The Watch

News and Information for Chicago FOP members.

FOIA Reveals Third Party Involved in COPA Investigation of Police Shooting

Chicago, IL, January 23, 2018-The City agency that conducts investigations into allegations of police misconduct paid more than $17,000 to an outside party as part of the agency’s investigation of a controversial 2015 fatal police shooting, the FOP has learned.

Attorneys working on behalf of the Fraternal Order of Police obtained documents in a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request indicating that the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) paid a Boston based police lieutenant in connection with the agency’s investigation of a 2015 police shooting in which two people died.

In December, COPA ruled that the shooting was not justified. The FOP denounced the ruling and advised its attorneys to review COPA’s investigation. The FOP also requested that the City’s Inspector General investigate what the FOP claimed was a pattern of suspicious media leaks of confidential information about the agency’s investigations to various news outlets, including the Chicago Tribune.

According to the records submitted by COPA, the agency paid Lt. Robert Harrington from the Boston Police Department through the Chicago law firm of McGuire Woods LLP.

The role of the law firm and Harrington’s services rendered were not described in COPA’s final report, raising questions. What did the law firm and Harrington provide COPA in the investigation? What, if any, conclusions or opinions did they submit?

According to the documents obtained by the FOP in the FOIA, Harrington met with COPA personnel several times in April and May of 2016, mostly to “review case materials.”

Lt. Harrington and an attorney from McGuire Woods declined to comment on their role in the agency’s investigation of the shooting. COPA personnel did not respond to numerous requests for comment.