IPRA to Re-Examine All Closed Officer-Involved Shootings in Chicago

The Independent Police Review Authority, the Chicago agency responsible for investigating allegations of police misconduct, has announced that it plans to conduct a historic review of all closed officer-involved shootings in the city just months after the Laquan McDonald shooting video was released.

Chief Administrator Sharon Fairley made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday, as her first 100 days in the role come to a close. 

Fairley, a former federal prosecutor, was appointed to the role of chief administrator by Mayor Rahm Emanuel following the November release of footage showing the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old McDonald. 

She has since called on City Hall’s Inspector General Joseph Ferguson to investigate questions surrounding Officer Jason Van Dyke’s fatal shooting of McDonald. At the time, she said public confidence would be “enhanced” if the investigation were conducted by an agency “that has had no involvement with the matter and can bring a fresh look at the facts.”

Fairley also has said her office planned to reopen IPRA’s investigation into how officers treated Philip Coleman, a 38-year-old man who suffered a mental breakdown in 2012. A recently released video shows officers dragging Coleman from a police lockup after he was repeatedly shocked with a stun gun at a South Side police station. Police said he was combative when they tried to take him to court to face charges in connection with an arrest the day before.

Coleman was transported to a hospital, where officers said he was combative again. They zapped him repeatedly with a Taser and struck him with a baton, according to police records. He died hours later from a reaction to a sedative the hospital gave him, according to the medical examiner’s office.

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