A former investigator with Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority has filed a lawsuit claiming that he was fired for refusing to produce false reports regarding officers accused of misconduct.
Lorenzo Davis began working with Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) in 2008 as an investigator after 23 years with the Chicago Police Department. By July 2010, he was promoted to supervising investigator before moving up to deputy chief administrator in October 2011 and finally, chief administrator in February 2014.
Despite a long history with law enforcement and the IPRA, Davis is now suing the agency alleging that he was fired for not listening to his superiors when they commanded him to change his reports to favor officers accused of misconduct. Davis originally sued the city of Chicago, the IPRA Chief Administrator Scott Ando, and First Deputy Chief Administrator Steven Mitchell in a federal court. A federal judge dismissed that suit, claiming that Davis’s first amendment rights were not violated because he was acting as a government agent not a private citizen. Davis is now suing the agency in Cook County Court.
As his boss, Davis says, “Ando began ordering plaintiff to change his sustained findings of police misconduct … in favor of the accused officers.”
He claims that Ando and Mitchell told him “to change the content of his investigative reports to more favorably reflect upon the accused officers’ conduct or to discredit the victim or witnesses.”
He wasn’t the only one, Davis says: “Ando and Mitchell also ordered other IPRA investigators to change the contents of their investigative reports and change their ultimate findings from sustained to not sustained, unfounded or exonerated.”
The IPRA was originally formed in 2007 to investigate other accusations of police corruption and misconduct. Unfortunately, the agency has itself been the subject of misconduct and corruption. In fact, in December 2015, Ando resigned from his position as head of the IPRA just as it was announced that the U.S. Department of Justice would begin an investigation into the CPD. The IPRA’s reputation has become so tarnished that in early April, the editorial board of The Chicago Tribune wrote, “the IPRA and its reputation are beyond repair. The way forward is clear: Blow it up. Start over.”
Only weeks ago Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans to completely end the IPRA in favor of a “new civilian investigative agency that has more independence and more resources to do its work.” Emanuel’s plan mimics a report from the Police Accountability Task Force, organized by Emanuel after the death of Laquan McDonald, which calls for the creation of a new review board. According to the Better Government Association, between 2010 and 2014 Chicago police shot 240 people, killing 70.
Both the Chicago Police Department and the IPRA are under fire for corruption, abuse, and possible criminal behavior. At this point the idea that the Mayor (another representative of the establishment) could realistically root out the poison that seems to infected the core of the Chicago Police Department is preposterous. All of these bureaucracies exist to sustain themselves and to subvert the will of the people. This is because these institutions are dependent on the people for funding (stolen via taxation) and ultimately serve the will of the State.
Imagine what would happen if our communities started organizing against these violent criminals and peacefully prevented the murder of our people? It’s time to start having those conversations.
Derrick is available for interviews.
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