Chicago Police Union Asks Judge To Stop Release Of Officer Misconduct Files

The union representing Chicago’s rank-and-file police officers has filed an injunction against the city and police department, asking a judge to halt the city from turning over records of police misconduct to the Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune until the records can be reviewed.

The motion for injunctive relief was filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court.

On Thursday, the city notified the Fraternal Order of Police that lists “‘containing information related to complaints lodged against officers’ covering the time period between January 1, 1967 to the present” would be released to reporters from the two newspapers on Oct. 31, according to the filing.

However, the union argues that the most recent collective bargaining agreement precludes the city from turning over any such records because they should have been destroyed after no more than seven years.

Records related to Police Board cases would be destroyed five years after the date of the incident or the date the violation is discovered — whichever is longer — the filing stated. Allegations of criminal conduct or excessive force would be retained for seven years after the date of incident or the date upon which the violation is discovered — again, whichever is longer — according to the filing.

“The fact that the City maintains Lists is a clear indicator that it violated its collective bargaining agreement with the Lodge,” the filing said.

The union also cited the Illinois Personnel Record Review Act, which states that an employer shall review a personnel record or records of disciplinary action that are more than four years old before releasing information to a third party.

The union argues that the police department has not reviewed the lists and that officers named face “irreparable injury” if they are released with information prohibited by the Act.

A spokesman for the city’s Law Department did not respond to request for comment Tuesday evening.

From The Chicago Sun-Times