Police misconduct cases drag on, and on

With the number of police misconduct allegations holding steady at about 2,800 per year, and the watchdog brought on to investigate them taking years to decide if there is even merit to the claims, is the system working?

That's a question the Chicago Tribune posed yesterday in an article that suggests growing tension over the way the Independent Police Review Authority is conducting investigations.

As regular readers know, it's an issue that we dug into last month.

Some of these cases have been going on for five years now. Based on our conversation with Ilana Rosenzweig, who heads up IPRA, the longer allegations linger, the more credible they are likely to be.

Just how many cases are we talking about? Here's a snapshot of the open investigations:

It's worth pointing out that 41 percent of the allegations reviewed by IPRA over the past few years were thrown out because alleged victims and witnesses didn't cooperate with the investigation. Others were found not credible. Nearly one-third are still open.

As Rosenzweig points out, it takes time to vet these allegations. So much time, the Trib adds, that the statute of limitations can run out. And officers return to duty--with few consequences.

© Community Renewal Society 2012

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