Published On: Wed, Sep 15th, 2021

Chicago Lawmakers Permit Anonymous Complaints Against Police Officers

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CHICAGO—For the first time in 40 years, any anonymous complaint filed against Chicago police officers will trigger an automatic preliminary investigation. It is one of the top accountability measures passed as part of the new contract between the city of Chicago and the Chicago police union Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). The contract sailed through City Council on Aug. 14 by a 40–8 vote. Under the new contract, if the preliminary investigation of an anonymous complaint finds objective evidence and gets certified, then a full-fledged investigation starts, which could lead to one of four findings: sustained, not sustained, exonerated, or unfounded. Disciplinary actions against officers will only be recommended if the finding is “sustained.” Such findings account for about 38 percent of all investigations concluded between 2016 and 2020 by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), according to the annual report. In 2020, COPA—the main investigative body of complaints …

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