In a major policy turnabout, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will make citizen complaints against Chicago police officers available for public scrutiny, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. In March, a state appeals court ruled the city couldn't keep the records secret, and the city vowed to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. Now city officials won't appeal. “We did think we had a strong case and a viable argument, but we decided this comes in line with our efforts to build relationships between the public and police department and improve transparency,” said city spokeswoman Shannon Breymaier.
The city's decision to release complaints against cops doesn't mean the public will get to see everything. “The records will be redacted to make sure the information we give out does not compromise an investigation or witness confidentiality,” Breymaier said, adding that the city will hand over files only after the investigation is completed and the case is closed. “By allowing access to these records, the Chicago Police Department will further demonstrate that it takes allegations of police misconduct seriously,” said Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.