Police Accountability

Tribune:

 It is a system seemingly designed to fail.

Chicago police officers enforce a code of silence to protect one another when they shoot a citizen, giving some a sense they can do so with impunity.

Their union protects them from rigorous scrutiny, enforcing a contract that can be an impediment to tough and timely investigations.

The Independent Police Review Authority, the civilian agency meant to pierce that protection and investigate shootings of citizens by officers, is slow, overworked and, according to its many critics, biased in favor of the police.

rosecutors, meantime, almost never bring charges against officers in police shooting cases, seeming to show a lack of enthusiasm for arresting the people they depend on to make cases — even when video, an officer’s history or other circumstances raise concerns.

And the city of Chicago, which oversees that system, has a keen interest in minimizing potential scandal; indeed, it has paid victims and their families millions of dollars to prevent information from becoming public when it fears the shooting details will roil neighborhoods and cause controversy for the mayor.

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