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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Federal Appeals Court Supports Hiding of Corruption Data

Appeals court dismisses order to reveal cops' names by David Heinzmann - November 10, 2009

A two-year legal battle to open up disciplinary records of Chicago police officers suffered a setback today when a panel of federal judges decided to keep the files secret -- denying an attempt by a journalist and 28 aldermen to open thousands of documents to public scrutiny. The fight over the files has unfolded amid a broader public debate about police oversight in the city, with some critics suggesting the files would reveal evidence of police department leaders ignoring rogue cops for years. But the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision came down to a simpler legal matter. The files had been exchanged as discovery evidence between parties in a federal misconduct lawsuit against eight police officers. But the files had never been formally placed in the case file. The three-judge panel ruled that legal precedents favoring public disclosure of court records do not apply to records not in the case file. A South Side woman, Diane Bond, had sued the police department in 2004, alleging repeated abuse by officers. Her lawyer, University of Chicago law professor Craig Futterman, had demanded the disciplinary files in order to show a pattern of police misconduct condoned by department officials. Futterman's analysis of the records showed that fewer than 1 percent of misconduct allegations were sustained by the department's internal investigations, a far lower rate than the national average. Just before the city settled Bond's lawsuit in 2007, independent journalist and community activist Jamie Kalven filed a motion to intervene and lift a protective order that had sealed the police records. U.S. District Court Judge Joan H. Lefkow decided to lift the protective order, but the city appealed the decision. While the appeal was pending, a group of 28 aldermen signed onto the case with Kalven, saying they too wanted access to the files. At the time, aldermen were dealing with police-oversight reforms in the wake of several police scandals, including allegations ofd misconduct by officers in the department's Special Operations Section.


Scared said...

Wow. Pretty scary. Top federal judges favoring the hiding of information from the press and the public.

Anonymous said...

These judges serve the same master as the corrupt police.

Yankee fan said...

Chicago just wishes they were as corrupt as New York. GO YANKEES!

Anonymous said...

coverup and whitewash, say it again sports fans - coverup and whitewash - that's the story all over the country and the people that are charged with dealing with the corruption and protecting the citizens are out to lunch.

Anonymous said...

"out to lunch"

it would be funny if it weren't so true...

Anonymous said...

not the swiftest bunch are they??

Anonymous said...

Why would you be surprised that another set of robes would protect or validate corruption...a black dress is a black dress no matter where it is worn!
I know that federal court expartes with OCA and does it secretly...thinking that it fools litigants who are suing OCA. Federal court robes are lawyers that practiced with or are friendly with the state robes...and protection of the brothers is a given and never a hassle...since the federal robes are rarely removed for any reason.
Keeping information from the public by the federal robes is also a certainty...since they display arrogance as a determined scenario that their court is a entity that must instill fear to garner the ultimate respect.
If you believe that federal court is a court by the people for the have never dealt with them...they are here to show you....lifetime jobs can only produce the ultimate abuse and snobbery of power!

Anonymous said...

The occupiers of the black robes can do any thing they want ... they think that they are rulers.

Anonymous said...

I am living proof they seal false charges once they think they may get sued and then they threaten,
then they try it again, falsifying records, that is called a promise on the threat!
hey FEDS where are you, my lawyers lied to you!
where are the FEDS!
send in the FEDS
don't bother their in fear!

Anonymous said...

hint for those being falsely and selectively persecuted,
they will do it every seven years
why, because lawyers who committed malpractice only have to keep their files six years
and then they can falsify and say anything they want about the previous case
just to discredit you!
hey, you guys got 5 more years to set up your next false persecution

so file every complaint you can about these dam disgusting attorneys.......

and someone please tell Napoleon to bite me!

Anonymous said...

that is also why they will delay the next case in court....
looking for the six year fix.......

Anonymous said...

If you can't get the police to open the files on one of their officers then how can you allow the opening of a file on a retired police officer that testifies for the defense?

A retired police officer has the courage to testify and the prosecution goes back 30 years with BS IAB complaints - none regarding corruption, and this is only done as an attempt to discredit the witness.

I was there and saw it for myself.

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