Tag Archives: chicago police department

First Amendment Audit: Chicago TSA Agent Claims Filming Airport Security Screening is Illegal, Calls Police

Ohare International Airport TSA Screening First Amendment Audit

A “First Amendment Auditor” was confronted by a TSA supervisor while legally filming security screenings at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and initially threatened with arrest.

Note: The video included within this post was shared with Nevada Cop Block via an anonymous reader submission. If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

This video embedded below shows what is known as a “First Amendment Audit.” That consists of going out and filming government buildings and other public property. Oftentimes, the police, security guards, government employees, and even members of the public don’t understand that the First Amendment protects a citizen’s right to take photos and/or record video of anything that is within view of a public place.

This particular audit took place within the TSA security screening area at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. As you can see in the screenshot above, the TSA employees were getting fairly intimate with some of the passengers going through the screening. (And no, there in fact was neither a movie, nor a dinner provided by the Transportation Security Administration afterwards.) Soon after, one of the screening agents noticed the camera and alerted a supervisor, by whom the camera woman was then confronted.

He approached, (very incorrectly) stated that it was illegal to film the screenings, and even briefly attempted to physically block her camera. Next, the supervisor threatened to call the Chicago police and have her arrested. When that didn’t scare her into stopping, he attempted to make good on that threat by calling (presumably) the police.

In the meantime, while he was on the phone, she returned her attention to filming. During that phone conversation she was also approached by several other TSA employees and told that she was not allowed to film the screenings. However, it is in fact very legal to film the screening area of airports and the screening process itself. The only restriction upon that is a rule against filming (or photographing) the monitors displaying the NSFW images that they take with their body scanners.

The woman in the video (AKA “It’s That Magic You Crave“) frequently posts First Amendment Audits and other videos to her Youtube channel: “Pink Camera Magic.” You can support her by making donations to her via GoFundMe.

***Spoiler Alert***

In the original description for the video on YouTube, a “surprise ending” is mentioned. Whoever the TSA supervisor was talking to apparently informed him that he was wrong and they weren’t going to send any cops down to arrest her for legally filming in public. However, that’s actually not the “surprise.” (Not the biggest one, at least.)

The shocking plot twist is that he told her that and even apologized about being wrong.

Related Content on NVCopBlock.org:

Chicago Cop (Only) Fired for Shooting Sixteen Times at the Victims of a Drive By Then Lying About It

Last week, the Chicago Independent Police Review Authority, one of those civilian oversight boards that are designed to make it appear police aren’t investigating themselves, voted to fire Officer Francisco “Frank” Perez over a shooting that took place in 2011. Amazingly, considering the level of corruption and violence that is routinely carried out by members of the Chicago Police Department, this was actually the first time the board had ever voted to fire a cop for a shooting in its ten years of existence. (If you know anything about the reality of police oversight boards, that actually won’t be that surprising.)

The shooting for which Perez was eventually fired involved a drive by shooting at a restaurant where he was working during his off-time as a security guard. Three people were shot, including one fatally, by a car that pulled up next to another car parked in front of the restaurant. Officer Perez responded to the shooting and began firing his gun. However, instead of shooting at the car that had committed the drive by, he began shooting into the parked car.

Before all was said and done, Perez had fired 16 shots into that car hitting one of the occupants. Later, when he was being questioned about the shooting by internal affairs, he lied about which car he was actually shooting at, apparently maintaining that he was just a really bad shot. Even after being shown the video, he continued insisting that he was firing at the other car, which had driven away before he began firing.

Via the Chicago Tribune:

According to authorities, the shooting occurred shortly before 4 a.m. Nov. 5, 2011, outside the La Pasadita restaurant in the 1100 block of North Ashland Avenue. Perez was off-duty and working security for the restaurant when an occupant of a red Mitsubishi Galant opened fire after pulling up beside a blue Chrysler 300M that was double-parked in front of the restaurant.

The evidence against Perez hinged largely on video obtained from a surveillance camera outside the restaurant. After the Mitsubishi had sped from the scene, the footage showed Perez moving toward the Chrysler and firing his weapon at the rear of the vehicle, according to IPRA. Perez continued to fire as the Chrysler took off, IPRA said.

Yet even after viewing the video in 2015, Perez continued to maintain that he had fired at the red car.

In testifying before a Police Board hearing officer last year, Perez did not dispute that he mistakenly shot an occupant in the Chrysler but said he was aiming at the red car seconds after the drive-by shooting.

Three people standing outside the restaurant were shot, one fatally.

A lawyer representing the Police Department contended that Perez should be fired for lying and shooting an “innocent bystander.”

But Perez’s lawyer, Daniel Herbert, described his client as a hero and dismissed the allegations against him as preposterous.

John Farrell, who testified as an expert on use of force on behalf of Perez, defended the off-duty officer’s decision to open fire because the gunman in the red car had just committed a forcible felony and was attempting to escape.

Farrell also criticized the quality of the video as not “top notch.” He said the video did not depict what Perez saw that night because the camera captured the scene from a different angle than what the off-duty officer viewed. It also gave a limited view of what took place that night, he said.

In addition, Farrell testified that outside factors, including tunnel vision and an inability in the poor lighting to distinguish the colors of the two cars, could have played a role in the incident.

But the Police Department lawyer, Special Assistant Corporation Counsel James Fieweger, told the hearing officer that he was skeptical that Perez intended to fire at the Mitsubishi because the car was a full block and a half away when he opened fire. The odds that Perez would be successful in hitting the moving vehicle in the dark at that distance were minuscule, he said.

“I think Officer Perez was trying to do the right thing, but he was ill-informed and made a horrible mistake,” Fieweger said. “He’s been offered multiple opportunities to correct his story. If an officer’s gonna lie to cover that up, what else is he gonna lie about?”

Update: Chicago Cop Who Admitted Firing Gun While Driving Drunk Acquitted by Judge

In spite of maintaining that he was “acutely aware” of the fact people are really tired of cops getting off without any sort of repercussions for their (often violent) actions, Cook County Judge James Linn chose to drop charges against an off-duty Chicago police officer who admitted to firing his gun five times during a confrontation with a firefighter and an off-duty cop from another jurisdiction while driving drunk.

As I previously posted here on the CopBlock Network, Chicago firefighter Charles Ostrowski, along with his passenger, off-duty Merrionette Park Police Officer Dominic Dimaggio, began following Officer John Gorman after witnessing him driving erratically. When they eventually caught up to him, Gorman fired five shots toward them, one of which hit the bumper of Ostrowski’s truck. During the trial, Gorman claimed that he fired the gun into the air as “warning shots.”

Via Chicago.CBS.Local.com:

John Gorman had been drinking before he got behind the wheel on Nov. 23, 2014, but off-duty Merrionette Park police officer Dominic Dimaggio and his friend Charles Ostrowski were behaving aggressively and in an “threatening manner,” Judge James Linn said.

Gorman wasn’t sure who these men in a large “military-type truck” were and what they were up to, Linn said in dismissing aggravated discharge of a firearm and aggravated battery charges.

“This was not a situation [Gorman] started. This was a situation he was confronted with,” Linn said.

Dimaggio and Ostrowski, then an off-duty suburban firefighter, said Gorman almost hit a flower vendor at 111th and Pulaski.

Moments later, Dimaggio got out of Ostrowski’s Ford F-250 and knocked on Gorman’s tan Buick while he was stopped in traffic to ask if he was okay.

Dimaggio said he had been holding his badge the whole time. Gorman said he never saw a badge.

As Dimaggio screamed “why are you driving like an “—hole?” while pounding on his window, Gorman and his partner were rightfully scared not knowing who Dimaggio was, Linn said.

Gorman drove off and Dimaggio called 911. But instead of taking the dispatcher’s advice to let authorities handle the situation, Dimaggio and Ostrowski tailed Gorman as he drove toward the 22nd District, Linn said.

It was at Prospect and Pryor that Gorman said he got out of his car and shot five warning shots in the air as Ostrowski’s truck came “barreling” toward him. Ostrowski said he only hit the gas pedal and went around Gorman because he saw a gun in Gorman’s hand. Ostrowski and Dimaggio said they ducked beneath the dashboard and only heard the gun go off as they passed Gorman.

“I had no idea who he was or why he was pursuing us,” Gorman said of the men.

“I didn’t know if he was someone I had previously arrested or he was trying to carjack us.”

No bullets holes were found on Ostrowski ‘s truck that day.

However, three weeks later, Ostrowski found a hole–possibly caused by a bullet–on his back bumper.

Linn admitted a “disconnect” between the stories and said neither party was looking for trouble that day.

When clearing Gorman of the felony charges, Linn said he was “acutely aware” of the societal feelings of police officers’ conduct. He said while police officers shouldn’t be treated better, they shouldn’t be treated “worse” either.

Obviously, convicting a cop who pulled out a gun while driving drunk and fired off five rounds (even if you buy the story that he shot into the air) while involved in a confrontation with other drivers would certainly be “worse” than the treatment any average citizen would receive under similar circumstances.

It was also announced after the trial to reporters by Gorman’s lawyer, Michael Clancy, that the DUI charge Gorman had been facing had been dropped prior to the judge’s ruling. That decision was made even though Gorman, who wasn’t tested until over five hours after he was arrested, had registered a .07 blood alcohol level, just below the .08 that is considered legally intoxicated.

Retired Chicago Cop, “Medal of Valor” Winner, Arrested for Burning Homeless Man’s Tent and Belongings

A man who was arrested for arson after he burned the tent and personal belongings of an area homeless man is a retired Chicago police officer. In fact, Sergeant James R. Povolo, much like a slew of other violent cops that have been exposed as criminals, was a former award winning officer.

Although the exact reason for his recognition is unknown (because the Chicago Police Department attempted to hide the fact that he was once one of their Good Cops), the Naperville Sun confirmed, via a FOIA request, that he was recipient of the department’s “Medal of Valor,” which is awarded for acts of “heroism, personal courage, and devotion to duty” by police officers.

The case he stands accused of currently is decidedly unheroic, though. Although investigators haven’t provided any motive for his actions, the victim was an outspoken and well known activist and political protester who has been involved in a long standing battle with the government officials in Naperville.

Via the Chicago Tribune:

In the Naperville case, Povolo was arrested less than two weeks after the alleged arson. Prosecutors said he approached Huber’s tent at a time he knew Huber would not be there and set fire to it, reportedly with a cigarette. Police have offered no motive for Povolo’s alleged action and have not disclosed what information prompted them to arrest Povolo.

(Scott) Huber, 66, lost his two-tent encampment and most of his possessions in the blaze. At the time, he said he was most distressed about the destruction of numerous computer discs on which he had stored what he said was the history of his political struggles with Naperville officials, police and local judges.

He has battled Naperville authorities for about 20 years, ever since losing his electronics business and being evicted from his home. He is protesting what he says has been unfair and illegal treatment by authorities.

Povolo’s next court hearing is March 1. The terms of his bond were modified last month so he could travel from his Naperville home in the 1300 block of Dartford Court to his Key Colony Beach home in Florida, where he is a legal resident and where he winters from fall to spring, according to court records. Under the original terms, he could not leave the state without permission from Judge Liam C. Brennan, who is presiding over his trial.

“Defendant (Povolo), because of injuries sustained while employed ‘on the job’ as a police officer for the City of Chicago, has artificial knees, and does not well tolerate cold weather,” Povolo’s attorney Charles Dobra wrote in his petition.

Admittedly, it would be a shame if Povolo had to face the cold unprotected within his Illinois summer home, rather than being afforded the warmth of his winter home in Florida, just because he intentionally and maliciously destroyed the shelter and most of the personal belongings of another man for no apparent reason. He is a Medal of Valor winner, after all.

Trial Begins For Chicago Cop Charged With Driving Drunk; Shooting Gun at Firefighter

After witnessing it almost hit other cars in traffic, Charles Ostrowski, a Chicago firefighter, began following a car owned by off-duty Chicago Police Officer John Gorman, who was drunk at the time. Gorman responded by jumping out of his car and pointing his gun at Ostrowski’s truck and then firing five shots at it as he tried to steer around Gorman.

Fortunately, neither Ostrowski nor his friend Dominic Dimaggio, the other occupant of the truck and who also was an off-duty police officer from a different department, were hit by the shots. However, one of the bullets did hit the rear bumper of the truck. Officer Gorman admitted to firing at them, but in his version of events he was defending himself from Ostrowski and Dimaggio, who actually were the aggressors.

Via the Chicago Tribune:

The incident began as Ostrowski and Dimaggio drove home after lunch at a Palos Heights bar and a stop at an American Legion Hall in Worth. They were driving east on 111th Street when the Buick passed them and sped through traffic, weaving in and out of lanes, Ostrowski testified.

After seeing the Buick nearly strike the flower vendor after the light turned green at Pulaski Road, the two began following the car as Gorman continued to drive recklessly, Ostrowski testified.

When Gorman stopped near 111th Street and Spaulding Avenue, the suburban cop stepped out of the truck, showed his badge and told Gorman to roll down his window.

Dimaggio said, “I’m the police. Are you OK? Roll down your window. We need to talk about your driving,” Ostrowski testified.

But on cross-examination by (Gorman’s lawyer, Michael) Clancy, Ostrowski admitted telling police that day that his friend had asked, “Why are you driving like an (expletive)?”

Ostrowski also acknowledged that the police report did not indicate his friend had identified himself as a suburban cop.

When the left-turn light turned green, Gorman sped around the truck and continued driving east, Ostrowski testified. Dimaggio then called 911.

At Prospect and Pryor avenues, Gorman stopped the car and got out. He walked to the rear of his car, displayed a pistol, raised his arm and pointed the gun at the front of the truck, according to testimony.

Officer Gorman was sloppy drunk at the time and even had open beer containers strewn around on the inside of his car. However, he refused a breathalyzer initially and by the time he was compelled to take one by the department’s internal affairs division over five hours had passed. At that point, his blood alcohol level still registered 0.07, just 0.01 below the legal level to be considered intoxicated. However, as a result he was only charged with misdemeanor DUI.

Chicago to Pay $2 Million to Police Whistle-Blowers After “Few Bad Apples” Destroyed Their Careers

On Monday, Chicago’s City Council Finance Committee approved a settlement of $2 million to two police officers that were the targets of extensive and widespread retaliation after they exposed corruption within the police department. Shannon Spalding and Daniel Echeverria had gone to the FBI back in 2007 after they were told by superiors to ignore illegal activity by Ronald Watts, a sergeant with the Chicago Police Department.

After Watts was convicted of extorting drug dealers and sentenced to prison, Spalding and Echeverria became targeted for retaliation throughout the department. This included threats of physical violence against them, ostracization, and overt attempts to ruin their careers. According to their accounts of the retaliation they experienced, it’s almost as if the “Few Bad Apples” were the ones running the entire police department and somehow outnumbered all of the “Good Cops” we hear so much about.

Via the Chicago Sun-Times:

Spalding and Echeverria allege they were retaliated against for helping to expose police corruption nearly a decade ago.

The partners had alleged their superiors told them in 2007 to ignore evidence of criminal wrongdoing by Sgt. Ronald Watts. Instead, on personal time, they said they reported it to the FBI.

What the officers thought would end with a simple meeting eventually turned into “Operation Brass Tax.” And while they tried to limit their involvement in the investigation to personal time, it became so time-consuming that the officers were forced to tell CPD’s internal affairs. As a result, they were formally detailed to the FBI.

Spalding and Echeverria spent two years working exclusively on the Watts investigation. Watts was sentenced in October 2013 to 22 months in prison for shaking down drug dealers.

But lawyers for the two officers say Internal Affairs Chief Juan Rivera blew their cover. Spalding and Echeverria were branded “rat motherf——” and told their bosses didn’t want them in their units. They were allegedly told their careers were over, given undesirable assignments and shifts and told fellow officers wouldn’t back them up. Their actions allegedly made the brass so angry that Spalding was warned to “wear her vest” so she wouldn’t be shot in the parking lot for crossing the thin blue line.

“One of the defendants … charged with some of the retaliatory conduct resigned in December of 2015 before the Police Department initiated disciplinary proceedings against him for his role in the re-investigation of the David Koschman case,” (First Deputy Corporation Counsel Jenny) Notz told aldermen Monday.

“Also in 2015, a key CPD witness who would have rebutted some of the plaintiffs’ most serious allegations of retaliation relating to their experiences in the Narcotic Unit was indicted on felony perjury charges relating to testimony that he gave in another case. … The police superintendent recommended [in March] that this officer be terminated.”

Notz added, “The plaintiffs would certainly, if this case went to trial, use these recent developments to attack the credibility of two of the defense’s key witnesses at trial, making this case difficult to win.”

The settlement was reached one day before Mayor Rahm Emanuel would have been forced to testify at their civil trial. This has spurred speculation that the settlement was really intended to keep Emanuel from having to testify about a code of silence within the CPD, that he has already publicly acknowledged.

Chicago Cop Who Shot Teens on Video Leaked by Judge Charged With Using Unreasonable Force (Update)

Marco Proano, the Chicago police officer who was recorded by a dash cam shooting at a car full of teenagers in December 2013, has now been indicted for civil rights violations. He stands accused of using unreasonable force against two of those teenagers, both of whom were injured in the shooting.

As was reported last year by CopBlock Network Contributor , the dash camera footage of that shooting only came to light almost two years later when an ex-judge leaked it to the public. In doing so, retired Cook County Judge Andrew Berman described the video as “the most disturbing thing he has seen in his 35 years in the Windy City court system.” (That says a lot when you are discussing violence in Chicago.) Which of course means that not one single one of the Good Cops in the video or who later watched the video and then decided to try and make sure it never saw the light of day again did anything to prevent that Bad Apple from spoiling the bunch.

Watching the video, it could not be more obvious that the teens represented no danger whatsoever to Officer Proano (or any other police on the scene) as they backed away from him. In fact, the video shows another car arrive at a nearby house and then back up out of the area shortly before the shooting. If anything, Proano endangered those innocent bystanders by shooting a dozen shots at the teens while they were in the same general area as them.

The teens had only been stopped for speeding, but the car they were in was later determined to be stolen. However, the one teen charged with possession of a stolen vehicle subsequently was acquitted of the charges.

Via Fox6Now.com:

The video shows Proano shooting multiple times at the vehicle as the driver tries to back away. The car then hits a streetlight before one injured teen stumbles out.

Police had pulled over the car with six teens for speeding, according to CNN affiliate WLS. One teen was wounded in the shoulder, the other in his hip and heel.

The victims suffered bodily injuries because of “unreasonable force by a police officer,” according to the indictment.

“When a police officer uses unreasonable force, it has a harmful effect on not only the victims, but also the public, who lose faith and confidence in law enforcement,” said Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

He said his office will continue to “vigorously” pursue civil right prosecutions of police officers to “strengthen trust in the police.”

The Chicago police department said it is fully cooperating with the US attorney’s office and has “zero tolerance for proven misconduct.”

As is noted in the full Fox 6 article, Officer Proano was finally fired after the video became public. Also, taxpayers had to bail out the Chicago Police Department once again, as a result of his actions.  The two teens shot during the incident received a $360,000 settlement.

Chicago Cop Who Rammed Car; Beat Innocent Female Pastor Has History of False Charges (Update)

In April, posted the story about a female pastor who had her car rammed and then was pepper sprayed and beaten by a group of Chicago police officers in what was described as a “road rage” incident. Within a lawsuit she subsequently filed, Reverend Catherine Brown maintained that she was “treated like an animal” during the assault, which occurred while she had two small children inside her car.

Her “crime” that day was blowing her horn at a police car that was speeding down a crowded alley without lights or sirens on, almost hitting her and then blocking her driveway once it stopped. She was then confronted by Officer Michelle Morsi Murphy, who yelled profanity at her while another officer, Jose Lopez, pointed a gun at her head and attempted to force her out of the car.

Soon after, other officers joined in assaulting Brown, who then attempted to drive away before her car was rammed and she (and one of the children) was pepper sprayed. Next, she was pulled from the car and beaten savagely by multiple cops, who then arrested HER for attempted murder.

Not surprisingly, it has since come to light that Officer Morsi, who started the entire episode and reportedly laughed as Brown was being beaten, has a long list of complaints and misconduct during her time as a Hero at the Chicago Police Department. Among the many bruises on this Bad Apple’s record are three incredibly blatant instances in which she falsely accused people of crimes and even one case in which she arrested a completely innocent person.

As is seen in the video, where CBS Chicago tries to interview her, she reported a man as having robbed a store and being armed with a knife when neither was actually true. At the same time, she also reported three black men that were in the store as having robbed a different store, which they hadn’t even visited that night. In addition, she vindictively arrested a innocent woman for drug possession even though she was just picking up legally prescribed medication for her grandmother at the time and had showed her proof of that fact.

Beyond that, she has a growing laundry list of misconduct complaints and generally insane behavior. Yet, all those Good Cops that are in charge of “investigating” those complaints did absolutely nothing about her outrageous and potentially deadly conduct toward innocent people.

CBS Chicago Video of “Bad Apple” Officer Michelle Morsi

Facebook Post from CBS Chicago

Original Video of Incident

Chicago PD Task Force: Structural & Procedural Flaws Make Real Accountability Nearly Impossible

A “Police Accountability Task Force” was set up by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel in the wake of the release of the video depicting Laquan McDonald’s murder by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke. Now that task force has released its report and that report doesn’t play out well for the current oversight system of the Chicago Police Depatment.

Via PoliceMisconduct.net:

Last December Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel formed a task force to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the Chicago Police Department.  That move followed calls for Emanuel’s resignation in the wake of the video release of the Laquan McDonald shooting.

The Task Force released its report yesterday.  Here is an excerpt:

  • The public has lost faith in the oversight system. Every stage of investigations and discipline is plagued by serious structural and procedural flaws that make real accountability nearly impossible. The collective bargaining agreements provide an unfair advantage to officers, and the investigating agencies—IPRA and CPD’s Bureau of Internal Affairs—are under-resourced, lack true independence and are not held accountable for their work. Even where misconduct is found to have occurred, officers are frequently able to avoid meaningful consequences due to an opaque, drawn out and unscrutinized disciplinary process… Any one of these metrics in isolation is troubling, but taken together, the only conclusion that can be reached is that there is no serious embrace by CPD leadership of the need to make accountability a core value. These statistics give real credibility to the widespread perception that there is a deeply entrenched code of silence supported not just by individual officers, but by the very institution itself….Simply put, there is no ownership of the issue within CPD leadership or elsewhere, and thus there have been no substantive efforts to address these problems which continue to cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars each year.

The full report is close to 200 pages and we have not yet studied the whole thing.  Most of the criticism is directed at the police department itself–and it is damning.  The executive summary says little about Mayor Emanuel or his culpability. Hmm.

That last part shouldn’t be at all shocking. As stated, the task force was created as a result of demands for Emmanuel to step down as mayor and the task force consisted of people “hand picked” by him.

Rahm Emmanuel Chicago PoliceNor should the fact that the oversight system is wildly ineffective be any sort of surprising revelation. Much like the task force was designed to deflect blame from Mayor Emmanuel’s doorstep, the internal oversight system is designed to deflect blame from and cover up the actions of police who commit crimes, especially when they are of a violent nature that would inflame the public and cause unrest.

In particular, so-called independent civilian review boards are rarely actually independent and generally made up of people with ties to and sympathies toward the police. In fact, sometimes the “civilian” members of these boards are actually retired cops or family members of police officers.

Of course, the task force also cited a “history of racial disparity and discrimination” within the police, which even Mayor Emmanuel classified as a foregone conclusion, as a root of the problems with the department.

Per the Chicago Tribune:

“I don’t really think you need a task force to know we have racism in America, we have racism in Illinois or that there is racism that exists in the city of Chicago and obviously can be in our departments,” Emanuel said. “The question isn’t, ‘Do we have racism?’ We do. The question is, ‘What are you going to do about it?'”

A heaping helping of the blame was also rightfully placed on the police unions and their unwillingness to accept any sort of accountability or true oversight for police and the Bad Apples that are found so frequently within their ranks. In fact the member of the task force even stated in their report that the ability to implement the many reforms they recommended within that report were dependent on the willingness of the Chicago police union to accept them and the success of contract negotiations with the union.

The Tribune also stated that the report puts Emmanuel in a “difficult spot.” That’s because people are pissed of about all the murders and other abuses by police, but Mayor Emmanuel doesn’t want to anger the violent armed gang that calls itself the Chicago Police Department anymore than he already has just by questioning their absolute authority and ability to do whatever they want without any sort of repercussions.

Breaking Update: Chicago PD Threatened Laquan McDonald Witnesses; Fabricated Statements

Three witnesses to the Laquan McDonald murder in Chicago have come forward stating that they were intimidated and threatened for hours by the Chicago police in an attempt to get them to change their stories to match that of the official narrative. When that was unsuccessful, their statements were left out and other statements were fabricated by police “investigators” that matched the cover story that McDonald had lunged at Officer Jason Van Dyke.

Other witnesses have also come forward stating that, rather than question them about what they saw, police at the scene ordered them to leave under threat of arrest. Furthermore, those implicated in the cover-up, which already included evidence of lies in official statements by the officers on scene and the deliberate deletion of surveillance video at a nearby Burger King, is now spreading department wide and up and down the chain of command within the Chicago PD.

Via CNN:

The attorneys also allege that police officers up the chain of command fabricated witness accounts to support the way officers at the scene described the October 20, 2014, shooting as justified.

“It’s not just the officers on the street,” attorney Jeffrey Neslund told CNN. “It’s a lieutenant, a sergeant and detectives — and the lengths they went to justify what simply was not true…”

CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson said the allegations made by Neslund and Robbins are a significant development.

“In the event that it’s true, you have multiple underlying charges: intimidating witnesses, falsifying public records and you have a conspiracy that more than one person was involved,” Jackson said. “This has the potential of taking down a lot of people in that police department.”

“The issue then becomes how high of a level does this go: Who knew about this?”…

Attorneys: Witness said an officer was ‘going to get me’

Attorneys Robbins and Neslund were seeking a settlement with the city on behalf of McDonald’s family when they requested witnesses’ statements to police. They personally interviewed three witnesses. They found that the accounts police provided did not match what witnesses told the lawyers.

These were the accounts the lawyers say witnesses gave to them:

A motorist and his son who witnessed the shooting said a uniformed officer told the man “to get out of there immediately, to drive off or be arrested,” Robbins told CNN.

“This is somebody who is an occurrence witness to a fatal shooting,” Robbins said. “Nobody asked him, ‘What did you see?’ “

Another witness, a truck driver who was at a nearby Burger King, told the attorneys that he and two other witnesses, a woman and her friend who both saw the shooting, were put in police cars, taken to a station and interviewed for hours in separate rooms.

“He kept describing it and he said the police were visibly angry with him and arguing with him about what happened, saying, ‘That’s not what happened,’ ” Robbins said. “He’d say, ‘Well, that’s what I saw.’ They said, ‘No, you’re wrong.’ “

At one point, the trucker told police he needed to get back to work for a 6 a.m. shift, according to Robbins. “The police said, ‘We don’t give a f— about your truck. Let’s go through this again,’ ” Robbins said.

In their letters to the city, the lawyers describe the account of the woman taken to the same station with the truck driver. They did not interview her but say she spoke to McDonald’s family and told them the teen was “trying to run away from (police),” Neslund wrote.

The woman, Neslund alleged, was so appalled when shots rang out that she yelled at Van Dyke: “Stop shooting.”

“There’s a reason they kept us there ’til 4 a.m.,” the woman told McDonald’s family, according to Neslund. “One officer said he was going to get me.”

When the witnesses refused to change their statements, Robbins wrote, “the investigating officers simply fabricated civilian accounts in the reports.”

The woman, her friend and the truck driver were released after about six hours of questioning when one of them asked for an attorney, Robbins said.

The threats and intimidation of the female witness, Neslund alleged, continued in the days after she first spoke with police.

‘We were told there were no witness statements’

In response to the attorneys’ requests for witness statements, the city allowed them to examine summaries of witness accounts. Those summaries said five people in the vicinity of the shooting were interviewed by police, but none of them saw the shooting. Two said they “did not see or hear anything,” according to the official police records. Another witness summary said a third person heard gunshots and then saw McDonald was “lying in the street.” The two others said they saw McDonald being chased by police, but did not see the shooting, according to the official police version.

The names of people interviewed by police are redacted in the publicly released documents. One of the redacted names is listed as a “self-employed truck driver.”

Neslund and Robbins confirmed that the trucker they interviewed is the person in those redacted documents. When the attorneys first approached him and told him the police records say he didn’t see the shooting, he told them that was not true.

“The truck driver says he did tell police, that it was like an execution,” Robbins said. “What he described was what we saw in the video.”

CNN asked the attorneys to put the network in touch with the witnesses for interviews. They declined.

The Police Department’s witness summaries were submitted into the record on March 15, 2015, nine days after the attorneys sought information and nearly five months after the shooting. The document was signed off and approved by a Chicago police lieutenant.

“We saw these (summaries) by the three witnesses who were interviewed at the station — that police say they didn’t see anything. We said, ‘Where’s the witness statements?’ We were told there were no witness statements,” Robbins said.

“”Significantly in our view,” Robbins said, “of these three witnesses — the truck driver, the woman and her companion — none of them were asked to sign a statement.”

Manipulating interviews and witness statements isn’t a new tactic or unique to Chicago police related cover-ups. You can find a pretty good run down of how that can be used to filter out witnesses that don’t support the official story in this post about the murder of Erik Scott by Las Vegas police in 2010.

Meanwhile: (From the same article)

As of now, no other officer connected to the McDonald case has faced any charges, and they remain on their beats.

So, you have clear evidence of officers at the scene falsifying their reports to support Van Dyke’s murderous actions, other officers destroying evidence by deleting the Burger King surveillance video, the police department and district attorney’s office and city officials fighting the release of the video that clearly contradicts the official story and or impeding the collection of contradictory witness statements. That’s an awful lot of Bad Apples.

And they want everyone to be placated by the fact that they reluctantly filed charges against (just) Van Dyke after they were forced kicking and screaming into releasing the video. Are you?

Original Dash Cam Footage of Laquan McDonald Murder