Tag Archives: ipra

IPRA releases video from Kajuan Raye shooting

(CHICAGO) Chicago’s police oversight agency Monday released video from the fatal shooting of Kajuan Raye by Officer John Poulos in November, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Grainy surveillance video posted on the Independent Police Review Authority website shows a marked police SUV racing up to the 19-year-old on a South Side street corner. The teen sprints down the street, with an officer — presumably Sgt. John Poulos, the officer who shot Raye — giving chase, followed by the police SUV.

None of the three camera angles posted to the IPRA site show Poulos firing at Raye, nor does the footage show the teen turning toward Poulos during the portion of the chase captured on film.

Poulos told investigators that Raye twice turned and appeared to point a gun at him before the officer opened fire on the fleeing teen, though no gun was found despite an extensive search. An autopsy showed Raye was shot in the back.

Poulos, who was cleared of wrongdoing after fatally shooting another unarmed man in 2013, was put on desk duty after the shooting, then he was stripped of his police powers days later after CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson said there were “unanswered questions” about Raye’s death.

The videos posted Monday show the foot chase from three different angles, though none of the video is from the vantage point of a dashboard camera or body-worn camera. Police officials have not said whether there was body camera footage of the chase, though an IPRA spokeswoman said officers in the district had not yet been issued body cameras.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel last year mandated that IPRA release all video from investigations of fatal shootings or incidents in which someone was grievously injured, a policy that was recommended by Emanuel’s hand-picked Police Accountability Task Force.

Poulos was responding to a report of a battery in progress when he drove up to Raye in the 1400 block of West 65th Street around 11 p.m., police said. A friend who was with Raye said they were waiting for a bus when the officers approached and Raye took off running. Raye had pleaded guilty to theft charges in 2015 and had been placed on court supervision, though an arrest warrant was issued several months later, after he violated his supervision.

— Chicago Sun-Times


IPRA releases video from fatal November police shooting

Surveillance image of a fatal shooting involving Chicago Police officers in Englewood in November 2016. | Independent Police Review Authority The Independent Police Review Authority on Tuesday released surveillance video of Chicago Police officers fatally shooting a man who fired on another man near a busy West Englewood intersection.

(CHICAGO) A lieutenant signed a tactical response report saying the two officers who opened fire “acted within Departmental guidelines” in the Nov. 18, 2016, shooting of 26-year-old Darius Jones, according to the newly released case files.

IPRA, which investigates officers’ use of force and alleged misconduct, is still reviewing the case. The agency has a self-imposed policy of releasing video and police reports within 60 days of officer-involved shootings.

Two camera angles show a fight spilling onto 69th Street near Damen Avenue about midnight, with one man pulling out a gun and firing toward a group of people who scatter. A squad car that happened to be at the intersection pulls up and the officers get out with guns drawn, as the man walks in their general direction with the gun still in his hand. That’s when the officers open fire.

A police statement at the time said the officers were on patrol and “repeatedly ordered” the gunman to drop his weapon before shooting him multiple times.

Jones, who lived nearby, died within the hour, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy ruled that he died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The 26-year-old man Jones allegedly shot in the abdomen was taken to the same hospital in critical “but stable” condition, authorities said. The men knew each other, and the initial shooting was not considered random, police said.

Investigators recovered a weapon at the scene, and the two officers were placed on desk duty for 30 days, per CPD policy.

Feds say sworn-affidavit rule undercuts CPD misconduct probes

(CHICAGO) Citizens have to give a sworn affidavit when they file complaints against Chicago Police officers — a requirement that creates a “tremendous disincentive to come forward with legitimate claims,” according to the Department of Justice.

In a sweeping report released Friday about the use of excessive force by Chicago Police officers, the DOJ said about half of the complaints filed against cops are dropped because of a lack of an affidavit, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

And those agencies that investigate police misconduct — the Independent Police Review Authority and the police department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs — rarely use an override system that lets them look into a complaint without a citizen’s affidavit, DOJ added.

“IPRA and BIA should be acting more aggressively to ensure that this requirement does not stand in the way of investigating meritorious, and sometimes egregious, allegations of misconduct,” the report said.

The DOJ findings echoed another report unveiled in April 2016 by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s hand-picked Police Accountability Task Force, which noted that IPRA had closed about 618 complaints per year since 2011 for a lack of an affidavit, about 40 percent of the total. Internal Affairs closed about 537 complaints per year for the same reason.

The heads of IPRA and Internal Affairs rarely seek overrides of the sworn affidavit requirement and “not to the extent it could and should be” done, the task force found.

Investigators for IPRA and Internal Affairs aren’t very active in trying to get citizens to sign the affidavits, according to the mayor’s task force.

“Investigators used to actively seek out the affidavits, sometimes even knocking on doors. Investigators now play a much more passive role and have placed the burden on the complainant,” the task force said in April.

The DOJ report, which found a “pattern and practice” of the use of excessive force by Chicago Police officers, elaborated on the issue of sworn affidavits, which the city started requiring in 2004 because of a change in state law and department policy.

The Fraternal Order of Police had pushed for the law to cut down on frivolous complaints. FOP officials predicted fewer people would file false allegations under the threat of perjury. Over the next year, excessive force complaints against cops fell more than 25 percent.

DOJ said there are many reasons why someone wouldn’t want to file a sworn affidavit.

“Chicago residents who have lost faith in police accountability altogether have no interest in participating in that very system,” the DOJ report said. “Others fear retaliation — if they proceed with an investigation, they will be targeted by CPD officers.”

Others who are criminal defendants or who have sued the police often follow their lawyers’ “reasonable advice and refrain from providing verified statements pending their criminal and civil litigation,” the report said, adding that investigators rarely go into Cook County Jail or prisons to get affidavits from people behind bars.

“For most of the lawsuits in which police misconduct victims received significant settlements or verdicts, IPRA’s parallel misconduct investigation was closed for lack of an affidavit,” the DOJ report said.

An appendix to the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police contract with the city allows for the heads of IPRA and Internal Affairs to seek an override of the requirement to have a sworn affidavit by a citizen.

If they review “objective verifiable evidence” such as arrest reports, videos or witness statements, and they believe it’s necessary for a probe to go forward, they can seek approval for an override from the head of the other investigative agency, IPRA or Internal Affairs. For instance, IPRA’s administrator must go to the head of the police department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs for approval of an override.

But when DOJ officials interviewed IPRA’s investigators, they were told that overrides weren’t encouraged and no training was provided on how to get one.

“Not surprisingly, this override provision was only used 17 times in the last five years,” the DOJ report said.

DOJ said IPRA and Internal Affairs should start interviewing witnesses and canvassing for information immediately — even without an affidavit — to show they’re “not indifferent to complaints of police misconduct.”

Mia Sissac, a spokeswoman for IPRA, said its administrator, Sharon Fairley, is now seeking overrides whenever possible. Eleven of them were done in 2016, more than in any prior year, she said.

Still, that was a small fraction of the 205 cases that IPRA closed for a lack of a sworn affidavit in 2016. Dean Angelo, president of the Chicago FOP, said he’s been saying all along that the police contract doesn’t impede investigations of police misconduct — it’s the investigating agencies that are the problem.

“We’ve been pointed to as the big problem in this process,” Angelo said. “The contract isn’t the problem. It’s the lack of the investigations being timely. It’s the lack of [investigators] taking statements. Now you have another agency [DOJ] saying it’s not the contract, it’s the investigation that’s the problem.”

IPRA will be reconstituted as the Civilian Office of Police Accountability later this year, with more employees and a bigger budget, according to the Emanuel administration.

Emanuel introduces ordinance to replace IPRA

By Adam Chappelle, WLS-AM 890 News
(CHICAGO) There will be a new agency charged with investigating police wrongdoing in Chicago, under an ordinance introduced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel Monday. It’ll be called the Civilian Office on Police Accountability, and it will replace the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA).

The new agency will not have the authority to hire its own independent counsel. Alderman Scott Waguespack said Monday some of his colleagues are pushing for the city Law Department to control the new agency’s expenditures and how the agency’s outside lawyers would be chosen.

The North Side alderman also asked Mayor Emanuel not to try to rush the ordinance through the City Council next month. He wants to take the ordinance back to community members and organizations that were involved, saying that 2 weeks isn’t enough time for all parties to have their say on it.