Illinois (EWCd) –
In January of 2014, ECW uncovered documents from Governor Pat Quinn’s Neighborhood Initiative Program. One such document warned Chicago Youth to comply with City of Chicago curfew laws or risk being shot and killed by members of the Chicago Police Department (CPD). LINK Directly to the Document Here. This document provided to ECW was so shocking in its substantive message to Chicago children, that it was automatically presumed to contain demonstrably false/fake news. As a result, NO ONE IN ILLINOIS LISTENED.
While Illinois officials turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to the alarming document that Chicago youth frequently get shot and killed by CPD officers for merely breaking curfew laws (as well as myriad other reports of unlawful conduct by CPD officers), the USDOJ and the FBI took the citizen warnings and criticism of police misconduct to heart but only after questionable shootings became public. USDOJ initiated a comprehensive investigation into unlawful and unconstitutional patterns and practices within the Chicago Police Department.
Friday the 13th, 2017, the US Department of Justice released a scathing report that should alarm every Illinois resident and taxpayer. The report was on the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and can be viewed here. Although the Chicago Police Department was the primary target of USDOJ’s stinging criticism, the State of Illinois shares much of the blame, and in particular the pathetic work of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB), the official state agency that is charged with certifying and monitoring all law enforcement training academies in the State of Illinois, including CPD’s training facility.
The USDOJ Report noted that CPD uses a 35-year-old videotape (see page 98), to train new recruits on the use of lethal/deadly force. According to the USDOJ, this videotape contained outdated standards and conditions for when police officers can justifiably use lethal force. The USDOJ report noted that key aspects of the 35-year-old CPD training tape are unlawful and were overruled by the US Supreme Court. Sadly, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board was asleep at the switch; they failed to stop the CPD from using this outdated video that taught unconstitutional methods on the use of lethal and deadly force. Sadly, Illinois citizens were then shot and killed by CPD police officers because the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board failed to do its job. In this regard, this state board failed to protect the public and the citizens of Chicago.
The USDOJ further observed that only 1 out of 6 CPD police recruits could properly articulate the correct legal standard for when lethal/deadly force can be used. Shockingly, this means that 5 out of 6 (or 83.3%) of CPD cadets got that life and death question wrong. Think about that statistic–83.3% of CPD cadets don’t know that law when it comes to the use of lethal force. That is a chilling and truly scary statistic.
USDOJ investigators also found current CPD law enforcement cadets were asleep in class when the topic of the proper use of lethal force was addressed in the classroom.
You would think that an out of date training tape covering the topic of lethal force, or a CPD cadet failure rate of 83.3% on a question involving life and death of Illinois citizens, might cause the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board to take every means possible to yank the accreditation of the CPD training facility. But sadly, that has not happened.
Senior Leadership of the ILETSB were put on this important state board for one reason: to serve and protect the Illinois public. Inexcusably, this State Board violated that sacred public trust and I contend they have violated the law. They failed to take their jobs seriously. They allowed CPD’s training facility to remain accredited. As a watchdog, they sat on their hands and let the USDOJ do the job they were incapable or too cowardly to do. So yes, this state board’s character, integrity, and conduct deserve harsh and unrelenting public criticism.
As clear evidence of their failings, one only needs to look at the statutory appointments to that board and review the minutes to find that more often than not, those appointed members, with one exception, don’t even attend the meetings but instead send their proxy to do their job for them, an action we contend is not permitted by law. A concern which I raised with their board counsel back in the early fall of 2016. No one listened. (Click here for the compiled attendance record of the statutorily appointed members)
Lisa Madigan, the Illinois Attorney General, is one of those members and of the minutes available, we have been unable to find a single meeting that she has attended, which is not much different than her avoiding her obligations on the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority board which we wrote about in July of 2014, and no one listened.
However, the failures don’t stop with the top cop Lisa Madigan’s failure to perform her duties as appointed by statute. Since January of 2014 and up through the last set of approved minutes of September 2016, the following statutorily appointed members have NEVER attended one of the quarterly board meetings according to the minutes recording the attendance. (Click here for all the approved minutes since 2014)
Attorney General, Superintendent of Chicago Police Department, Director of the Department of Corrections, and the Cook County Sheriff have never attended a single meeting according to the records.
The minutes reflect 4 of the 7 statutory appointees have failed to attend a single meeting. Micheal Schlosser, Director of the Police Training Institute in Champaign, who has only missed 2 meetings out of the eleven held since 2014 outshines the attendance of those listed above and the other two statutory appointments, the Director of the State Police and Cook County Circuit Clerk, whom both managed to attend a whopping three meetings each during this same time frame.
Many people died on the streets of Chicago because the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board failed in its core mission of overseeing the training of our police. Those people died while certain people, appointed by statute to do a job, failed to attend meetings and perform their duties as an appointed board member. People died while others members of this board failed to provide proper oversite.
Accordingly, we request that all senior leadership of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board resign from public office immediately, including the statutorily appointed members of this State Board, including: The Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department; the Illinois Attorney General; the Cook County Sheriff; the Cook County Clerk of the Court; the Director of the Illinois State Police; the Director of the Police Training Institute; the Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections.
How ironic and tragic, that many of these statutory appointees to the ILETSB live and work in the City of Chicago. This is their home too. But sadly, they let their own family, friends, and neighbors down and now share in the blame for that scathing and damning USDOJ Report on the CPD (because much of that stink and blame originates from the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board).
Even more ironic, the US Department of Justice made no mention of the ILETSB and the attendance record of the very members appointed to those positions. Does this point to yet another government agency that is incapable of properly investigating and evaluating where a bigger problem lies, those responsible for the training of our law enforcement personnel? Are the ILETSB failures linked to law enforcement issues statewide?
As if we should be surprised, the ILETSB just happened to have adopted new guidelines in October of 2016. How interesting to find the issues they have adopted have parallel ties to the US DOJ report findings. Is this an indication that they knew this was coming?
We have been compiling information on the ILETSB since we broke the story of the College of DuPage two years ago regarding their improper awarding of credits to the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy (SLEA). Now with the DOJ report released, we will continue to roll out our findings that may well expose even larger problems as it relates to training of our police and oversite of those academies as well as a total disregard for certain people to follow the law.
In closing, we contend such disregard for attendance and participation of meetings by members of the ILETSB is cruel and callous to the citizens of this state.
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Sheriff John Thompson (retired)Posted at 20:43h, 15 January
Good folks at ECW…
It is an insult to good law enforcement officers to refer to any Attorney General as the “Top Cop”. No AG has EVER arrested a misdemeanor offender or felon, and have never wrestled a violator in the streets of any community. For those who work so hard in their law enforcement profession, please refer to them as the Chief Prosecutor.
Sheriff John Thompson (retired)
jmkraftPosted at 21:37h, 15 January
Good Point, and she doesn’t do that right either.
Mark MisiorowskiPosted at 08:50h, 16 January
Traditional political theory (and yes the 10th Amendment) assigns “police powers” in the first instance to state and local governments. So under normal circumstances, where state and local govt. units act professionally, the ILETSB should provide oversight and constructive criticism to CPD cadet and officer training programs.
Your article does an excellent job of explaining that the ILETSB is terribly broken and shares much of the blame for CPD’s abuses and unconstitutional conduct. Thank you for shining a bright light on this matter.
I hope your article finds its way to Washington, DC and specifically to the desk of Senator Jeff Sessions. I hope that after he reads your article, he will reconsider the pros and cons of supporting USDOJ and City of Chicago to enter into a binding Consent Decree–allowing a Federal Court Judge and/or Federal Monitor to oversee the CPD.
The concept of “Our Federalism” underscores the need for this further review and analysis of the CPD and the ILETSB situation.
I hope the new Administration in DC, Governor Rauner, the Illinois General Assembly, and Chicagoans will carefully consider next moves concerning the CPD and the health, safety and welfare of all people who call Illinois and Chicago their home.
Thanks Kirk and John!!!
G. BarracloughPosted at 11:38h, 17 January
Excellent ideas. The consent decrees in federal court may be an answer in the short term. In the longer term maybe not. The current administration’s insidious program over the last 7 years to “nationalize” the nation’s police departments by use of federal court consent decrees appears to me violative of the the spirit and letter of the 10th Amendment. It is just one demonstration of the administration’s lawlessness. In effect there has been only token Separation of Powers as the legislative and judiciary departments have acquiesced to the lawlessness. Let’s hope that might change next week.