Top Cop Spills the Names

Weis had initially refused judge's order

Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis has complied with a court order to turn over the names of officers who have five or more citizen complaints against them.

The list, turned over Friday, includes the names of more than 2,000 officers.

Weis said he feared releasing the list would have an ill affect on the officers whose names appear on it, even though complaints against them might be unfounded.

Releasing the list would "compromise officers' performance, threaten safety, reduce morale and improperly impugn many officers' otherwise well-deserved good reputations," Weis said, adding that he feared the officers may become too concerned about their reputations and less aggressive on the street.

Weis last month refused to release the list, defying orders from two federal judges.  He was found in contempt of court on Wednesday, and U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman ordered the superintendent to appear in court on Monday to explain why he has continued to defy a court order.

Weis said he reconsidered because he wants to comply with the law, and said he delayed its release in an effort to make sure the judge had all of the facts. 

The list isn't public.  A protective order prevents the list from being released to anyone other than attorneys and judges, but Weis has expressed concern that legal challenges could force its release.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has supported Weis' refusal to release the list, calling it "unfair" to the officers who are "public servants."

The president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Mark Donahue, also backed the decision to withhold the list.

"As a matter of fact, the Fraternal Order of Police attempted to intervene in this case and the judge refused to allow it. We would have been standing with the City if he had," Donahue said in a statement released Friday.  "Mere allegations of any level of seriousness are just that, allegations."

For months, lawyers for victims of alleged police brutality had been fighting for Weis to release the names of officers who have acquired more than five brutality complaints against them.  His refusal for complying with the judges' orders had victims calling for his resignation. 

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