Thursday, June 12, 2008

Chicago Cops Step Over the Line Again

Club patrons say in suit that Chicago cops mistreated them -- No warrant, just the word of an "informant." If his word was so good, why didn't they get a warrant? Oh, that's right, in the War on (Some) Drugs, the Constitution isn't important.
A federal lawsuit was filed Wednesday alleging Chicago police officers mistreated patrons of a Northwest Side club during a raid last month, including holding them at gunpoint, stomping and kicking them and forcing women to expose themselves to male officers during searches.
You may believe that Chicago cops would never step over the line, but if you believe that you aren't from Chicago.
officers "searched and exposed female Plaintiffs [sic] breasts and private areas in front of male Plaintiffs and male officers, searched purses, broke open a safe" and stole money from coin-operated video games.
Oh, and of course the location had video surveillance, but cops don't like being video taped.
Surveillance cameras caught much of the incident, the suit alleges, but once police noticed the cameras, they pointed them at the ceiling.
That should be a crime right there.

I have said before that EVERYTHING a cop does while on duty should be recorded - sound and video. If they ever "lose" or disable their personal recorder, then they are automatically guilty of whatever they are charged with. (The very act of disabling video recording equipment would constitute prima facie evidence of intent to commit a crime. Standards for rebutting this evidence would be high.)

If they were not doing anything wrong, why disable the video recording? It could have proved they were in the right. But then I don't believe for minute they thought they were in the right, and it turns out they (and their "informant") were wrong.
No illegal drugs or weapons were found, according to the suit.
Oh, and the people they were "investigating" were Hispanic. Do you think a little prejudice entered into the whole thing?

First, police raided a building and conducted searches without a warrant on the flimsiest of probable cause. Then they disabled video cameras that could have demonstrated what fine upstanding cops they were. Were I on the jury for this suit, I would hand the plantiffs the maximum judgment. But I really wish these cops would be identified, and thrown off the Chicago force, and kept from being cops anywhere. These are no public servants; they are street thugs in uniform.

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