The Chicago Police Department, like other law enforcement agencies, isn’t required to report the amount of incidents when an officer fires his gun or when someone is killed in police custody, leaving in question exactly how rampant such situations occur.
Justin Glawe, a contributing writer for The Daily Beast, had his Freedom of Information Act request for all officer-involved shooting incidents in the last two years denied by CPD because the task was “unduly burdensome.”
What he was able to get from the department showed that in 2013 43 people were shot by Chicago cops in 42 incidents, resulting in 13 casualties. Larry Merritt of the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) clarified that incidents where more than one person was shot explains the different numbers.
In the first half of 2014, Chicago police shot 27 people, seven of them died. The IPRA reported 32 officer-involved shootings investigations for the first 75 percent of this year, Glawe found.
“But beyond the numbers are the actual incidents, which often include more concerning uses of lethal force than the Garner case in New York or Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson,” Glawe writes. “In some cases, cops have been off-duty or drunk. In others, victims have been shot in the back, contradicting police accounts.”
“One pressed her gun into the back of a man’s head and blew him away. She’s still on the job, earning $100,000,” according to Glawe.
“In most cases, IPRA has decided in favor of the officers. In all cases, lives have been altered or ended, and facts have been disputed endlessly in the courts as families try to figure out what happened when their loved ones died,” G;awe writes. “With police versions of events overwhelmingly taken at their word by investigators who are often former or current members of law enforcement, those facts can be skewed to benefit those behind the blue line.”
Unfortunately, the problem extends beyond Chicago: A devastating new report reveals that the nation actually has no idea how often police kill Americans because a huge number of police departments—including some of the largest in the country—don’t report police killings to the FBI.
An analysis by the Wall Street Journal found that more than 550 police killings were missing from the national tally, meaning the richest nation on earth seems unable to account for how often the police gun down Americans in the streets of the U.S.