There have been five police-involved shootings in Chicago since July 29.
“You don’t want early release of video to interfere with the investigation or witness testimony,” Brown said. “A witness might see the video and then it taints what they say they saw. I really defer all the judgments to COPA (the Civilian Office of Police Accountability); I think that’s the way the policy was written. I believe it’s a well-written policy.”
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COPA said it hopes to release video from each of the shootings in the coming week, but cautions key investigative steps need to be followed in each case.
Early Saturday morning, Chicago police shot and killed a man in Vittum Park after he allegedly lunged at officers with a large butcher knife in the city’s Garfield Ridge neighborhood on the Southwest Side.
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In its complete statement, COPA said, “We understand the public’s desire for release of video related to the most recent incidents and COPA is committed to releasing transparency materials at the earliest point possible and on many occasions has released video in advance of the 60 day deadline required under City policy. Many of the incidents that have occurred since July 30th will be released in the coming weeks.
However in addition to releasing body worn camera, COPA has a responsibility to gather and release all POD, CTA, in-car camera as well as 3rd party video. In accordance with the City’s video release policy, at the time of release COPA must also include all associated 911 calls, police radio transmissions, officer use of force reports and other related materials which all must be appropriately reviewed to ensure it is void of any personally protected information.
Moreover, COPA must always conduct all key investigative steps including the interview of officer and civilian witnesses prior to release. This ensures that the integrity of both the criminal and administrative investigations are not compromised by the release of these materials before statements from witnesses have been provided.
Since the agency launched 3 years ago our goal has been to remain transparent and build trust and confidence in our investigations. Our commitment to fulfill the city’s video release policy is unwavering, as is our duty to preserve the integrity of investigation while also understanding the public’s interest.”
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