Third Try for Catanzara Misconduct Files FOIA

The Chicago Police Department seems intent on denying CJP access to the misconduct files of Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara. CJP originally filed a FOIA for all the records related to the numerous complaints filed against Catanzara and the records related any subsequent investigations. The CPD denied that request stating that producing all those files would be overly burdensome. So we filed for just the records related to sustained investigations of complaints against Catanzara. Unsurprisingly, the CPD denied that request also stating it was overly burdensome. So, we have decided to play their game and have sent a request in for a single investigation of a sustained complaint. We are unsure why the CPD would be covering for Catanzara considering they recently tried to fire Catanzara which resulted in him resigning from the CPD before the Chicago Police Board could hold the hearing that almost certainly would have resulted in his termination.

We believe it is important for people to remember that Catanzara has a  history of misconduct and depraved social media posts. Luckily for you we published a report in the summer of 2021 detailing all of this that you can find here. If you are interested in a little more context about how our report came together you can check out our podcast episode featuring Lauren Cole who authored our report. You can find the episode here.

FOIA Content

To:      Chicago Police Department
Re:     Complaint Registry # 1062978
In accordance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140, I request that your office provide copies of the following public records: 
FOIA A
Please provide copies of all records related to Complaint Registry # 1062978 including but not limited to:
  1. all complaints related to complaint registry # 1062978
  2. all documents collected or reviewed as part of the investigation of complaint registry # 1062978
  3. all statements collected through the investigation of complaint registry # 1062978
  4. all notes taken from all interviews conducted as part of the investigation of complaint registry # 1062978
  5. all recordings of 911 calls and police radio transmissions
  6. all digital records created by or obtained by the Chicago Police Department in their investigation of complaint registry # 1062978
  7. all findings created by the Chicago Police Department as part of their investigation of complaint registry # 1062978
  8. all recommendations for discipline created by the Chicago Police Department as part of their investigation of complaint registry # 1062978
  9. all records related to the final discipline served by any officer for whom the Chicago Police Department recommended discipline for as a result of their of complaint registry # 1062978
  10. all emails sent or received related to complaint registry # 1062978
FOIA B
  1. Records sufficient to show Your efforts to locate and produce the records requested in FOIA A above. This should include:
    1. Where you searched for responsive Records and Documents.
    2. Who searched for responsive Records and Documents.
    3. Who was requested to produce responsive Records and Documents.
    4. The identify of any Records and Documents that were located but not produced for any reason.
DEFINITIONS
“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.
“You” or “Your” means the {Public Body}, and all attorneys, employees, officers, directors, bureaus, offices, divisions or subdivisions of same.
INSTRUCTIONS
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:
 
  1. the type of Document, e.g., letter or memorandum;
  2. general subject matter of the Document;
  3. the date of the Document;
  4. 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
  5. the nature of the privilege or protection;
  6. 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:
 
  1. date of disposal, loss, or destruction;
  2. manner of disposal, loss, or destruction;
  3. reason for disposal or destruction, or any explanation of loss;
  4. persons authorizing the disposal or destruction;
  5. persons having knowledge of the disposal, destruction, or loss; and
  6. 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. I can be reached at tsiska@chicagojustice.org 

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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