Chicago Police Board FOIA for Discipline Data

The Chicago Police Board has a very unprofessional practice of categorizing the type of misconduct for which the officer has been accused of for statistical reporting purposes but refuses to attach that categories to individual cases. This of course is being done on purpose so that for instance we cannot track how the Board handles certain types of cases by category and then tracing those results to individual cases.

This is just another sign of how bankrupt the police accountability system is in Chicago. There is no reason to not report this data unless the Chicago Police Board is trying to hide the details of their operations from the public. Just another in a long line of obfuscation tactics that the Chicago Police Board and the police accountability system in Chicago has used throughout the years to hide what they do.

Police BoardFor access to charges and decisions from the Chicago Police board going back to 1999 please visit our Chicago Police Board Information Center here. We are currently updating the website with data from the year 1998. We are also developing an entire analytics section for the site.

You will see that we also are asking for copies of the Chicago Police Board’s annual reports. We are using this data in some research we are doing on the operations of the Chicago police accountability system.

Police Board FOIA Content

To:  Chicago Police Board

Subject:  Chicago Justice Project FOIA – Annual Reports

In accordance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140, I request that your office provide the following public records: 

FOIA A: Please provide digital copies of the Board’s annual reports for the years of 1980-2003.

FOIA B: Please provide documents sufficient to show the case categorization or “Primary Charges (Investigation)”  for each case for which the Board rendered a judgment or had an officer resign prior to the Board rendering its final decision for the years 1998-2020.As an example I have attached an image labeled as Appendix A – A chart from the Board’s 2019 Annual Report – page 9.

“Document” and/or “Documents” means any documents or electronically stored information of any kind—including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings, images, and other data or data compilations—stored in any medium from which information can be obtained either directly or, if necessary, after translation by the responding party into a reasonably usable form.

”Board” – means the Chicago Police Board 


If the agency withholds any document or information pertinent to the requests made herein, please identify the document or information in as much detail as is possible, and detail in specific language why each document or piece of information is being withheld.

If any information requested herein is withheld on the basis of a claim of privilege or other protection as material prepared in anticipation of litigation or trial, then that claim shall be made expressly in a writing that describes the nature of the Documents, Communications, or Things not produced or disclosed in a manner that will enable us to assess the applicability of the privilege or protection. With regard to each claim of privilege or protection, the following information should be provided in the response or the objection:

(a) the type of Document, e.g., letter or memorandum;

(b) general subject matter of the Document;

(c) the date of the Document;

(d) such other information as is sufficient to identify the Document for a subpoena duces tecum, including, where appropriate, the author, addressee, and any other recipient of the Document, and, where not apparent, the relationship of the author, addressee, and any other recipient to each other; and

(e) the nature of the privilege or protection;

(f) if applicable, the litigation or trial of which he document was created in anticipation.

If any Document identified herein has been lost, discarded, or destroyed, each such Document should be identified as completely as possible, including as to each such Document, its date, general nature (e.g., letter, memorandum, telegram, telex, photograph, computer printout), subject matter, each author or originator, each person indicated as an addressee or copy recipient, and its former custodian(s). In addition, as to each such Document, the following information shall be supplied:

(a) date of disposal, loss, or destruction;

(b) manner of disposal, loss, or destruction;

(c) reason for disposal or destruction, or any explanation of loss;

(d) persons authorizing the disposal or destruction;

(e) persons having knowledge of the disposal, destruction, or loss; and

(f) persons who destroyed, lost, or disposed or the Document or Thing.
I look forward to hearing from you in writing within five working days, as required by the Act 5 ILCS 140(3).  Please direct all questions or responses to this FOIA request to this email address by responding to this email.  

Appendix A

Police Board

Author: Tracy Siska

Tracy Siska is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Justice Project.

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