Police oversight boards are a civilian board of government that are supposed to investigate allegations of police misconduct. These boards are designed to give civilians a say in how they are policed. However, this does not always happen as intended; the vast majority of these boards are unabashedly biased against police. Some of them even have scandals where either board members or employees of the board are caught in bad behavior. This recently happened in Chicago when an employee of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability was arrested for looting on August 10th.
The employee of the COPA was arrested in+ connection to the looting that happened in Chicago on August 10. This is a very bad look for the COPA. The employee was arrested as part of the fugitive apprehension section. These riots took place at the Macy’s store at the Chicago loop.
The most interesting part of this story is how the employee is being disciplined. The police made no formal charges against the employee and the Cook County state attorney’s office was not asked to review the incident for felony charges. The COPA says that this is an internal matter and the employee will be handled internally. With the lack of charges filed by the police and the Cook County state attorney’s office not reviewing the incident, we will have a hard time actually seeing if this employee is appropriately disciplined. We will have to take the word of the COPA that they actually took the proper and formal steps required. They state that matters like this are taken very seriously, but where’s the transparency to back it up?
Hopefully this employee will be disciplined or fired from their job. These are serious charges and if this employee would not have the political connections they would most likely have been charged and would be currently sitting in jail or out on bail. This is not the only example of misconduct by someone who worked for a police oversight board. Last year in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for example, a member of their police oversight board made some controversial tweets. We need to make sure that this employee of the COPA in Chicago is disciplined or fired for their conduct. If these boards are to oversee our police, we need to make sure that the members of the board and the employees are held to the highest standards as well.
The vast majority of oversight boards appear to be biased against police and usually form as a result of pressure from left wing organizations or in response to police misbehavior. Recently, we have seen ballot measures to increase the power of police oversight boards. This is happening in Oakland, California.