FOP Reps Confront Craig Futterman, Torture Commission
In the wake of a criminal trial that exonerated three Chicago police officers charged with conspiring to cover up the Laquan McDonald shooting, FOP representatives confronted Craig Futterman, a professor and commissioner on the torture commission, about his role in the case.
Field Representatives Martin Preib and Bob Bartlett attended the last regular meeting of the controversial Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission (TIRC) on April 16 to confront Futterman, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School and a commissioner on TIRC, about his conduct in the release of confidential investigative information that played a key role in the indictment of the three current and former officers, Dave March, Thomas Gaffney, and Joe Walsh.
Preib cited court testimony and evidence that pointed to Futterman’s knowledge of confidential information about an investigation of the 2016 shooting by the city’s civilian oversight agency, IPRA. The evidence revealed that a witness, Jose Torres, had come forward to the agency to testify about the shooting. The existence of this witness and his statements were not made known to investigating detectives, including former detective March. However, the existence of the witness was apparently made known to Futterman and journalist Jamie Kalven.
That, Preib argued, is a problem for someone serving as a commissioner on TIRC, a state commission whose members are appointed by the governor.
Despite the information about Torres, the witness not being made known to March, the now-retired detective was nevertheless accused of ignoring evidence and witnesses as part of the charges leveled against him by a special prosecutor.
Preib and Bartlett pointed to the fact that court testimony indicated Torres was shocked when reporter Kalven showed up at Torres’s home after Torres spoke to IPRA about the shooting. Torres said he called IPRA to complain about the leak and was told that the agency would complete an internal investigation.
The FOP has long complained about media leaks at both IPRA and its latest incarnation, COPA, that generate media hysteria over alleged police misconduct claims.
Here is a recording of Preib’s statement at the meeting.