A Win for Justice and Transparency

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that, notwithstanding a contract with the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, state law prohibits the destruction of police disciplinary records, so this contract provision is unenforceable.

In response, I expect the police to ignore the law and destroy the records anyway, because, for them, laws are only for other people:

Chicago police misconduct records that are more than five years old will remain available to the public, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday, turning away an attempt by the city’s police union to have them destroyed as a matter of course.

The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police had sued, contending that such records should be eliminated after five years under the city’s police collective bargaining agreement. A court arbitrator had called for the city and the FOP to come to an agreement on the issue, but the city had successfully challenged that decision at the appellate level.

The state’s high court found 6-1 that the arbitration outcome violated clear public policy in the state’s Local Records Act, siding with City Hall.

“In sum, we find there is a ‘well-defined and dominant’ public policy rooted in state law concerning the procedures for the proper retention and destruction of government records,” the majority wrote.


FOP President John Catanzara on Thursday said he “couldn’t be more disappointed” with the court’s decision, and said he is instructing the union’s lawyers to see if there is a way to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“It goes against every ounce of logic there is,” Catanzara said. “The contractual rights that were in our collective bargaining agreement for the better part of four decades were set in stone.”

And that provision was probably illegal that whole time, so Mr. Catanzara can go Cheney himself.

Provisions like this has allowed cops to literally get away with murder for years.

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