Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Blue Voice Will Not Surrender On Affidavits...

There are certain issues the Fraternal Order of Police should never negotiate. Pension benefits is one of them.

Unfortunately, President Dean Angelo and his slate did so in the last contract negotiations, giving the city a break on $173 million in pension contributions in exchange for revenue from a casino that does not exist and is not on the horizon.

Another issue that is non-negotiable is moving to the forefront: the requirement that anyone who makes a complaint against a police officer must sign an affidavit.

An affidavit, in theory, gives a complaint against the police the force of law, so that if it were discovered that the complainant was lying, he or she could be subject to criminal charges.

How often are citizens making false complaints? Consider that after the affidavit rule became law, complaints dropped by nearly two thirds.

But the law still lacked punch because the city has not gone after one person for lying about police misconduct since the law requiring affidavits was put in place by the state legislature.

And if the city and prosecutors are not going after people for making false complaints, isn’t it reasonable to suspect that other people, like gang members, are still making them, knowing there is no real punishment for doing so?
Nevertheless, a coalition has already formed in the city to browbeat the Emanuel administration into getting rid of the affidavit requirement in the upcoming FOP contract negotiations.

From Mark Brown at the Sun Times:

The Coalition for Accountability in Police Contracts — which includes ACLU of Illinois and the Better Government Association among others — has drawn up a list of 14 recommendations it wants to see recognized in new police contracts.

These include everything from removing the requirement that citizens sign sworn affidavits when making complaints against police officers to removing restrictions on the use of past disciplinary records in the investigation of current complaints.

What makes this demand to get rid of the affidavits even more ridiculous is that over the course of the last five years, a chilling body of evidence has arisen of false allegations against the police in several high-profile wrongful conviction cases. Much of this evidence is centered on Northwestern University, which has seen its claims about wrongful convictions implode in the wake of renewed scrutiny.  

The university is now embroiled in a federal lawsuit, accused of framing an innocent man in an attempt to get another man out of prison.

Part of that lawsuit alleges a pattern and practice of misconduct and false allegations in several cases, spanning several decades.

Think about it. False allegations against the police from a prestigious university and the city wants to take away the affidavits, wants to make it easier to file false complaints?

It doesn’t matter that Chicago’s fake media has routinely ignored this or diminished this evidence of false complaints. Real journalists might have confronted members of the coalition with it.

But the fake media in Chicago has shown itself again and again to have an anti-police bias in its reporting; it is a media that is powerful and endemic, and its “journalists” will do no such thing.

Which brings us back to the FOP. This evidence of corruption in the wrongful conviction movement, based on false claims of misconduct against the police, is powerful leverage against those arguing to end the affidavit requirement. But it has been completely ignored by the Angelo administration, even as the evidence has expanded throughout Angelo’s administration.

In contrast, the Blue Voice team, headed by Kevin Graham, has pursued this evidence and determined to make it a force in their negotiations, including fighting any changes to the affidavit requirement.

The difference is clear. Angelo capitulates, the Blue Voice, headed by Graham, fights.