Well all we can say is IT’S ABOUT TIME!! The people of Chicago and the families who have had their loved ones whom have abused or shot by an officer with the Chicago Police Department will finally get their wish. About 100 recordings of police shootings ans abuse cases are set to be released in June. Which cases EarHustle411 cannot confirm but this is most definitely a step in the right direction.Transparency is key to gaining the trust of the community again.
Read more as reported by the Chicago SunTimes
The Independent Police Review Authority is preparing to release recordings of about 100 Chicago Police shootings and uses of stun guns next week, according to a memo obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.
The recordings are “tentatively scheduled” for a June 2 release. They include police shootings, uses of stun guns “as well as incidents of bodily harm to individuals while in police custody,” the memo stated. All of the recordings involve open investigations being conducted by IPRA.
Dispatch calls, dashcam and bodycam audio and video, pod camera footage and 911 calls will all be among the recordings released, according to the memo.
An IPRA spokeswoman declined to comment on the memo, which was sent Thursday by Gerald Hollowell, deputy director of 911 operations at the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications. In the memo, Hollowell warns employees that in some instances their day-to-day job performance will be up and available for all to see on the web.
According to the memo, the release of about 100 recordings is keeping with the task force’s recommendation, and the recordings will be released on the task force’s website.
Police Board President Lori Lightfoot, who also chaired the Task Force on Police Accountability, said the decision to release the recordings on the same day “sounds like what they’re doing is complying with the video release policy that the task force put out in February and that the mayor embraced at that time.”
The massive video dump is classic Emanuel.
By releasing so many videos all at once, the mayor’s office makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the news media to view them all, let alone focus on the most egregious videos.
Emanuel can also claim to be “open and transparent” while managing to take the political hit in one fell swoop. It’s kind of like removing a Band-Aid. Sure, you feel the pain. But you get rid of it all at once.
The mayor used a similar tactic with a massive email dump on New Year’s Eve that lifted the veil on his efforts to exert message control over the soon-to-be-abolished Independent Police Review Authority.
The mayor’s office was so heavy-handed in those efforts, the title “Independent Police Review Authority” was almost a misnomer.
“They’ve been holding onto the [new video release] policy since February and they haven’t done a thing about it. Now, they’re planning to bury people in video,” said a source, familiar with the Emanuel administration’s view on the matter, who asked to remain anonymous.
“The goal is to appear to be transparent 5,000 years later, but bury what’s bad and depend on the fact that most reporters won’t have the time or the fortitude to wade through hours of video.”
In mid-February, Emanuel embraced a recommendation by his handpicked Task Force on Police Accountability to release video and audio tied to police-involved shootings and serious injuries suffered in police custody “no more than 60 calendar days after” the incident occurs.
At the time, the mayor said the new policy would help repair a broken relationship between citizens and police, which was made even worse by the video played around the world of white police officer Jason Van Dyke pumping 16 rounds into black teenager Laquan McDonald.
“This strikes the right balance between the integrity of an investigation and the right of the public to know,” the mayor said.
On Friday, the mayor’s office released a statement: “Consistent with the Task Force on Police Accountability’s recommendations, Mayor Emanuel announced in February that Chicago is leading the nation in adopting a written policy regarding the release of videos and other evidence in police-involved shootings. Over the past few months, multiple city agencies have been working together to prepare for this release, which includes thousands of police reports, audio recordings, and videos – materials that require careful organization and proper care. Promoting transparency is driving this initiative, and now all members of the public will now have an opportunity to review these materials through a user-friendly interface.”
Emanuel has been under fire for keeping the McDonald shooting video under wraps for more than a year and waiting until one week after the April 7 mayoral runoff to authorize a $5 million settlement to the McDonald family even before a lawsuit had been filed.
The video was released on the same day that Van Dyke was charged with the first-degree murder of the black teen — but only after a judge ordered the city to release it.
In December, Emanuel apologized for the “systematic breakdown” that culminated in the “totally avoidable” police shooting death and acknowledged the “code of silence” in the Chicago Police Department he once tried to keep out of a court record.
A cathartic and emotional speech by Emanuel before a special City Council meeting did nothing to silence demands for his resignation.
The mayor has emphatically denied keeping the dashcam video of the McDonald shooting under wraps to get past the election.
But he has acknowledged that he “added to the suspicion and distrust” of everyday Chicagoans by blindly following the city’s long-standing practice of withholding shooting videos to avoid compromising ongoing criminal investigations.
In his struggle to regain the shattered public trust and fend off demands for his resignation, Emanuel has fired a police superintendent he promised to keep, ousted an IPRA chief he once defended, proposed to abolish the agency entirely and welcomed a federal civil rights investigation he once called “misguided.”
The mayor also did an unprecedented end-run around his hand-picked Police Board — by choosing Chief of Patrol Eddie Johnson — who didn’t even apply for the job — as Supt. Garry McCarthy’s replacement.
On the day he embraced the new policy to release shooting videos within 60 days, Emanuel was asked if he believes he can ever persuade Chicagoans in general, and African-Americans in particular, that he didn’t sit on the video until he was safely re-elected.
“My goal and the actions I’m taking are about rebuilding trust between the public and the Police Department. It’s not about me. It’s about establishing an important level of trust between the public and the police because that’s essential for public safety,” Emanuel said then.
On that day, the mayor emphasized that he asked the task force to take on a series of issues and look “top-to-bottom — nothing was sacrosanct.”
“This is going to be a long road because the road getting here was also very long between Abbate, Burge, Summerdale,” the mayor said, referring to other Chicago police scandals.
Source: Chicago SunTimes