Police Misconduct Database Opened to the Public

After years of litigation challenging Chicago Police Department officers and the CPD itself, the Invisible Institute of Chicago launched its website which allows citizens to look up CPD officer misconduct. The site logged 56,000 complaints of misconduct on approximately 8,500 CPD officers. You can search the site, located at http://cpdb.co/data/bZ2o9b/citizens-police-data-project.
It is only after much litigation in the court system and through Freedom of Information Act requests that this list was able to be compiled. Now online, the public at large can access the site and search by name, place or category.
The site was created to help further dialogue about police misconduct and oversight of the CPD. One of the much publicized facts learned from the site is it “shows that only 2 percent of officers who received misconduct complaints between March 2011 and September 2015 were punished.” Proving that out of so many complaints only a handful of officers are punished raises much concern over the policing of officers. A goal would be for reform and to hold officers accountable for allegations made against them by citizens or other officers.
Criminal defense attorneys, among others, are particularly interested in new site as it allows a search of officers by name, and learning such background on officers may play a role in defending a client against an officer who has a history of certain alleged unlawful behavior. Currently it only shows a limited amount of time, but it is hoped it may soon include information going back decades. This new site has the potential to greatly influence the handling of a case. For sure, it can open the issue up for discussion.

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