Study: Police abuse goes unpunished
by Ryan Gallagher April 04, 2007
Off-duty police officer, Anthony Abbate, attacks a female bartender. This incident and others has drawn attention to police brutality rates.
A relatively small percentage of Chicago officers make up the majority of police abuse complaints filed by citizens from May 2001 to May 2006, according to the study.
More than 10,000 complaints of police abuse were filed with Chicago police between 2002 and 2004, but only 19 resulted in meaningful disciplinary action, a new study asserts.The study argues the Chicago Police Department should not be allowed to police itself. Instead, an independent civilian oversight board should monitor and investigate police abuse reports to ensure accountability for every officer’s conduct. The study was conducted by University of Chicago law professor Craig B. Futterman and the Invisible Institute, a Chicago-based company that works on social justice projects.“The way in which CPD investigates police abuse is a joke,” Futterman said Wednesday. “If the CPD investigated civilian crime in the same way it investigates police abuse, they’d never solve a case.”Though the study is not yet formally released, its results come as the department faces unprecedented scrutiny over incidents of off-duty police being caught on camera physically abusing citizens. Police Superintendent Philip Cline resigned on Monday, and seven officers have been stripped of their police powers while investigations continue. Figures for his study, Futterman said, were provided by the police department in response to a federal civil rights suit alleging police abuse.
Futterman said 85 percent of officers accused of police abuse are not interviewed in person about the incident and are allowed time to corroborate their story with involved parties. He charged the department withholds information from the public.