Chicago police boss releases list of officers
By Don Babwin
CHICAGO — The city's police superintendent turned over a list of officers Friday who have repeated complaints filed against them by the public, two days after a judge held him in contempt for refusing to do so.
Superintendent Jody Weis submitted the list to attorneys representing a woman who filed a lawsuit claiming an officer beat up her children while arresting them in a playground incident.
Weis said he had refused to turn over the list and risked the contempt order that U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman issued Wednesday because he wanted the judge to understand the seriousness of what he wanted Weis to do.
"I just wanted to ensure that the judge considered the fact that the impact that this could have on the men and women of the police department," Weis said at a news conference on Friday.
Weis made it clear that he still believed the release was a mistake.
"When you're asking officers to go out and make split-second decisions, split-second life and death decisions, we can't have officers wondering, 'OK, If I do this, am I going to get on the list' ...," he said.
A protective order limiting the list's distribution remains, meaning the attorneys are not supposed to release it publicly, said Jennifer Hoyle of the city's law department.
The tug-of-war over the list has been going on for months, with two judges ordering Weis to produce the names for a lawsuit filed by Donna Moore, a Chicago woman who claims an officer abused her 11-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter when arresting them in a playground incident.
Weis last month said turning the lists would brand officers as "repeaters," even though complaints against them may not have been resolved, and that it would hurt morale.
Mayor Richard Daley supported Weis, saying that good police officers have complaints filed against them and turning over names might jeopardize careers.
On Wednesday, the judge rejected Weis' argument, made his contempt ruling and ordered Weis to produce the list by Monday.
Moore's attorney, G. Flint Taylor, said he was pleased that Weis had relented, but hoped the judge would still impose sanctions on the city and Weis for what he said has been "bad faith delay and obstruction over the past eight months."
He also said he was looking forward to questioning Weis "about the reasons for his contemptuous conduct."