Is every Chicago police officer corrupt?

I have had more than one Chicago police officer say police officers do not write traffic tickets on other officers. They say every officer knows about this practice.

Is this true? Should a massive sting operation be instituted, and if it discovers city wide corruption, should there be prosecutions for corruption?

I think every officer who engages in this behavior should be in prison. (If they are breaking a law. If there is no law, a law should be passed.)

It has been going on forever. I grew up with Detroit cops and they would get bitched at by the cop for putting them in a bad position. Then they would let them go without a ticket. Politicians are the same. They pull them over then let them go.

I don’t think this sort of thing is limited to Chicago.

Certainly not limited to Chicago. In DC, I have a neighbor who complained about an illegally parked boat on the block. The police showed up and told the neighbor “that boat belongs to a police officer, didn’t you know that?” meaning of course that nothing would be done about it.

Should a massive sting nationwide operation be instituted?

Yep. We got busted for speeding in central Indiana, doing 25+ over the limit, and got bumped down to the lowest ticket level (didn’t completely get off) because one of my friends had some kind of Chicago police ID from his father. The officer that pulled me over immediately changed his tone upon seeing my friend’s father was a cop. (And we were all shitting bricks since my friend had been smoking pot in the car not a half hour earlier.) So, yeah, there’s definitely an understood fraternity among police officers, which really isn’t surprising to me at all.

Cop gets out of a speeding ticket? Doesn’t bother me.
Want to know what bothers me? This bothers me.

Or to fellow cops. Police officers in two different cities have told me that they never give tickets to doctors, because they know they might be the next ones wheeled into the ER on a gurney.

It’s certainly true since I moved out to the country. I got one speeding ticket (61 in a 45) in a notorious trap three counties over from where I live. I mentioned it to a lawyer friend of mine and she sent a single e-mail (unbidden by me) and made it go away. (Apparently this is true of lawyers and friends of lawyers around here, too.)

Another time I was stopped in another county for having a headlight out, and they just told me to get it fixed and come to the courthouse to show them. When I showed up two days later in scrubs, the sheriff came out to see the car and fell over himself apologizing for making me go to the trouble. He told me that if I or any of my friends ever got a ticket in his county again to call him personally and he’d take care of it.

I have a hard time getting worked up about this. If we’re talking about people driving like maniacs or repeat offenders, that’s one thing, but a little bit of professional courtesy for somebody who gets nabbed for going a few miles over the limit just isn’t worth the outrage.

So, either people who speed a few miles over aren’t endangering anyone, in which case no-one should get a ticket, or speeding is dangerous, in which case cops allow other cops to endanger people’s lives.

I never thought of it that way before!

I imagined all kinds of other reasons, explanations, and middle grounds!

Wow. Who knew it was so easy?

Such as?

What the fuck are you talking about re: “professional courtesy”? What the fuck does that even mean? Are you seriously advocating for police officers, who’s job is to catch criminals and prevent crime, to stop doing their job whenever one of them feels like it?

And are you actually advocating the tit-for-tat you talk about? What’s your part of this bargain? You’ll pay attention more when treating a cop, because he lets you go when he catches you breaking the law, than you would for some guy who just shows up needing medical attention?

There already are, though there are bigger problems than speeding tickets.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has the Professional Standards department, which is in the Special Prosecutions bureau. The department focuses almost entirely on police conduct. A few months ago, Anita Alvirez, the current State’s Attorney, increased the size of the department by about 20%.

And the city Inspector General does long-term investigations on systematic corruption within the city.

The problem is that now you have two sets of laws, one for the people on the inside and one for everyone else. This leads inevitably to “everyone else” having less respect for the law and the police, which is damaging to society. It’s a process that should stop.

Did you just wake up to this state?

Yes, local law enforcement has discretion regarding enforcement. Did you really not know this beforehand? Do you really think it’s new?

This reminds me of something that happened to me a few years ago.

At my last apartment, I paid extra rent for a private parking spot just outside my back fence. One night, I came home from an opera and found a dark car parked in my spot. Parking was really bad on Saturday nights, and it was about midnight. I spent a long while looking for a spot, and found one that was quite a walking distance from my home.

I was very angry at this turn of events, and when I got home I immediately wrote an icily polite note that my parking spot was private property and not to park there again. I left it on the car’s windshield.

Later, my neighbor told me he had overheard the car’s drivers come back to the car. He said one of them said, “Geez, can’t this person tell we’re cops?”

When I heard that, I was really pissed. No, I couldn’t tell it was an undercover cop car. It was dark out. And speaking of dark, that’s what me, a lone well-dressed woman had to walk in six blocks after midnight on loud high heels through an iffy neighborhood, just because the police feel like they can park anywhere they damn well please.

I’m sure glad I park in a closed garage now. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if the cops decided to bust the door lock to park there if they wanted to.

I’m really curious now. Where do you park a boat in Petworth*? In the alley? On the street?

I’ve seen the same thing. You can’t park in the alley behind my house. Tickets are given out every so often when someone tries. The only exception is a police car who parks there every night.

  • I’m not stalking you, I recall from other threads that you live in Petworth.

Not only that but the neighborhoods that cops live in are patrolled more often then neighborhoods with no police nearby. It doesn’t bother me in the least. The police let people go all of the time, who are not cops, from traffic tickets it’s not like this is a special fraternity.

Maybe we should implant microchips into each officer so we can can track every cop on our lap tops.:rolleyes:

Did you know that police officers also let other people off with warnings instead of citations? It’s called discretion, and it’s perfectly legal.

People regularly treat fellow travelers with a different status.
1 When I had a store in a mall, I regularly bought at cost from fellow merchants, and the same courtesy was extended to me. Different prices.

  • When a patient comes in from the medical profession, they will get different treatment from many docs as well. Different treatment.
  • Lawyers don’t seem to sue other lawyers that often (I would welcome a cite showing an equivalent rate of malpractice to docs if there is one - just to disprove the potential myth). Different representation.

I have been let out of many tickets by the police, often with a comment about the Marine Corps sticker on my truck. I don’t begrudge the cops from using their authority to issue warnings a bit more often with fellow officers for some infractions. That said, I am happy to have internal affairs, etc. investigate to make sure that this authority is not abused.

Now, a humorous anecdote. A FOAF got nailed for a carpool violation. There was a highway in San Diego County where the merge dropped you into a lane that quickly became the carpool lane. It could be difficult to change lanes safely before being in violation, and the California Highway Patrol liked to toss out a few tickets. The FOAF hired an attorney who then put on the stand a California Highway design type person (civil engineer of some flavor as I recall). This expert witness testified that the design was poor, and that it was the design of the merge that created the situation. The FOAF got off. Supposedly, soon after that a caustic letter came from CHP to the witnesses desk asking why he could be a team player. His response, “Perhaps the next time you decide to ask for a team player, you shouldn’t hand a member of the team (me) a ticket in the same place for the same violation.”