Law School Researchers Release Major Report on Chicago Police

Chicago Police Abuse Cases Exceed Average
Susan Saulny
The New York Times
November 15, 2007

CHICAGO, Nov. 14 — Chicago police officers are the subject of more brutality complaints per officer than the national average, and the Police Department is far less likely to pursue abuse cases seriously than the national norm, a legal team at the University of Chicago reported Wednesday.

The report, “The Chicago Police Department’s Broken System,” comes amid troubled times for the force, the nation’s second largest, which is mired in accusations of misconduct and is the subject of open feuding among elected officials who disagree on aspects of its management.

The department also needs a new superintendent since Philip J. Cline, a longtime officer, resigned in April after an outcry over the lack of swift discipline against officers accused of involvement in two beatings of civilians captured on videotape.

According to the new report, rogue police officers abuse victims without fear of punishment, and the lack of accountability has tainted the entire department, resulting in a loss of public confidence. Patterns of abuse and disciplinary neglect were worst in low-income minority neighborhoods, said the authors, Craig B. Futterman, H. Melissa Mather and Melanie Miles.

The national average among large police departments for excessive-force complaints is 9.5 per 100 full-time officers. For a department of Chicago’s size (13,500, second only to N