Nurse rescues cop from burning squad car after an accident, nurse accused of stealing cop's gun even though she doesn't have it, nurse held, questioned and threatened by police for 51 hours until she makes a false confession, nurse spends 10 months in jail awaiting trial.
Outcome: a $7.7 million judgment against the city and the police.
As usual the cops don't admit wrongdoing, but it isn't just criminal suspects they treat this way. They do the same thing to witnesses who aren't suspected of any crime.
The revelations never seem to stop: torture, suspects beaten to obtain false confessions, false confessions coerced from 7 and 8-year-old children, drunk cops in bars beating up female bartenders, assaulting bar patrons, committing rape on duty, engaging in home invasion, beating and stealing from law-abiding citizens and hatching murder plots against cops who cooperate with prosecutors. And all that is before they go into retirement to lead a multi-million dollar jewelry theft ring like this CPD chief of detectives.
From 2000 - 2007 the city of Chicago paid out $126 million in settlements for police misconduct.
University of Chicago Law professor Craig Futterman examined internal department personnel records covering the years 2002-2004. Futterman found that of 10,500 serious abuse allegations lodged against Chicago police officers, only 18 resulted in "meaningful discipline" (at least a 7-day unpaid suspension).
And Radley Balko summarized the finding from a Chicago Tribune investigation into routine bogus department investigations of police shootings:
An eight-month Chicago Tribune investigation of 200+ police shootings going back 10 years found that within hours of a police shooting, the police department convenes hastily-assembled, wagon-circling “roundtables” of law enforcement officials where police and witnesses are questioned but not sworn or recorded, where the officers involved are allowed to confer to get their stories straight before being questioned, and where the inevitable conclusion is always that the shooting was justified. From there, broader, show-investigations begin. Key witnesses go uninterviewed. Forensic evidence is ignored. And the shooting officer is inevitably exonerated.
The Tribune found that even when information is later made public that contradicts the findings of internal investigations, the police refuse to reopen a case.
Back in January, Mayor Richard M. Daley brought in former FBI Agent Jody Weis to root out corruption and misconduct. Weis is the first outsider to head the CPD since 1960 when the mayor's father, Richard J. Daley, hired an outsider to clean up a scandal-plagued department . But as Balko recently explained, Weis is showing signs that he doesn't really get it.