The Chicago Sun-Times announced Sept. 4, that U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon and FBI Special Agent Robert Holley have stated that there is no “sweeping investigation of shootings by Chicago police officers.”
This statement by the Feds was released a week after an attorney, representing the police, wrote to the Fraternal Order of Police warning that an FBI probe of the CPD was in the making.
Not only has the U.S. Attorney and the FBI denied the existence of a “sweeping investigation,” they basically rule out the need for any. Fardon and Holley issued this rather shocking statement: “As Acting Assistant Attorney General Molly Moran stated today, there is no open pattern-and-practice civil rights investigation of the Chicago Police Department.”
On September 3, the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression presented to U.S. Attorney Fardon a complaint letter addressed to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, signed by 65 victims of police crimes of murder and torture.
This letter documents that there is in fact an “open pattern-and-practice of civil rights violations and crimes perpetrated by the Chicago Police Department.
Emmett Farmer, the father of Flint Farmer (who was murdered by a police officer while lying defenseless on the ground) was among the signers of the letter. Yet within 48 hours after it was presented, we witness this shameless arrogance by representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice.
We live in a city that is infamous for police torturing hundreds of innocent, young Black and Latino people, most of who remain incarcerated, and where too many parents are still grief-stricken because their children were murdered by the police.
So why on earth in these circumstances would the U.S. Attorney and the FBI rush to a news conference to assure us that they are not investigating a pattern of civil rights violations and crimes committed by the Chicago Police Department?
This is unacceptable. This is an insult to the people of Chicago, to the victims and their families and to the numerous investigating reporters who have demonstrated an open pattern-and-practice of civil rights violations and police crimes.
We, like the people of Ferguson, Missouri, are demanding a federal investigation and justice for all victims of police crimes.
Frank Chapman is Education Director and member of the executive committee of the Chicago Alliance Against Racial and Political Oppression.
Photo: Names of known victims of police torture conducted by CPD and Commander Jon Burge. There are still countless others unknown. Banner at rally against police crimes Aug. 28, Chicago. John Bachtell/PW