The Watch

News and Information for Chicago FOP members.

Meisner Meltdown?

But for a Chicago journalist, particularly from the Chicago Tribune, it’s not such a welcome task, because digging into these ever-expanding narratives also unburies one of the worst scandals in the history of Illinois journalism: the release of a multitude of convicted killers and rapists on claims of wrongful conviction that may very well have been false, engineered in part because the reporters and columnists who covered them didn’t do any real homework.

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FOP Attorneys Attack Charges Against Officer In Opening Statement

How is it that an officer can win a departmental commendation as well as the praise of all his supervisors and co-workers for his actions in a shooting, then be stripped and potentially fired for the same event?  How can this officer be awarded the medal of valor from another incident, then have that very same incident brought up in an investigation against him?

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Old Partners...

Retired Chicago Police Detective Charles Salvatore worked with his partner Thomas Vance Minton for about a year. But in that year he learned a lot about how to conduct an investigation from Detective Minton, who went by nickname  “TV.”


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Will Me Too Backfire on Foxx?

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Is the national Me Too movement that fights sexual harassment and assault on women backfiring on Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx?

It looks as if it is, and in a grand manner.

This week, the Chicago Tribune reported that former Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez is threatening a lawsuit against Foxx for claims Foxx made about sexual harassment while Foxx worked as a prosecutor under Alvarez:

Former State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has threatened to sue successor Kim Foxx over Foxx’s allegations in a recent book that Alvarez allowed a culture of sexual harassment to thrive during her tenure as Cook County’s top prosecutor.

Alvarez’s attorney, Eugene Hollander, sent a letter last week to Kerry Lester, the author of “No, My Place: Reflections on Sexual Harassment in Illinois Government and Politics,” demanding that Lester retract the “false allegations” by May 16 or face a defamation suit naming her as well as Foxx.

Foxx claimed that Alvarez refused to address complaints about the harassment:

In Lester’s book, Foxx, identifying Alvarez by title but not by name, said she quit as a supervisor under Alvarez in 2013 after complaining about the behavior of a high-ranking official in the office who “was known for everything from looking up women’s skirts to saying he wanted his own pretty, female intern, to asking a young woman about” performing oral sex.

“I lobbied to get this guy fired,” she told Lester. “Problem was, he was very good friends with the state’s attorney.”

Not true, says Alvarez.

Due to the false statements made by Foxx and published by Lester, word in the public and legal community has spread that Alvarez failed to root out sexual harassment in her publicly held office,” the draft suit said. “Individuals have stopped Alvarez and questioned her about the false statements contained in the book and corresponding newspaper article. . .  Alvarez’s integrity and reputation in the legal community had been greatly damaged.”

But there are deeper undertones to the battle taking shape between the former and current prosecutors.

Alvarez and Foxx made radically different decisions about key cases, signifying a deep ideological and strategic rift between the two prosecutors.

Within months of Foxx taking office, she reversed decisions on murder cases that allowed several convicted offenders to go free under claims of wrongful conviction. Foxx did so even when these convictions were supported by Alvarez. Among those cases were brutal attacks on women.

For example, Foxx’s second in command, Eric Sussman, made the bizarre announcement that the Foxx administration would not fight the freeing of two convicted killers, Gabriel Solache and Arturo Reyes, for the 1998 murder of a couple in their apartment and the kidnapping of their children. Reyes and Solache were in the country illegally at the time of the murders.

The men were freed under the claim that their confessions had been coerced by now-retired detective Ray Guevara. Foxx’s decision to release the men was made even though Sussman said he believed the men were guilty.

From the Chicago Tribune:

First Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Sussman said prosecutors still strongly believe Gabriel Solache and Arturo Reyes are guilty of the 1998 fatal stabbing of a couple in their Bucktown neighborhood home. . . .

Prosecutors under Alvarez, however, maintained the legitimacy of convictions under Guevara.

“We don’t feel these guys are innocent guys,” prosecutor Fabio Valentini said about the Guevara cases.

Even after the two men were set free and Foxx’s own people admitted they thought the men were guilty of the murders, Foxx made no public move to keep the men out of the country, remaining silent as lawyers for the men maneuvered to keep them in the country.

So Foxx cuts the men lose, then remains silent about the men remaining in the country after they get their walking papers.

In another Foxx travesty, a gruesome sexual assault and murder, wrongful conviction lawyers claimed Nevest Coleman and Darryl Fulton were innocent of the vicious 1994 rape and murder of a twenty-year-old woman, Antwinica Bridgeman, because new DNA tests from the victim not available at the time of the crime point to another person, a serial rapist. 

This, supporters of Coleman argued, makes the case a wrongful conviction. But the location of the body, witness statements, and the confessions of the offenders all weigh heavily toward the men being guilty. True to form, Sussman and Foxx dropped charges against Coleman last year and did not challenge the certificate of innocence. Foxx and Sussman remained silent in the wake of completely ludicrous media reports about the case, painting Coleman in a glaringly suspicious light.

In the context of the threatened lawsuit against Foxx by Alvarez and the willingness of Foxx to toss vicious assaults on women, these cases alone challenge her credibility and integrity.

But it gets much, much worse for the second-year prosecutor, whose campaign was supported by donations from George Soros and wrongful conviction attorneys who have filed multimillion-dollar lawsuits on behalf of the once-convicted killers she has set free.

Turning her back on nearly three decades of evidence that wrongful conviction cases, all based on police misconduct, are rife with corruption—including cases that involve those that involved the murder of children and women—Foxx has completely undermined the criminal justice system in the short period she has been placed in office.

Indeed, her administration now seems clearly aimed at attacking the police rather than protecting the public, culminating in a decision last week not to charge two offenders involved in a fatal carjacking of a retired police officer on the South Side.

And her claims that she was once the victim of sexual harassment under the big bad Alvarez administration?

Well, maybe. That too may go to trial.

But Foxx’s allegations that Alvarez allowed a culture of sexual harassment is starting to look deeply suspicious for an administration that so cavalierly allows so many once-convicted killers and rapists to walk free.

Deeply, deeply suspicious.

President Graham Condemns Release of Suspects in Carjacking

Chicago, IL, April 28, 2018–Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham denounced a decision by Cook County Prosecutor Kimberly Foxx to release two offenders in a recent carjacking that left a third offender dead.

A retired police officer reportedly fatally shot one of the offenders, who was brandishing a gun when he approached the victim Wednesday evening on the 2900 block of South Shields. Two other suspects were also taken into custody.

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But these suspects were released without charging, a decision made by prosecutors.

Graham denounced the decision as another sign that Foxx’s administration is out of control. Graham said her willingness to grant bonds to offenders and her unwillingness to charge suspects when they should be charged is destroying law and order in the city.

Foxx has also been under fire by the FOP for her willingness to free convicted killers from prison on flimsy, suspicious claims that they were wrongful convicted, Graham said.

“Foxx is showing an extraordinary bias in favor of criminals and against the police. She is circumventing the criminal justice process by making decisions that should ultimately be made through a criminal trial. Her reckless policies are placing the general public in danger and making it more difficult for police officers to do their job,” Graham said.

Solidarity Forever...

For one, Tribune writers have steadily attacked the rights of police officers as established through their collective bargaining rights. These attacks took perverse form in the coverage of the fatal police shooting by Robert Rialmo in 2015, when the city’s civilian oversight agency, mired in its own allegations of misconduct, ruled that the fatal shooting of a bat-wielding assailant was unjustified.

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Graham Calls For Meeting, Says Officers Now In Danger

Many Dire Situations Can Result, Graham argues...

Chicago-- (April 23, 2018) FOP President Kevin Graham today requested a meeting with the Superintendent to clarify when and how police officers will be disciplined for using force.

 Click to See Entire Letter

Click to See Entire Letter

The request comes in the wake of a decision by Chicago Police Board member Eva-Dina Delgado, who ruled last Thursday to uphold a decision by the police civilian oversight agency, COPA, that the 2015 shooting of Quintonio LeGrier by Officer Robert Rialmo was unjustified. Le Grier was wielding a bat and charging at Rialmo when he fired. Another victim, Bettie Jones, was also fatally shot as a result of LeGrier’s actions.

The FOP has strongly denounced the ruling as another example that COPA is conducting biased, unprofessional investigations, going back to when the agency was called IPRA. Superintendent Eddie Johnson has ruled the shooting justified, as has a Use of Force expert hired by a law firm to defend the City in a civil lawsuit over the case. The FOP also uncovered evidence that COPA employed third-party investigators in their investigation of the shooting, but kept these investigators secret from their final report, from prosecutors, and from Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

By violating the Use of Force guidelines in their rulings, COPA and the police board have placed officers and the public in danger, President Graham argued in his letter.

 “Because of this decision by COPA and the board’s decision to uphold it, the City has abandoned the Use of Force model that police officers employ in the execution of their duties. The COPA and police board ruling, therefore, places our officers in a tenuous, dangerous position, as well as members of the public, as officers do not know if they will be disciplined for using appropriate levels of force. Many dire situations can result,” President Graham said in his letter.