Sharon Fairly on Routing Out Proud Boy Cops

Today we speak with Sharon Fairly, former Chief Administrator of the Independent Police Review Authority and Citizen Office of Police Accountability, about what if any possibilities exist to use the police accountability system in Chicago to separate white supremacists cops from the Chicago Police Department.

In all the hoopla around the outing officer Robert Baker as allegedly having ties to the white supremacists organization the Proud Boys the reality about what the CPD or the police accountability system can do to remove this officer from the department has been lost. Fairly is the perfect person to discuss the realities given her experience.

The media and the politicians went for splashy headlines rather then providing the public the facts they so dearly need in these situations. First, they failed to explain what having ties to this type of organization meant and whether those ties are by themselves enough to terminate an officer’s employment. While the media and politicians bloviated about the fact that the officer needs to be terminated immediately nobody explained exactly under what authority the CPD would make this happen. We discuss with Fairly the real life challenges facing the police accountability system in this matter.

Superintendent Brown at a press conference spoke eloquently about doing everything in the department’s power to route out these officers. That is great but still nobody has talked about what they are going to do once they somehow miraculously connect an officer to a white supremacist group. The CPD’s rules governing officer behavior were not created to take on this challenge. As Fairly talks about that they are going to have to connect the officer’s white supremacist beliefs and their actions while on the job. This is not going to be an easy task as we discuss with Fairly.

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Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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This is our Chicago Justice Podcast that covers crime, violence, and justice issues in Chicago. We will feature deep dives in to justice system data, interview with researchers and justice system reform advocates, as well as evaluations of justice system practices.

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