Police in Chicago are not happy with civilian oversight, as an agency that is led by the public to investigate police shootings has been asked to attend some unusual training courses.
Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority will partake in a five day training sequence. Bill Lewinski will lead the training. Lewinski is a psychologist who focuses on helping cops implicated in shootings get exonerated in court hearings.
Chicago led all major cities of the United States in the amount of killings involving police officers from 2010 to 2014.
The Independent Police Review Authority was established in 2007 in order to establish civilian oversight regarding matters in which police use force.
Lewinski has a history that suggests that he’s more interested in getting police officers off the hook for shootings than holding them responsible. In the past, Lewinski has managed to convince several courts to not convict officers who shot and killed unarmed civilians.
Lewinski stated that the officers were involved in high-stress situations and were unable to make proper judgement. This got the officers off scot-free.
The psychologist is now being paid $50,000 by the city of Chicago to train the city’s Independent Police Review Authority.
Obviously, some people are not satisfied with the decision.
Lawyer Melvin Brooks says that neutrality is taken away when Lewinski is involved. Brooks has squared-off against Lewinski in court in the past.
While law enforcement officers in Chicago have supposedly agreed to civilian oversight, this is an example of police officers not following through on their commitment. The Independent Police Review Authority is increasingly becoming under the control of people who are protecting the interests of law enforcement officers rather than neutral parties that are supposed to be examining unique situations on a case by case basis from an unbiased position.
A similar situation is also taking place in New Orleans, as the city’s own review authority is under fire from city officials after the independent agency released information regarding unnecessary acts of violence by police officers to the public.
If police are unable to have their actions reviewed by a neutral and unbiased party, then there is no point in having these citizen review agencies exist in the first place. This is clearly another example of law enforcement officials using their power and influence to get away with unethical actions.