Police Union Wants ACLU Lawsuit Dismissed

The lawsuit accuses Chicago of deploying fewer officers in inner-city neighborhoods

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    American Civil Liberties Union alleged emergency response times are significantly faster in white neighborhoods. (Published Thursday, Dec 1, 2011)

    In a motion filed Thursday, the Fraternal Order of Police fired against an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit accusing the city of Chicago of slower emergency response times in inner-city neighborhoods.

    The lawsuit, filed in October by the ACLU and Central Austin Neighborhood Association, points to research suggesting fewer police officers are deployed in black and Hispanic neighborhoods than white communities.

    But the FOP says the city's officer deployment isn't racially motivated and slower response times stem from an issue with resources.

    "The neighborhoods with the most crime already have the most officers deployed to them," according to an FOP filing summary. "The problem is not racial ... it is a resources problem.  While all parties involved likely would concede that all neighborhoods in Chicago would benefit from greater police presence, it is completely inaccurate to contend that some neighborhoods have a legal right to greater police deployment." 

    The suit proposes a new officer deployment plan that won't violate civil rights in the city's minority neighborhoods. But the FOP fears a redeployment process that would ask a judge to make decisions affecting the whole city.

    "The FOP believes that any officer redeployment must be done in cooperation with itself, City Aldermen, and the Police Department.  The FOP is steadfast in its belief that effective law enforcement on the City’s streets should be left up to the individuals and organizations most intimately familiar with those streets."

    The FOP told the Sun-Times that ACLU attorney Sidley Austin LLP has a conflict of interest as a partner is a member of the Chicago Police Board. The union says it plans to ask that the law firm be disqualified and the case be dismissed.