IPRA releases videos of Chicago police-involved incidents

ByLeah Hope, Eric Horng, and Laura Podesta WLS logo
Saturday, June 4, 2016
IPRA releases evidence in police-involved cases
The new website includes 300 videos, as well as audio recordings and police reports, related to 101 police-involved cases.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's Independent Police Review Authority released Friday more than 300 video clips, along with audio recordings and police reports, from pending investigations of 101 police-involved incidents.

The agency, which investigates Chicago police-involved incidents, said the unprecedented and historic move aims to increase transparency and trust. IPRA posted the evidence on a public website which went live at 11 a.m. Friday.

"It has been clear that we all agree that there's a lack of trust and that increased transparency is essential in rebuilding that trust," said Sharon Fairley, IPRA chief administrator, during a press conference. She said the portal will show the public the police department and the city have nothing to hide.

The evidence release comes months after the fall-out of the long-delayed video release of the Laquan McDonald shooting. The teen was shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer.

Much of the video and audio on the website is from cases that are years old. In a 2012 case, video shows an electronics store break-in suspect hitting a police car with his vehicle, resulting in police firing. Three suspects were shot and one dies. Also in 2012, video shows a man allegedly harassing CTA customers who is shot twice and Tased. He survives. In a 2014 case, video shows a driver reportedly hitting cars who is shot and runs into a curb.

Fairley reminded the public that videos don't tell the entire story of the incidents.

"Sometimes videos only capture a portion of an event and leave out critical facts and context," Fairley said.

Dean Angelo, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said he is troubled by the release and says this could jeopardize cases.

"Is it part of transparency or is this part of trying to justify why you're not completing the investigations in four and a half years," Angelo said.

Moving forward, police will be required to make police shooting videos available online within 60 days of the incident.

In a written statement, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the launch of the online portal is "one piece of a much larger effort to restore trust and repair relationships between law enforcement and our communities."

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson also released a written statement, saying in part, "I have often said that CPD is only as effective as the faith and trust the community has in it and I believe that this will go a long way in promoting transparency."

To visit the IPRA website, CLICK HERE.