In 2007, the city of Chicago created an "independent" review board to monitor fatal shootings by police. I put those quotation marks around independent because the boards are often stacked with retired police officers who are often anything but independent in their views of their comrades. Of the 400 cases they reviewed, only one shooting of the 400 was found to be unjustified.
Lorenzo Davis was the supervising investigator for the review board and the facts in many of the cases just weren't adding up to him. He had been a Chicago police officer for 23 years and served as a commander, the head of a detective unit, then the head of an entire district, and eventually oversaw the entire public housing unit until he retired and joined the review board.
Soon, Davis began determining that many more police shootings in Chicago weren't justified at all. He found that six shootings were unjustified. That may not seem like a lot, but it's a 600 percent increase from the one shooting that was deemed unjustified in the previous eight eight years. His supervisors demanded that he reverse the rulings. He refused, and on this past July 9, he was fired. Chicago doesn't even deny that this is why they fired him. Here's their statement:
Davis’s termination came less than two weeks after top IPRA officials, evaluating Davis’s job performance, accused him of “a clear bias against the police” and called him “the only supervisor at IPRA who resists making requested changes as directed by management in order to reflect the correct finding with respect to OIS,” as officer-involved shootings are known in the agency.Mind you, the man they are saying has a clear bias against the police is a decorated officer from the department with nothing but glowing reviews.
Below is an interview he did with WBEZ.
Chief Kevin Sewell of Pocomoke City, Maryland, the first African-American police chief in the city's history, was fired June 29 after he stood by two fellow African-American officers who were experiencing over racism from white officers in the department. According to the Washington Post:
The officers alleged in complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that they faced racism that was overt and rampant — allegations the city denies. Among the incidents alleged: a food stamp superimposed with President Obama’s face that was left on a black detective’s desk and a text message that read, “What is ya body count nigga?”Both of these stories are deeply disturbing and reveal that cities are fighting against even the most basic decent reforms to address police brutality and racism within their own departments. It's absurd that two honorable men who were award-winning public servants were basically taught that if they wanted to be in the system, they had to play the deadly game of pretending like injustice is imaginary. It isn't, and we must demand answers in both of these terminations.
“This is one of the most egregious cases of primary racial discrimination and retaliation for assertion of rights before the EEOC that I’ve seen,” said Andrew G. McBride, co-counsel for the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, which is representing Sewell. “Chief Sewell has a fantastic record as a police officer. He was terminated because he stood up for two African American officers who filed an EEOC complaint.”
ORIGINALLY POSTED TO SHAUNKING ON TUE JUL 21, 2015 AT 07:53 AM PDT.
ALSO REPUBLISHED BY POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY GROUP AND DAILY KOS.