Police brutality complaints decline; disciplinary actions increase

The agency that investigates allegations of police brutality received 1,367 such complaints during the first seven months of 1990, slightly less than the 1,420 complaints it received for the same period in 1989. And though it received fewer complaints, the Office of Professional Standards (OPS) has sustained, or upheld 74 complaints this year, about the same (75) as in 1989. The Chicago Reporter analyzed police data one year after widespread charges of police brutality swept the city. The Reporter reviewed data on OPS complaints for the years 1986 through 1989 and for January 1 through July 31, 1990, the most recent data available. Among the four complete years studied, 1987 had the most complaints.

Racial Brutality — or Police Brutality?

Often when a bias crime case goes to trial, the prosecution needs only to convince a judge or jury that a defendant’s actions were motivated by ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or race. But sometimes, as in this case that ended Jan. 25, it becomes much more complicated.

Police response key to fighting hate crimes

Crimes motivated by race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation may be going underreported because beat officers have little training in recognizing these types of bias crimes. And recent charges of police brutality have inflamed another problem: Some victims of bias crimes, especially minorities, may not report such attacks for fear of being victimized again — this time by police.

City’s Clearance Rates Decline, National Rates Down; Few Minorities Assigned To Detective, Tactical Units

Howard Saffold, president of the Afro-American Patrolmen’s League blames the police department, more than the criminal, for the current drop in clearance rates. Saffold puts it bluntly, “Racism is the basis of the low solution rate. No more than 13 per cent of the department’s detectives are black.” Saffold argues that since most serious crimes occur in the black police districts, most detective work must also be done in these districts.