FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2020
COPA RELEASES PROTEST RELATED DATA ON NEW PORTAL
Today the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) launched a new data portal on its website (ChicagoCOPA.org) which provides updates and information on protest related complaints by date, category and incident location.
In an effort to deliver on our core principal of transparency, members of the public can now visit chicagocopa.org/data-cases/protest-related-information/ to view protest related data. COPA has received a total of 591 complaints from Friday, May 29, 2020 through June 11, 2020, of which 371 have been identified as protest related. These complaints include allegations of excessive force, verbal abuse, improper search and seizure, as well as unlawful denial or right to counsel. In addition, COPA received many complaints alleging the failure to display officer identification, activate body worn camera and other operational violations that have been referred to the Chicago Police Department, Bureau of Internal Affairs.
“This is a critical and historic time for the nation, civilian oversight and police accountability. It is imperative that we demonstrate not only our commitment to thorough investigations but also transparency in the conduct of those investigations,” said Chief Administrator Sydney Roberts. “Gaining the public’s trust requires accountability, transparency and integrity in which we hope this portal helps to demonstrate.”
As a result of protests following the death of Mr. George Floyd, and the civil unrest that witnessed in Chicago and nationally, COPA formed a specialized team of investigative personnel to review and respond to complaints in real-time. While we witnessed officers exercising restraint and professionalism during tense and at times violent confrontations, we also witnessed uses of force which appear excessive.
Preliminary investigative efforts have led to the review of body worn, third party and pod video, interview of numerous witnesses, canvassing of neighborhoods and coordinated investigative efforts with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and Federal Bureau of Investigations. Early findings in 6 pending protest related investigations, led to COPA’s recommendation that the involved officers be identified and placed on modified duty or relieved of police powers pending the outcome of the investigations. To date, officers in two investigations have been relieved of their police powers.
As Chicago’s civilian police oversight agency COPA is committed to objectivity, integrity, transparency and swift action when responding to misconduct.
If you have experienced, witnessed or have information of an incident involving police misconduct, you can file a complaint via our website (chicagocopa.org/complaints), mail, or by phone on our hotline voicemail at 312-743-COPA (2672).
If a person has additional information regarding a previously filed protest related complaint, please email email@example.com. This information can include videos and photos of incidents witnessed or seen in media reports. Please be sure to add your complaint log number, if know, as well as date, time and location of the incident and your contact information. If you have questions about a pending case, please contact our Case Liaison at 312-746-0168 or my email at COPA-PublicAffairs@ChicagoCOPA.org.
Ephraim M. Eaddy
Public Information Officer (PIO)
Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA)