FOP Demands Clarification From COPA On Shooting
Chicago, IL, December 29, 2017– In light of COPA’s ruling yesterday that the shooting of Quintonio LeGrier was not justified, the FOP demands further explanation from the agency as the New Year’s Holiday approaches.
Can COPA explain when officers can use force and when they cannot? If an offender is wielding a bat against an officer, must he or she wait until they are actually struck before they can defend themselves? Must they wait until they see a muzzle flash of a gun before any attempts to protect their lives and those of the public would be deemed reasonable? How far can the weapon be found from an offender before an officer’s use of force is deemed legitimate? Six feet? Ten feet? Fifteen?
Further, COPA needs to provide a legal basis for their ruling. Just how powerful is COPA to override the findings of investigators and prosecutors to claim shootings are unjustified, even when the actions appear to fall clearly within the Use of Force guidelines? What are the particular skills and strategies of COPA investigators? Has COPA become an agency with absolute, arbitrary authority?
Not only should COPA answer these questions, but so should the head of the Chicago Police Board, Lori Lightfoot, as well as Mayor Emanuel, particularly as Chicago Police officers head into a holiday filled with drunken revelers and citizens shooting off guns.
If COPA is empowered to make such clearly arbitrary and politicized rulings, then the FOP can only conclude that the City and its various agencies are not concerned about the safety and well-being of our officers and our citizens.