Police to End Controversial Post-Shooting Probes

Critics say the inquiries always end with justification

By Snow Anderson
|  Monday, Oct 4, 2010  |  Updated 7:45 AM CDT
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A traditional way of investigating police involved shootings in Chicago is coming to an end.

Chicago Police will no longer hold their so-called “roundtable” inquiries after a police officer is involved in a shooting, the Sun-Times reports.

At a roundtable, an officer would give his or her statement to officials including police commanders, representatives from the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, as well the Police Review Authority, the civilian agency that investigates police shootings.

These sessions were not held under oath, nor were they recorded. Their intention was mostly to give officials an idea of the circumstances of the shooting. But they’ve been criticized because the result, almost always, was that the shooting was justified. Some of those same shootings however, later ended up in court, and cost the city millions of dollars in legal payouts.

The Chicago police officers’ union agrees with the decision to eliminate the roundtables, but they disagree about the timing of when an officer needs to meet with an IPRA investigator.  The IPRA wants to speak with an officer as soon as possible after the incident, but the Fraternal Order of Police says officers should be allowed a “cooling-off-period” of 24 or 48 hours.

The FOP is seeking arbitration on this point. Until then the union recommends officers don't talk to IPRA investigators at shooting scenes.
 

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