Attorney: IPRA has 'failed in its mission'

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The IPRA investigation involving Jeremiah Smith and Lisa Simmons remains open two years later. (WLS)

A Chicago attorney who represents a man and a woman charged after a police-involved incident captured on cellphone video said their experience is typical of what happens daily on the streets with police officers.

The city posted online Friday hundreds of videos, audio recordings and documents related to 101 pending investigations by the Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates police-involved incidents.

But still, the IPRA investigation involving Jeremiah Smith and Lisa Simmons remains open two years later.

"I think it's clear IPRA has failed in its mission," said attorney Rahsaan Gordon, who represents Smith and Simmons.

Regardless, cellphone video has helped his clients. Smith's charges were vacated and all of Simmon's charges were dropped. Both settled with the city for $100,000.

"The video speaks for itself...he walked up to him, and struck him violently with his baton." Gordon said.

However, the arrest report which was released Friday with the video, said the officer had to "defend himself" by using his baton to stop smith.

"Clearly what the officer reported happened, didn't happen." Gordon said.

In Simmons' arrest report, it says the officer "restrained her against his squad car" because she was attempting to flee.

"This was an officer - either this is his MO or he was having a bad day -- either way, what occurred on the video, it was wrong." Gordon said.

On Friday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city was "acting boldly and thoughtfully" by releasing information on 101 open cases.

"I think the mayor is a politician and a clever one." Gordon said.

Gordon questioned why they were released on a Friday and why wasn't the mayor visible.

"I think the mayor should hold a press conference in relationship to these videos." Godron said.

The mayor did release a written statement today, saying in part: "While I am pleased that Chicago is taking this important next step in our effort to be more transparent on these issues, we know there is a lot more work to do. This new policy is one piece of a much larger effort to restore trust and repair relationships between law enforcement and our communities."
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