Over the past 10 years, more than two dozen officers with multiple citizen complaints have been assigned to train recruits at the Chicago Police Department Education and Training Academy, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Out of 460 officers assigned to the academy between 2005 and 2015, 40 percent had at least one citizen abuse complaint, often before they were assigned to the academy, the Sun-Times found. One of them supervised a team of cops who went to prison for ripping off drug dealers, two served in the notorious Special Operations Section, and some were hit with complaints from citizens while they were teaching at the academy.
Because the police department ends up dismissing most of the complaints against its officers (fewer than 4 percent of cases are “sustained”), officials say there's no reason to ban those officers from teaching at the academy. Academy instructors “must be highly qualified in a designated area and must undergo an internal screening process to ensure there are no open integrity investigations or disciplinary issues in your background,” said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. Jon Loevy, a Chicago lawyer who has won millions of dollars from lawsuits filed by clients who accused the police department of violating their rights, says he's troubled to learn the background of some instructors at the academy. “When you're a Chicago police officer accused of serial misconduct, they put you in charge of teaching young police officers,” says Loevy, “It's horrible.”