CHICAGO, IL – Five Chicago police officers have sued the Chicago Sun-Times over publishing photo lineups that included names and faces of the officers standing next to Richard J. Vanecko, former Mayor Richard Daley’s nephew.
The federal lawsuit alleges that the newspaper violated the officers’ privacy by disclosing personal information on their drivers’ licenses, such as height and weight. The Sun-Times obtained the information from the Illinois Secretary of State’s motor vehicle records, the complaint said.
The officers, Scott Dahlstrom, Hugh Gallagly, Peter Kelly, Robert Shea and Emmet Welch, said in the suit that they “are gravely concerned for their safety” and embarrassed and humiliated.
Officials at the Sun-Times were not immediately available to comment.
Vanecko has been accused of punching David Koschman in 2004. Koschman died 11 days later from brain injuries. Vanecko was not charged in his death.
Police officers are commonly used in lineups, according to the suit. But the complaint alleges that the publication of the personal information violated the Drivers Privacy Protection Act and that the officers are entitled to monetary damages.
The Fraternal Order of Police also sued the Sun-Times in November on behalf of the officers, seeking to stop the paper from continuing to publish the officers’ information online. A Cook County circuit judge denied the request and the case was dismissed last month.
From The Chicago Tribune.