BLACK VOICES

Chicago City Hall Often Fights To Keep Files Secret In Police Abuse Suits

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration routinely fights turning over information in federal civil rights lawsuits against Chicago police officers, often leaving a judge to step in and order the city to disclose potential evidence, a Tribune investigation has found.

Although typically not the type of issue that draws attention outside legal circles, the city's handling of these lawsuits speaks to the police accountability issues that have intensified in recent months and have cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Whether by bureaucratic negligence or stonewalling by city agencies, the law department places the interests of the Police Department and its officers above the public good, according to plaintiffs' lawyers and even some former city attorneys.

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