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Chicago Civl Rights AttorneyA new report recently filed in federal court against the Chicago Police Department concluded the department was unprepared to effectively handle the massive protests that took place after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer last summer. The report cites what is referred to as an “unprecedented number” of complaints against the department for excessive force and numerous other violations.

Lack of Preparation by Chicago Police

The report was prepared by an independent monitoring team put in place to ensure that the Chicago Police Department is in compliance with the federal consent decree put in place by the Attorney General’s office. The consent decree provides a detailed plan for reforms that both the City of Chicago and the police department must implement.

The report found that the department did not have the necessary policies and tools in place to respond effectively to the protests. The monitoring team found that not only did the department fail to predict how widespread the protests would be, but it also did not have the necessary training, equipment, reporting practices, community engagement, data analysis, or interagency coordination in place even if they had been prepared.

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Cook County civil rights lawyer for police misconductPeople can sustain injuries in various situations, such as car crashes, work-related accidents, and slip and falls. Victims may suffer minor to serious and even life-threatening injuries as a result of these incidents. However, individuals can also be subjected to harm at the hands of law enforcement. Unfortunately, those who are sworn to serve and protect sometimes do just the opposite. With a number of recent news stories describing unjustified police shootings and use of force, police brutality has come to the forefront of many government agendas. In January 2021, Illinois lawmakers passed a criminal justice reform bill that would address how police misconduct is handled, including allowing for anonymous complaints against officers.

Pretrial Fairness Act

The state legislature passed the Pretrial Fairness Act, but the bill is still awaiting Governor Pritzker’s signature, and the governor is facing criticism and pressure from police department representatives and other organizations to veto the bill. The bill creates a more robust and progressive plan for monitoring police misconduct throughout the state, including requiring every Illinois police officer to use a body camera by 2025.

The provisions of the expansive criminal justice bill would:

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Chicago civil rights lawyerPolice brutality has been in the news lately, and many may think it simply involves officers using excessive or unreasonable force on suspects. However, police brutality can take other forms, including violating a person’s rights to due process, which can result in serious consequences. Examples of this include false arrest and imprisonment. Besides the psychological damage caused to a person after he or she is wrongfully arrested, other ramifications may take place. An individual could lose his or her job, resulting in significant financial problems and possible loss of child custody or parenting time. Although the U.S. Constitution states that every person is innocent until proven guilty, it is important to note that any civil rights violation is illegal despite a suspect’s innocence or guilt. An experienced civil rights attorney can help injured parties take legal action to hold police officers and police departments responsible for this unlawful behavior and activity.

Rights to Due Process

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, there are certain constitutional rights that every American has. When anyone is taken into custody and questioned, he or she must be informed of the following, known as the Miranda rights:

  • You have the right to remain silent.

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Chicago civil rights attorneySome citizens may find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. In certain situations, they may even be accused of a criminal act. According to the Constitution, every American is innocent until proven guilty. When a person is suspected of committing a crime, the police will likely ask the alleged offender a series of questions. In some cases, the officer may also perform a search of their vehicle or home. If the suspect is arrested for an alleged criminal offense, they are typically taken into police custody. Part of the investigation may also include questioning or interrogation. Police must follow proper protocol during these procedures, but unfortunately this is not always the case. In certain situations, officers may use improper tactics that can harm an individual, which can be considered a civil rights violation

Police Brutality

During an arrest, police often justify using force if they claim a suspect is not complying with a request. Unfortunately, it is all too common for officers to perform improper actions after arresting a suspect. Law enforcement personnel may use different techniques to get an accused person to confess to a crime, even one they did not commit. Tactics may include torture during interrogations or coerced confessions. This illegal activity can be considered a form of police brutality. Using excessive force, conducting a strip search or body cavity search, or even sexually assaulting a suspect are also ways that police can intimidate a suspect. 

An individual can also suffer injuries if an interrogation becomes violent. In some situations, an officer may punch, slap, kick, or inflict other harm on a suspect in an effort to extract a confession. Depending on the circumstances, someone can suffer minor to serious injuries because of police brutality. Some injuries might even require surgery and can include, but are not limited to, the following:

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On May 25, 2020, people across the United States reacted in shock at the death of George Floyd. During an arrest, police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota handcuffed Mr. Floyd and pinned him to the ground, and an officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes. After Mr. Floyd's death, this officer was charged with third-degree murder. Subsequently, Black Lives Matter protests have been held across the country, and these have resulted in many other accusations of police brutality involving the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, police batons, vehicles, and other weapons.

At The Law Offices of David A. Kadzai, we strongly condemn illegal behavior by police officers. It is important for everyone to respect the law, including those who are sworn to serve and protect the public. Police brutality in any form is wrong. If you have been injured by police officers, we are here to stand by your side and help protect your civil rights. Contact us at 312-229-0050 to learn more about how we can help.    

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