Head of police union says material release could put officers at risk

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The release has been met with praise and hope, while the Fraternal Order of Police say it was unwise and won’t help solve the issues of trust with the public.

For the three years Dean Angelo has been the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, he has been bombarded with bad press and one particular police shooting caught video that sparked protests and big changes for the department and the thousands of officers he represents.

“We would much rather see these things play out and people should complete their investigation,” Angelo said.

Rashaan Gordon represented Lisa Simmons and Jermya Smith after they were arrested at a block party. The video of their arrest shows an officer slamming Lisa onto a car hood and also hitting Jermya in the head with a baton. Their criminal cases were thrown out largely based on the video, he says. They settled a federal case against the city and officers involved for $100,000.

“I Think it is good for the city to release the videos. I think it has taken too long for the release to come, and I think IPRA is still way behind in bringing some resolution in these cases,” Gordon said.

But Angelo says the FOP was not given input into today’s release, which included more than a hundred cases of officer-involved in shootings and other confrontations with the public. Angelo says it was ill advised and could put officers at risk.

“They didn’t think, ‘what’s the impact, how is this going to impact the members out there,’” he said.

The mayor, who is in D.C. today, issued a statement calling today’s release and the policy changing when videos are released an “important first step.” He continued, saying “we know there is a lot more work to do. This new policy is one piece of a much larger effort to restore trust and repair relationships between law enforcement and our communities.”

The Chicago police department Superintendent Eddie Johnson released a statement today saying today’s release demonstrates the challenges officers face every day, and, "I have often said that CPD is only as effective as the faith and trust the community has in it and I believe that this will go a long way in promoting transparency."

Angelo meanwhile says this release won’t restore trust in the department. He says the public in many cases will only see a small portion of a much bigger story.

“They aren’t going to explore that those guys went to prison or that guy went to prison or that guy wasn’t shot even though shots were fired, no one is going to look beyond the snipits of the videos,” he said.