PI Original Adam Doster Wednesday July 16th, 2008, 2:18pm

Daley Claims Police Are Intimidated By Media (UPDATED)

During his marathon session before a City Council committee yesterday, Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis suggested that many of his officers were not doing their jobs properly in part because of intimidation: "I have heard from many officers that there is a ...

During his marathon session before a City Council committee yesterday, Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis suggested that many of his officers were not doing their jobs properly in part because of intimidation:

"I have heard from many officers that there is a degree of timidness -- that people are not maybe as engaged as they should be because of fears of lawsuits, fears of [complaints registered] being put against them by criminals and by other folks who are just trying to impugn their integrity," the superintendent said.

Mayor Richard Daley came to Weis' defense today, unleashing a nasty rant directed at local media for sensationalizing poor police conduct. Here's an excerpt:

“Remember how long you kept beating the police? That affects them. They’re human beings. They can’t take it." [...]

“This is a very difficult, challenging job and they’re always afraid of beefs because, once they get a beef, you [reporters] write about it. [You say], ‘He has 25 C.R. numbers [complaints registered], all unfounded.’ You say, ‘Why? This fella must be a problem’. And you find out most of them are gangbangers and dope dealers [who] filed charges. And they didn't show up in court or adminstrative hearings. [Yet] you write about it….You beat em up pretty good. Now, you want to be their friend.”

But while Daley's remarks suggest that reporters have ready access to the "C.R. numbers," this isn't the case at all. In fact, the only way the press or citizens can gain access to a specific officer's record of complaints is if a case works its way through the criminal courts and this information is offered as evidence. That is the entire point of the effort by 29 aldermen to gain access to a list of 662 officers with over 10 citizen complaints, which the city is fighting to keep private.

So Daley appears to be railing against a level of transparency that doesn't actually exist.

But that's not to say it shouldn't exist. Indeed, this ongoing lack of oversight sends an awful signal to Chicago citizens that the CPD and other leading city officials don't have their backs, particularly after years of neglecting to address the humans rights abuses taking place right under their noses.

UPDATE: WBEZ has the audio of Daley's press conference. 

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