Yesterday, the City produced the names of Chicago Police Officers who have repeated complaints of police misconduct and excessive force to journalist Jamie Kalven. This is a monumental victory for journalists, civil rights advocatess, and the general public.
In 2007, Kalven sought to have the investigations of citizen complaints of police misconduct released to the public. For seven years, the City refused to make these files public despite orders from federal and state courts to do so, citing confidentiality and privacy concerns. The City finally changed its policy and on July 11, announced that it was not going to appeal the Illinois Appellate Court’s decision in Kalven v. Chicago that documents from police misconduct investigations are public information and subject to the Freedom of Information Act. However, even after the City announced its policy the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) sought a restraining order to prevent the City from releasing the names of the police officers. With the guidance and input of Kalven and his legal team, the City and the FOP were able to reach an agreement that allowed the City to disclose the police misconduct information to Kalven. These CPD documents are now public!
Loevy & Loevy is extremely proud and honored to have been part of this fight for government transparency and police misconduct accountability. It was a powerhouse team with Jamie Kalven, Craig Futterman of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic of the University of Chicago Law School, Flint Taylor and Ben Elson of the People’s Law Office, and Samantha Liskow and Jon Loevy of Loevy & Loevy. Together, we achieved great success and are hopeful that the City’s new policy will lead to positive reforms in the CPD’s investigations of excessive force, unlawful arrests, and other forms of police misconduct.