David Owens on the Contract for Officers of the Chicago Police Department

9 Ways Police Have More Protections Than You Do When They're Arrested

I took a closer look at the contract for officers of the Chicago Police Department—which has been under fire for its handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting, among other things—to see how it gives officers "super due process." In particular, given that Chi-town police have been accused of conducting abusive interrogations, I wanted to see what the contract had to say about the questioning of officers. I also asked David Owens, who has dealt with police misconduct cases as a civil rights attorney at the University of Chicago Law School's Exoneration Project, to provide commentary on the nine provisions paraphrased below.

Provision 1: An officer should be interrogated while on duty, preferably during daylight hours.

Owens: "Police officers don't have to care whether you're not off work or just got off work or just got there. They arrest suspects whenever it's convenient for them. I've seen interrogations start early in the morning or late at night and go all night when somebody should be asleep. So that is a protection not afforded [civilian] criminal suspects who are being interrogated by the police."

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