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Chicago Police Department shootings: Justice Dept. denies any investigation

Chicago Police Department
Chicago Police Department
Photo by Scott Paulson

This week, a lawyer representing Chicago police officers who have been accused of misconduct in regard to police-involved shootings indicated that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney’s Office were conducting investigations into the shootings of unarmed people in Chicago. That assertion came from a letter that appeared on a popular police blog, according to a Chicago Tribune report on Thursday. However, the United States Justice Department denies that the federal authorities are investigating the Chicago Police Department over the police-involved shootings. The attorney who wrote the letter is Daniel Herbert, and he has refused to comment on the U.S. Justice Department’s denial of the investigation.

Additionally, a top aide to United States Attorney General Eric Holder was asked about the issue at a news conference in Washington, D.C. Contrary to the alleged police officers’ attorney’s assertions, Holder’s aide claimed to have no knowledge of any investigation of the Chicago Police Department. Molly Moran – the acting assistant attorney general for the civil rights division – said that they do not have any investigations into the Chicago Police Department as far as she can tell.

Beyond that, United States Attorney Zachary Fardon and Robert Holley – who is the special agent-in-charge of the FBI’s Chicago office - released a statement which referred to Moran’s denial of any investigation, according to the Sun-Times. Interestingly, that statement said that the Chicago Police Department is our front-line partner, along with federal law enforcement agencies, in our determined efforts to reduce violent crime in Chicago. The statement continued to say that the Department of Justice remains equally vigilant to protect the civil rights of tall individuals without fear or favor.

There were two police-involved shootings which caused controversy in Chicago just two weeks ago. One was on the city’s South Side and another was on the city’s West Side. Approximately 500 persons protested near the Chicago Police Department’s Harrison District 11 headquarters at 2842 West Polk Street on the city’s West Side last week. That protest was initiated by the shooting death of 18-year-old Roshad McIntosh who was shot and killed by an officer on Aug. 24.