CPD FOIA Suit Updates

CPD

This entire lawsuit and how the CPD has responded throughout is a monument to just how against the organization is to real transparency. Also, it is important to note that the behavior of the CPD has not been affected by who was in the Mayor’s office or sitting in the Superintendent’s office. Due to the length of the litigation we now have spanned the tenures of two different superintendents and two different mayors. There has been absolutely no difference in how the agency is responding to our efforts towards real transparency.

Here is our original post from the day we field this suit where you can access the complaint in its entirety.

To help our supporters better understand what is going on from court hearing to court hearing we will be posting regular updates to this page. We will be posting the most current updates at the top so if you may want to read from the bottom up to get the full context of everything.

Updates

3/18 – CJP served the CPD with our first set of discovery requests

CJP v. CPD P’s First Set of Disco Requests FINAL

Background

Our litigation is now approaching 3 years without any discernible signs that the CPD is going to stop fighting our efforts. Here are the things we are still fighting over.

Staffing Analysis

The CPD told the city council and the media they did a staffing analysis to prove they needed the 1,000 officers that Mayor Emanuel sought to hire to the department in Sept. 2016. After telling us they provided it in the documents they supplied to us after the filing of this suit – it was very obvious it was not in what they provided us – and then telling the court it was in the Bromwich report (see below) – it was obvious it was not in there also – they then told the court they looked hard enough and shouldn’t be forced to look any further. Yup, the CPD claims they cannot find an analysis they said they did that was the basis of a decision to hire of 1,000 officers to the department. Only in Chicago!

OEMC Calls for Service

Our request is for 18 years of data related to calls for service. This is meta data collected by the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) anytime someone calls 911 seeking a police response. In the justice industry these calls are labeled calls for police service. The CPD collects this data from every year and stores it iin their data warehouses. In our initial FOIA and in court they denied they possessed this data. After many months they have indeed admitted to possessing this data going back to 1999.

They have supplied a portion of this data to CJP but only in Chicago fashion could they have supplied us 145% of the data they say exists in their annual report for half the years and the other half supplied us with an average of like 13% of the data for each year.

We had a call setup with the Sergent of the unit to discuss why they supplied us with such odd amounts of data. After agreeing to this call the CPD and the Chicago Law Department cancelled this call. So now they are forcing us to serve them interrogatories and take further actions in court to get to the bottom of their actions. it always amazes me the amount of tax payer money the CPD is willing to throw away to hide their ridiculous actions.

Won

So we have some victories racked up so far in this litigation that is going to fuel are research moving forward and some of our transparency efforts.

  • Academy Hires – how many officers were hired post 2016 announcement and what districts were they assigned to
  • District Staffing – for several years we have obtained staffing for each district as of January 1st.
  • Crime Incident Data – we won access to crime incident data dating back to 1999. Our version though also includes data on what is called unfounded cases. This is very important because the CPD had (has) a very high rate of categorizing sexual assault allegations as unfounded. Unfounded stands for untruthful. Obviously this data is very important to understanding how the CPD works. This is what separates CJP from traditional transparency projects – expertise in justice system data.
  • Emails – CJP won access to a significant amount of Superintendent Johnson’s emails in the months leading up to and after the September 2016 announcement that the CPD was requesting that the city hire 1,000 additional officers for the Department.

Lost

We lost three counts in our multi-count complaint. Those counts are:

  • Arrest Data
  • Internal Affairs Data

On both of these counts the judge ruled that it would be too burdensome for the CPD to provide us this information. We wholeheartedly disagree with these rulings and hope to be victorious if/when we appeal.

  • Bromwich Report

This is a study of the CPD’s training academy and curriculum that a lawyer named Michael Bromwich did for the CPD. He did the report during the time the CPD was in the midst of the federal civil rights investigation being conducted by the US Department of Justice. The CPD claims the report is covered by attorney – client privileged. We argued that only the parts of the report that pertain specifically to Bromwich providing legal advice should be covered. The judge disagreed. We believe we will be appealing this ruling.

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

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