Weis Takes Law Into Own Hands

Refuses court order to release cop names on complaint list

In an apparent attempt to win over a disgruntled rank-and-file and get out of the mayor's doghouse, Chicago police chief Jody Weis is casting aside any pretense left that he came in with a mandate of reform and has refused the orders of two federal judges to release a list of officers with the most citizen complaints filed against them.

A city spokeswoman told AP that "Weis felt strongly that complying with the judges' request and turning over the lists of officers with multiple abuse complaints would harm the police department."

He didn't explain how he came to believe that decision was his to make.

"In court papers," the Sun-Times reports, "Weis said handing over the names would 'compromise officers’ performance, threaten safety, reduce morale and improperly impugn many officers’ otherwise well-deserved good reputations'.”

Of course, it's not Weis's job to determine that a federal court order ought not be followed because it might "reduce morale." As for the rest of his reasons, well, those have been litigated. That's why the case was in federal court.

"[It's] an outrageous abuse by someone who is charged with enforcing the law and constitution," said one of the lawyers seeking the list, Flint Taylor.

"The city also is fighting a judge’s order to release a similar list in another excessive-force lawsuit," the Sun-Times notes. "That list names 662 officers who faced 10 or more citizen complaints between 2001 and 2006."

So at least Weis is now on the same page as his boss in stiffing the public - and the judiciary.

"Twenty-eight Chicago aldermen want access to the list, too," the Sun-Times adds.

The city, which has a habit of leading federal judges astray, could face contempt of court charges.

Daley and Weis have already engendered contempt.

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