a crime related to his conduct against a teenager. Authorities are accusing the officer of intentionally using his flashlight in an inappropriate manner and jamming it between the teen’s buttocks while he was making an arrest. 

The officer, who is a lieutenant on the force, has been charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct, both of which are felonies. According to investigators, the teen was handcuffed at the time that he was sexually assaulted. After the incident, the officer told him, “That’s what you get for carjacking.” 

The entire incident was caught on a bodycam. The teenager was fully clothed at the time of the incident, but it has raised enough red flags that the lieutenant has surrendered his badge and will now have to defend himself in criminal court. Unfortunately, there is no possible reason that you can give that would make it okay to sexually assault a teenager. 

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