WBEZ remains on the case of the turned blue light camera…but not the Chicago PD

Remember that story that I blogged about a while back, when I brought to your attention a report by WBEZ’s Rob Wildeboer about how a Chicago “blue light” camera was turned away from a police action involving 19 squad cars and alleged police brutality?

Well, if you don’t, that is just fine with the Chicago Police.  They are trying to forget about it also.

Unfortunately for them, at least one person in the media hasn’t.  Mr. Wildeboer has a new report.

Here’s a representative section of his report:

Over the past few months, I have been asking the department to find out what happened in this pod camera case, how this camera ended up pointed towards the trees, who moved it there and why. I wasn’t getting answers from the department’s press office, so I once brought the issue up with Superintendent Garry McCarthy when he was leaving our studios. McCarthy said there could be a completely innocent explanation. Perhaps the officer got called away from the controls and that’s why the camera was focused on nothing at all. I told him our listeners would like to know that, and if there’s a less innocent reason our listeners would like to know that as well. McCarthy told me to follow up with the press office.

After several more weeks and a number of inquiries on my part, police spokeswoman Maureen Biggane emailed me a statement saying the department stood by the information given by Cmdr. Lewin. But of course Cmdr. Lewin didn’t give me any information specific to this video; he talked simply in general terms.

In her written statement, Biggane also said, “An investigation was not conducted related to the use of the camera because there was no indication of improper use.” She said the department did not make a single call to check out what happened here.

That’s your tax dollars, not at work.

Oh, here’s another good quote:

In a recent investigation by the Chicago Reporter, journalist Angela Caputo went through court records and found that of 441 cases in which the city paid out money in three-year period, one third of them involved repeaters. In fact, numerous officers were named in at least five cases. Caputo writes that one percent of the police department was responsible for 25 percent of the court payouts.

It really makes me wonder, are these officers working for us, or are we working for them?

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