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August 12, 2022

Watchdogs sue Chicago Police Department for body cam footage, incident reports –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On January 14, 2021

Chicago, IL. (ECWd) –

Last August, after hearing about the officer-involved shooting of Lantrell Allen by members of the Chicago Police Department, and reading CPD’s official statements to the public, we submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for all police incident reports, text messages and emails, and dash/body cam footage of the incident.

The Chicago Police Department refused to provide most the requested records, and redacted what they did provide.

We then contacted the attorneys at Loevy & Loevy for assistance at obtaining the public records subject to release.

In September our lawsuit was filed, and was consolidated with another lawsuit concerning the same records.

From our filed complaint:

  • Immediately after one or more previous officer involved shootings, CPD has provided information to the public about what it contends happened, including, for example, whether a gun was allegedly recovered from or near the person shot, without awaiting the results of a COPA investigation
  • CPD engages in a pattern, policy, and practice of selectively disclosing information, photos, and videos of officer involved shootings that is based in whole or in part on whether the information supports CPD’s statements of what occurred
  • CPD has not shown how the disclosure of the requested records would “interfere with pending or actually and reasonably contemplated law enforcement proceedings,” “interfere with active administrative enforcement proceedings,” and “obstruct an ongoing criminal investigation” by the CPD
  • CPD provided only a generic claim indicating that the entirety of the requested records, even if narrowed to more manageable proportions, “must be denied” pursuant to Sections 7(1)(d)(i), (ii), and (vii) without demonstrating how the disclosure of the records would interfere with a pending investigation, an active administrative enforcement proceedings, and an ongoing criminal investigation

It is our position that the Chicago Police Department cannot enjoy the privilege of making official public statements about an officer-involved shooting, while at the same time keeping reports and video footage from the public which have the potential to confirm or deny CPDs official statements on the shooting.

Complaint below (or HERE):

CPD FOIA COMPLAINT_Redacted

 

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1 Comment
  • PK
    Posted at 21:37h, 14 January

    The Illinois Attorney General office purportedly takes interest in civil rights violation claims particularly if/when a pattern of civil rights violation exists. Unfortunately, the AG’s lackluster performance on related FOIA compliance (CPD and elsewhere) draws the integrity of the AG’s stated interest into question.

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