Ex-IPRA investigator says he was told to change reports on 'not justified' police shootings

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Lorenzo Davis says he was fired because he determined that officers who shot civilians were not justified in doing so. (WLS)

A man who investigates shootings involving Chicago police officers is out of a job, and he says some of his findings led to his dismissal.

Lorenzo Davis is a retired Chicago police commander who took a job at the Independent Police Review Authority, the agency that investigates police brutality. Davis says he was fired because he determined that several officers who shot and even killed civilians were not justified in doing so.

"They've exonerated police officers. They've said that the police officers' actions were correct," Davis said.

Davis could not be specific about the cases that still have not been resolved, but he says his team of investigators for IPRA found as many as six incidents where the cop was not justified in shooting the civilian victim. But Davis, also a former CPD detective, says his boss at IPRA told him to change his finding and determine that each shooting was justified.

"They told me to change it," Davis said. "Change it. And if I did not change it, I was insubordinate and I would be disciplined."

Nearly 400 civilians have been shot and killed by Chicago police gunfire since 2007, and IPRA has found only one case to be "not justified".

In a statement Monday afternoon, an IPRA spokesman wrote: "This is a personnel matter, and it would be inappropriate to address it through the media. IPRA is committed to conducting fair, unbiased, objective, thorough and timely investigations..."

"There are three other cases that I've found, cases that are not justified. They are still in his office and they've been submitted since last year," Davis said.

Davis also is a licensed attorney who says he understands the standard of proof needed to determine justification. Davis wants a federal investigation of IPRA.

"I would like to see the Justice Department investigate the Independent Police Review Authority," Davis said.

Davis also noted that many of the same shootings that IPRA determines to be justified are taken to civil courts where the city ends up paying tens of millions of dollars in settlements and judgements.

IPRA administrator Scott Ando would not agree to an interview and was unavailable for comment.

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