INDYRADIO (14jan16) The City of Chicago entered a motion late Wednesday that paved the way to release videos of the Cedric Chatman police shooting.
U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman had scheduled a ruling today in 1:13-cv-05697 Chatman v. City Of Chicago et al, but was presented with a surprise turnabout by Chicago's lawyers, who filed a motion to vacate 2 protective orders that prevented the distribution of the videos outside the courtroom.
"The City’s request for a protective order was consistent with its longstanding policy not to publicly release videos and other evidence relating to alleged police misconduct that is the subject of pending criminal and/or disciplinary investigations or other judicial proceedings until such investigations and proceedings are concluded so as not to jeopardize them. The City anticipates that the Task Force on Police Accountability, the creation of which was announced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel on December 1, 2015, will consider if the City should change this policy, and if so, when and under what circumstances such evidence will be released to the public. While the City awaits further guidance from the Task Force, it is working to strike the right balance between being as transparent as possible and protecting the judicial process. In this case, the City has determined that it will no longer object to the release of the videos." Case: 1:13-cv-05697 Document #: 176 Filed: 01/13/16
Mayor Rahm Emanuel was holding a press conference on December 9, promising greater transparency by the city while his lawyers fought to block the public release of video and reports in the case, and Judge Gettleman postponed his ruling pending written arguments by both parties in the case. The city presented a lengthy written argument against the release: Case: 1:13-cv-05697 Document #: 174
Linda Chatman, whose son was shot down by Chicago Police on January 7, 2013, said the "video would speak for itself" and he lawyers argued that public release of the video, and other rmaterials, was in line with decisions in previous cases Case: 1:13-cv-05697 Document #: 174
In today's hearing Gettleman expressed some disappointment in the reasons given for the city's reversal, which differed from the written argument presented for the scheduled hearing, but did order the release nonetheless: "I went to a lot of trouble to decide this issue, and then I get this motion last night (Wednesday) saying that this is the Age of Enlightenment with the city and we're going to be transparent," Gettleman said. "I think it's irresponsible."
His order is not yet available, but will be later today when this story is fully updated.
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