These arbitration awards are not the end of the battle over these records, as both Crystal and Roumell’s decisions simply continue the preservation of the documents. Though the awards are legally binding, they are subject to appeal, and both Kalven and Futterman hedged when discussing their merits with the Sun-Times, calling them “sort of a reprieve,” and a “timeout,” respectively.
Over the years, journalists have covered the Chicago police from every angle, documenting not only police violence against communities of color but also the Department’s internal methods for protecting officers and disguising the truth about performance and misconduct. In light of the release of the Police Accountability Task Force report, the Weekly has collected here some of the most impactful and relevant coverage of the CPD.
A consent decree could lead to substantial changes in how the CPD uses force and handles complaints.
“I’ve heard those calls before.”
“These records are vital to our work, and their destruction would pose a great challenge to our ability to investigate these cases.” Robert Olmstead
“The numbers might look good,” Davis said, “but [those programs] sacrifice the quality of investigation.”
Since its creation in 2007, the Independent Police Review Authority has investigated almost four hundred police
shootings. They found only one to be unjustified.
When asked about the withdrawal of her endorsement in the wake of the FBI investigation, Brown suggested that it was motivated largely by political concerns.
On December 30, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the Chicago Police Department will add an additional seven hundred Tasers to the force by June of this year, bringing the CPD’s number of stun guns to fourteen hundred. Officers will also be trained in de-escalation tactics that emphasize nonviolent confrontation methods. This announcement comes after weeks of intense criticism of the police department, the city government, and Emanuel himself after the video of Laquan McDonald being shot by Officer Jason Van Dyke was released to the public in November.
On December 31, in response to Freedom of Information Act requests from multiple media outlets, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office released approximately three thousand pages of emails relating to the now well-known shooting of Laquan McDonald and subsequent release of the dash-cam video of the event. However, access to this correspondence is not limited to reporters: any member of the public can take a look at what these emails contain. For those inclined to do so, the Weekly has gathered here some of the main characters in the glossary below, along with an annotated excerpt of the emails.