Police misconduct constitutes a variety of illegal and bullying acts in which law enforcement agents partake. Misconduct includes excessive use of force, unwarranted property seizure, malicious prosecution, coercion of confession, failure to intervene, bribery, false arrest, intimidation, false imprisonment, creating false evidence, tampering with witnesses or evidence, and more. Police officers have a tremendous amount of power, and when that power is used in unlawful ways, it has a tendency to ruin lives and rip communities apart.
Unwarranted police violence has wreaked havoc on Chicago over the last half century and the problem is not being solved. While there is currently an ongoing civil rights probe of the Chicago police department that began in 2015, a consent decree may be overturned by the new white house administration. If you have had your civil rights violated by a Chicago law enforcement officer or agency, do not hesitate to call an experienced lawyer with the law firm of Barney and Hourihane today at 312-854-0906.
Black Citizens’ Complaints Dismissed at Four Times the Rate of White Citizens’ Complaints
Police misconduct in Chicago is at a crisis level, and citizens’ complaints are not being addressed when it comes to false arrest, tampering with evidence, intimidation, and excessive use of force. While the city paid $520 million in settlements and other legal fees relating to police misconduct from 2004 to 2014, according to bettergov.org, complaints from black citizens are largely being ignored. From 2011 to 2015, there were 10,500 complaints filed by African Americans.
Only 166, or 1.6 percent, of those complaints were “sustained” or ended in discipline of an officer after an internal investigation, according to The Huffington Post. Moreover, black Chicago citizen's complaints were dismissed at four times the rate of white Chicago citizen complaints. In total, the city sustained just 2.6 percent of all 29,000 citizen complaints during that time period. In comparison, the national level of all citizen-initiated complaints being sustained is between six and 20 percent. While the national average varies greatly, it is evident that police misconduct is not being addressed in Chicago in the manner that it should.
Over 400 Shootings Since 2007 and Only Two of Wrongdoing Found Valid
Punishment has essentially been non-existent, though. Since 2007 and the creation of the disciplinary system Police Review Authority, there have been over 400 shootings, as of 2015, according to the New York Times. In only two of those cases have wrongdoings by the officers been found valid. While discipline is rare within the Chicago police department, settlements and payouts from lawsuits are common. If you have been injured, a family member has been killed, or any other civil rights of yours or your family’s were violated, there is still hope for some justice.
Call The Chicago Civil Rights Violations Attorneys of Barney and Hourihane Today
The Chicago civil rights violations attorneys of Barney and Hourihane are experienced with all types of police misconduct, and have successfully represented clients in all manners of cases. Call us today at 312-854-0906 to set up an appointment for as soon as possible.
There are many severities of punishment when it comes to murder or homicide in Illinois. For example, consider the two possible scenarios in which death could occur: 1) a driver carelessly text while driving and runs over a pedestrian in a crosswalk, and 2) a person plots and shoots their business partner over a business argument. In both scenarios the victims are equally dead, but one died of manslaughter while the other died of first degree murder. There are three general categories of homicide: first degree murder, second degree murder, and manslaughter.
When Does Second Degree Murder Occur and What Sets it Apart From First Degree Murder?
First degree murder is a premeditated plot to kill, second degree murder is a murder in the “heat of the moment,” and manslaughter is unintentional but caused by reckless or careless behavior.
Second degree murder “occurs when the defendant commits either intentional, knowing, or strong-probability first-degree murder and the defendant either acted under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation by the victim or in an unreasonable belief that his actions were justified by self-defense,” according to the September Illinois Criminal Law Digest. In some instances, murder charges are reduced during the appeals process when an argument can be made in favor of the defendant’s actions or thoughts at the time of the murder.
Road Rage Incident Turns Deadly During Short Lived Fistfight
In the summer of 2016, an appellate court reversed the original charges of second degree murder when a man killed another in a road rage incident, according to the June Illinois Criminal Law Digest. The defendant entered into an argument with another man regarding road rage and hit him in the face with his fist. The blow knocked the other man back, who hit his head on the ground and died of his injuries. The defendant was charged with second degree murder.
Knowing That One’s Acts Create a Strong Probability of Death
However, the appellate court ruled that because the defendant did not know that his acts created a strong probability of death or great bodily harm, the second degree murder charges should be reversed. To commit second degree murder, a reasonable person must have knowledge that their actions would result in another’s death. According to the Illinois Criminal Law Digest, “there is a general rule in Illinois law that death is not ordinarily contemplated as a natural consequence of a blow or blows from a bare fist,unless there is a great disparity in size and strength between the defendant and the victim.” Because the victim and the defendant were of similar size, and the defendant only struck the victim once, the appellate court concluded the “defendant could not have known that death or great bodily harm was practically certain to occur.”
Call Chicago Criminal Appeals Attorneys Barney and Hourihane Today
If you have been charged with homicide of any degree, or another crime that you were wrongly, or overly, punished for, do not hesitate to call the Chicago criminal appeals attorneys of Barney and Hourihane today at 312-854-0906.