Report: 80% of Chicago cops purposefully destroyed or hid dashcam mics

posted at 5:01 pm on January 31, 2016 by Taylor Millard

A new report suggests Chicago police officers are hiding or intentionally destroying dashcam mics so the audio isn’t available. DNAinfo Chicago snagged records showing 80% of cops are doing something to make sure the dashcams aren’t working properly. It got so bad, police supervisors finally started warning officers they’d face discipline if their cameras weren’t working.

Between Sept. 1, 2014, and July 16, 2015, maintenance technicians assigned to troubleshoot and repair dashcam systems reported 90 incidents where no microphones were found in squad cars, according to police logs.

Another 13 inspections during that period turned up only one microphone in squad cars that were supposed to be equipped with two audio recording devices, according to the logs.

On 30 occasions, technicians who downloaded dashcam videos found evidence that audio recording systems either had not been activated or were “intentionally defeated” by police personnel, the records show…

In December, interim Police Supt. John Escalante warned the rank and file that they would be disciplined for failing to follow proper dashcam protocol. Weeks later, he followed through by hitting some officers and supervisors with formal reprimands and up-to-three-day suspensions.

“To boil this down, the Police Department will not tolerate officers maliciously destructing equipment,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

The police union is disputing how brass is handling this, saying there’s no way of figuring out what’s intentional and what’s not. The union has a point, but when it’s 80% of squad cars having an issue, the question becomes whether it’s training or whether it’s intentional destruction. In this situation, the Police Superintendent’s Office is right to discipline the cops who destroy or hide the mics to make sure possibly corrupt actions aren’t noticed. The question is why did it take so long for the Superintendent’s Office (and Mayor Rahm Emanuel) to start realizing this was a problem? It’s possible they were simply blind to what was going on inside police vehicles, but that appears unlikely. Ed wrote on January 7th how Emanuel knew what was on video of the 2014 shooting death of Laquan McDonald and was able to get McDonald’s family to not release dashcam video (which was silent, by the way, because the cops involved damaged it) until after his re-election. This shows the lack of responsibility on Emanuel’s part and perpetuates the belief he’s only in it for his own power, and not because he wants to be a servant of the people. It gives the appearance that Emanuel doesn’t support actual reform (even if he fired Garry McCarthy as superintendent) but only wants to make changes which are more of a band-aid than an actual solution. The same goes for the Chicago Police Department as a whole. If they don’t have supervisors who are willing to discipline officers for destroying microphones, then they’re purposefully letting the department’s corruption continue. The Cook County State’s Attorney also deserves criticism for deciding to prosecute a woman in 2011 who recorded two Internal Affairs officers because she believed they were trying to get her to DROP a case against a fellow cop. A jury thankfully found the charges laughable and acquitted her. What happens when the supposed watchdogs of the police department, are the ones who are acting as though they’re above the law? The same question could be asked of the federal government which appears to be trying to cover up Hillary Clinton’s former deeds as Secretary of State under the idea of “Top Secret.”

There’s another group which deserves responsibility: the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police. The union may claim to be protecting its members from unfair abuses, but how far is too far? Is the union simply willing to do a blanket coverage of all members without bothering to look at the circumstances? Are union leaders turning a blind to the corruption within their own ranks, because the city is paying off the settlements and not the union itself? Why aren’t more people willing to actually criticize the union for its inaction in protecting police? Is it because they don’t want to appear against rank-and-file police officers who are just doing their job? It could be critics don’t want to be lumped in with the morons who go out there yelling “[Screw] the police!” or the Occupy Wall Street folks who decided to paint brown streaks on police cars with their bodies. There are plenty of great cops out there, but there are also plenty of bad ones. The unions have to take responsibility for their own members when they behave badly, just like elected officials need to as well. The union bosses have to look in the mirror and decide when it’s time to cut a member loose because they’re corrupt. The problems in Chicago are more than just elected officials and bad police leadership, but also bad union leadership. Everyone needs to be held accountable for what’s going on, and if City Hall and the union bosses complain about it, so what? The problems in Chicago start at the top, and filter down to the streets. It’s going to take decades, if not close to a century, to get this solved. This means convincing people they don’t need to be part of a union to get a job. It means convincing people they need to start holding unions accountable for bad actors. It’s just too bad people in Chicago are so convinced unions are “good,” instead of looking at how corrupt they can be.


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Comments

Auditioning for positions in a President Killary Regime …

ShainS on January 31, 2016 at 5:03 PM

Chicago is how the Democrats want the entire country to be.

WisCon on January 31, 2016 at 5:06 PM

Darn those evil Republican politicians who’ve run Chicago for decades!

/sarc

rbj on January 31, 2016 at 5:12 PM

Make it a criminal offense to tamper with the camera or mic.

major dad on January 31, 2016 at 5:15 PM

Corrupt mayor of corrupt city is corrupt.

hepcat on January 31, 2016 at 5:16 PM

Puppets will be here in 3…2…

BallisticBob on January 31, 2016 at 5:16 PM

So go blame the democrats, Taylor. We dont want to start calling you forest gumps stupid brother…..

Indiana Jim on January 31, 2016 at 5:16 PM

Need a third camera that watches the other two and is not known to the cops. You’ll catch the saboteurs pretty quick.

Doc Holliday on January 31, 2016 at 5:18 PM

Chicago is how the Democrats want the entire country to be.

WisCon on January 31, 2016 at 5:06 PM

…disagree…that would be KKKalifornia…corruption in Chi-Town/Illinois isn’t limited to Left-Tards…

Pelosi Schmelosi on January 31, 2016 at 5:19 PM

Progressive.

CWforFreedom on January 31, 2016 at 5:19 PM

Pretty simple actually. Every Cop that attempts to defeat a camera should be charged with tampering with evidence. Obviously that won’t happen as it is Chicago and has been controlled by Dems since the turn of the 20th Century, but if you do it a couple of times, the problem would go away.

Johnnyreb on January 31, 2016 at 5:19 PM

…and the Left-Tarded media haven’t asked Odooooshbag and That Skank about this repeated corruption because..????

…I know…I know…

Pelosi Schmelosi on January 31, 2016 at 5:20 PM

Simple. Bring the dashcam in each night and download it.

Anyone who fails to turn it in, or turns in a cam with any blank data, is fired.

Done.

rightwingyahooo on January 31, 2016 at 5:21 PM

Corrupt criminals being watched by criminally corrupt cops.

albill on January 31, 2016 at 5:22 PM

Chicago Is Still Chicago. DNC Mob-Boss Running City Had No Comment.

News at ten…

viking01 on January 31, 2016 at 5:24 PM

So cops purposely destroying tools that can help support the testimony of American citizens becomes a “democrat” problem instead of something you think would generate outrage just based on your rights as a citizen of the USA? Haha. We’re all such sheep. Divide and conquer. No wonder nothing ever changes

Politricks on January 31, 2016 at 5:26 PM

Protect and serve indeed. SMH, unsurprised.

xNavigator on January 31, 2016 at 5:28 PM

The problem is not just in Chicago though. Cops all over the country believe they are above the law. I no longer have high respect for police officers and teach my children not to either. They are just like any other person working at a job and deserve no extra respect than anyone else.

proverbs427 on January 31, 2016 at 5:30 PM

So cops purposely destroying tools that can help support the testimony of American citizens becomes a “democrat” problem instead of something you think would generate outrage just based on your rights as a citizen of the USA? Haha. We’re all such sheep. Divide and conquer. No wonder nothing ever changes

Politricks on January 31, 2016 at 5:26 PM

The point is corruption starts at the top. In this case, as is the case in most if not all corrupt cities the local government is democrat and has been for decades.

darwin on January 31, 2016 at 5:31 PM

Indeed.

Turn in your dash cam and vest cam at shift’s end or turn in your badge program.

viking01 on January 31, 2016 at 5:31 PM

I also heard that Napolean was defeated at Waterloo.

corona79 on January 31, 2016 at 5:33 PM

For an idea of how and what Chicago cops are thinking, check out this blog:

http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/

Their motto now seems to be to “stay fetal”, that is don’t do anything that will get one in trouble. But, the minority communities in Chicago appear to want little or no policing. It’s really a no-win situation for the police.

Special Forces Grunt on January 31, 2016 at 5:37 PM

How many murders, wounded so far this weekend in gun free Chicago where Hillary and Obama travel with armed guards, armored cars and air surveillance?

Obamatrix on January 31, 2016 at 5:38 PM

I also heard that Napolean was defeated at Waterloo.

corona79 on January 31, 2016 at 5:33 PM

Apparently Napoleon still has a beef with Wellington….

viking01 on January 31, 2016 at 5:39 PM

80% isn’t the kind of level you can get to by individual cops deciding they want to kill the audio. That practically has to be unofficial official policy of some kind.

Count to 10 on January 31, 2016 at 5:40 PM

Horatio had the French in a full-Nelson at Trafalgar…

(Okay, I’ll stop now.)

viking01 on January 31, 2016 at 5:40 PM

Polistupid. Whats the big deal? This way they cant videotape you playing xbox in your underwear. Now go insert the joystick up your rectum……

Indiana Jim on January 31, 2016 at 5:50 PM

When my (white) son was 18 or 19 years old he had an encounter with Chicago’s “finest.” I’m surprised that only 80% purposefully destroyed their mics. They were complete a**holes to my son. Going so far as to plant a gun in his glove box and threaten to take him to “county” where a suburban white kid would be chewed up and spat out. His crime? Doing a U-turn after realizing he took the wrong exit.

The fish rots from the head down. In Chicago, that fish is rotten from the head all the way down to the tail fin. The teachers’ union is almost as corrupt, too. So crazy how mismanaged everything is.

Funny thing, in 2014, Elizabeth Warren said, “The motto of the Republican Party should be, ‘I got mine, the rest of you are on your own.‘” In reality, that is the motto of Democratic controlled cities.

Fallon on January 31, 2016 at 5:53 PM

Is the union simply willing to do a blanket coverage of all members without bothering to look at the circumstances?

Is there a union that doesn’t operate that way?

Oxymoron on January 31, 2016 at 5:55 PM

it’s purposely, not purposefully, milltard.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on January 31, 2016 at 6:06 PM

Corrupt City, Corrupt Cops…..
who would have thought it?

Now, tell me about “The City That Works!”

Another Drew on January 31, 2016 at 6:10 PM

How many murders, wounded so far this weekend in gun free Chicago where Hillary and Obama travel with armed guards, armored cars and air surveillance?

Obamatrix on January 31, 2016 at 5:38 PM

From Saturday Morning through early Sunday Morning, 12 total shot and two dead. Through the 1st month of the year there have been a total of 294 people shot with 53 of them dying. That come to a person shot every 2:32, and a person shot and killed every 13:51. Just think what those numbers would be if guns were legal.

MrsGsBoyTommy on January 31, 2016 at 6:20 PM

…and here………I was having such a nice weekend.

JugEarsButtHurt on January 31, 2016 at 6:22 PM

Illinois, where our governors make our license plates.

bluesdoc70 on January 31, 2016 at 6:40 PM

Make it a criminal offense to tamper with the camera or mic.

major dad on January 31, 2016 at 5:15 PM

Makes sense…but, the PDs won’t enforce it…they’ll just cover for their “brothers” like they always do.

The thing is, I’m pretty sure that some of these people they deal with probably deserve a smack upside the head. Problem is, they lose the ability over time to discern between a career criminal thug and some honest citizen who’s irate at being pulled over for a minor moving violation.

It’s the slippery slope thing.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 31, 2016 at 6:42 PM

Any time any surveillance equipment, computer logs, etc are lost, missing, damaged, or otherwise not available there should be an absolute assumption that any accusations against the police are true.

They have a chance to prove with all that technology how innocent they are: If they make that evidence go away (through negligence or malfeasance) they must have something to hide.

HBowmanMD on January 31, 2016 at 6:46 PM

Illinois, where our governors make our license plates.

bluesdoc70 on January 31, 2016 at 6:40 PM

Sorta like Birmingham’s mayors….

viking01 on January 31, 2016 at 6:47 PM

Is there ANYTHING in Chicago that isn’t corrupt? Maybe the librarians? Maybe?

Doc Holliday on January 31, 2016 at 6:47 PM

Is there ANYTHING in Chicago that isn’t corrupt? Maybe the librarians? Maybe?

Doc Holliday on January 31, 2016 at 6:47 PM

Yeah, about that

Fallon on January 31, 2016 at 6:59 PM

Is there ANYTHING in Chicago that isn’t corrupt? Maybe the librarians? Maybe?

Doc Holliday on January 31, 2016 at 6:47 PM

Yeah, about that…

Fallon on January 31, 2016 at 6:59 PM

I really, truly don’t get how these major cities anywhere function.

All I can come up with is that the large corporations are too afraid to pack up their offices and whatever else they have in these cities and go elsewhere. They’d be accused of everything from racism on down…the tax base would simply collapse, their municipal bonds would be unpayable, and the big shots running these cities would see a declining population, and less power.

I don’t understand why in this day and age with such advanced communications why your business would have to be located in a New York City, London, Los Angeles, Chicago, Paris, etc.? Many of their factories aren’t even in the same country anymore.

Perhaps a schmooze element? I suspect that there’s a mutualistic symbiotic relationship between the CEOs and the municipal pols.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 31, 2016 at 7:09 PM

…and here………I was having such a nice weekend.

Dude. I’m trying to watch America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Jazz Shaw on January 31, 2016 at 7:12 PM

“…even if he fired Garry McScapegoat as superintendent”.

Mason on January 31, 2016 at 7:22 PM

As a former LEO who had both a dash cam as well as a microphone, I can tell you that while I appreciated the video recording, I wasn’t always happy to have an audio recording. There is a certain amount of levity within the police ranks, a sort of mixture of gallows humor and brackish repartee that the public would find less than professional. Its a way to deal with what we face on a daily basis. Comments like being told by a traffic officer that PC for a DWI is a troika of white male, cowboy hat, and pickup truck on a Friday night. And that’s a lite example. It’s said in jest, but done at the wrong time and suddenly your arrest is thrown out. I’m not saying that destroying your mic is good. It isn’t. But I at least understand their motivation. Who wants to be disciplined for cracking a joke that was meant to relieve the stress and instead comes out as racist, or anti-gay, or anti-muslim in a time when the brass is constantly on the alert for it. How would YOU feel being recorded every moment you were at work?

eyesights on January 31, 2016 at 7:29 PM

The Chi town PD has been corrupt from the day it was organized. Seriously. Chi Town is a corrupt city. Always has been and always will be. Google “Chicago Police Dept. Corrupt” and you will see that what I say is true.

they lie on January 31, 2016 at 7:29 PM

eyesights on January 31, 2016 at 7:29 PM

I can agree with that.

Total surveillance is like those boiler-room customer service centers which monitor typed keystrokes without consideration for whether the employee in the dungeon does a good job instead of merely typing quickly.

Lots of doctors and other high stress no margin of error professionals use humor to deal with tragedy, carnage and risk. Cops should have some leeway there too.

viking01 on January 31, 2016 at 7:38 PM

Make it a criminal offense to tamper with the camera or mic.

major dad on January 31, 2016 at 5:15 PM

I’m certain there would already be a municipal and/or state statutory prohibition on the destruction of government property.

Atlantian on January 31, 2016 at 7:43 PM

eyesights on January 31, 2016 at 7:29 PM

Thank you for an interesting take on this. What would be your mitigation strategy, such that all stops have audio recordings if possible?

unclesmrgol on January 31, 2016 at 7:46 PM

“The use of unnecessary force has been approved.”

DarthBrooks on January 31, 2016 at 7:54 PM

How would YOU feel being recorded every moment you were at work?

eyesights on January 31, 2016 at 7:29 PM

Welcome to the world of commercial airline pilots.

Atlantian on January 31, 2016 at 8:01 PM

Make the Fraternal Order of Police take out malpractice insurance on all its members.
THEN lets see them turn a blind eye to multimillion dollar payouts.

orangemtl on January 31, 2016 at 8:05 PM

Doing that intentionally should be considered tampering with evidence and grounds for immediate dismissal..but this is Chicago we’re talking about..

celt on January 31, 2016 at 8:09 PM

Report: 80% of Chicago cops purposefully destroyed or hid dashcam mics

it’s purposely, not purposefully, milltard.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on January 31, 2016 at 6:06 PM

purposefully = having a purpose for the act

purposely = done deliberately

Trailer Dullard’s headline can technically hold water.

Younggod on January 31, 2016 at 8:15 PM

Any shift not entirely documented by video and audio will be unpaid.

That would fix it.

Younggod on January 31, 2016 at 8:17 PM

Good for them! Next they should refuse to respond to calls in high crime areas where they know they will be surrounded by thug accomplices looking to get them for abuse. The police are under attack for trying to do their jobs while blacks commit crimes against other blacks.If the black community refuses to support the police then the police should just let them kill each other. What fools!

redware on January 31, 2016 at 8:26 PM

Where is the troll defense for this? Hmmmm?

ghostwalker1 on January 31, 2016 at 8:45 PM

Pretty simple actually. Every Cop government employee or elected official that attempts to defeat a camera break any law should be charged with tampering with evidencehave the book thrown at them. Obviously that won’t happen as it is Chicago America and has been controlled by Dems since the turn of the 20th Century, but if you do it a couple of times, the problem would go away.

Johnnyreb on January 31, 2016 at 5:19 PM

Just going from the specific to the general case, since we have so much of it going around.
That was a great wish list in the post, but if the PTB had any interest in doing any of it, it would have been done a long time ago.

AesopFan on January 31, 2016 at 8:49 PM

Horatio had the French in a full-Nelson at Trafalgar…

(Okay, I’ll stop now.)

viking01 on January 31, 2016 at 5:40 PM

.
Actually it was a ‘half-Nelson — The Admiral had only one leg. Lost the other to a cannon ball.

meerbock on January 31, 2016 at 9:49 PM

This is why public sector unions should be banned.

EVSCBT on January 31, 2016 at 9:59 PM

Why not. The Government is corrupt so why shouldn’t the same rules apply to them. No big deal.

alanstern on January 31, 2016 at 10:28 PM

The problem is not just in Chicago though. Cops all over the country believe they are above the law. I no longer have high respect for police officers and teach my children not to either. They are just like any other person working at a job and deserve no extra respect than anyone else.
proverbs427 on January

Oh yeah, that’ll help.

Cleombrotus on January 31, 2016 at 10:36 PM

eyesights on January 31, 2016 at 7:29 PM

Try telling the average person who has never been a cop that after a while you develop a type of sixth sense about people due to constant interactions on the level of law enforcement and that sense might suggest certain actions that simply cannot be accurately translated through a camera or a microphone and they’ll just think you’re trying to cover up some malfeasance.

I think we’re just making it more and more difficult for cops to do their jobs.

Cleombrotus on January 31, 2016 at 10:53 PM

Actually it was a ‘half-Nelson — The Admiral had only one leg. Lost the other to a cannon ball.

meerbock on January 31, 2016 at 9:49 PM

Lord Nelson had both legs but had lost an arm.

They did a nice job of playing it down on his statue above Trafalgar Square.

viking01 on January 31, 2016 at 11:09 PM

I’ll have to take the policemen’s side, not because they are police, but because this is unfair treatment of employees. Your every word recorded at work? That’s ridiculous.

cimbri on February 1, 2016 at 1:33 AM

I think we’re just making it more and more difficult for cops to do their jobs.

Cleombrotus on January 31, 2016 at 10:53 PM

Agree 100%.

cimbri on February 1, 2016 at 1:34 AM

3 days of paid suspensions, damn that’s harsh man.

Pegcity on February 1, 2016 at 7:27 AM

They should pick one of them and prosecute him harshly for doing this as an example for others.

Everything else in Chicago is corrupt. Of course the cops are.

ConstantineXI on February 1, 2016 at 7:49 AM

Chicago looks like the middle East without the mooslimes.

Kissmygrits on February 1, 2016 at 8:15 AM

How would YOU feel being recorded every moment you were at work?

eyesights on January 31, 2016 at 7:29 PM

When I worked in a store as a teenager, there were cameras on every cash register, monitored every day by management.

Chicago looks like the middle East without the mooslimes.

Kissmygrits on February 1, 2016 at 8:15 AM

Yeah, about that

Fallon on February 1, 2016 at 8:53 AM

So cops purposely destroying tools that can help support the testimony of American citizens becomes a “democrat” problem instead of something you think would generate outrage just based on your rights as a citizen of the USA?

Politricks on January 31, 2016 at 5:26 PM

It becomes a problem when Democrats say they’re the ones best equipped to make government a tool to deliver utopia to all citizens.

If anything, the fact that the rights of the citizen are at risk kind of goes hand in hand with the conclusion that this is a “Democrat problem”. The rights of the citizen are always secondary to stated intent and policy achievements. See also: gun “control”.

The Schaef on February 1, 2016 at 9:49 AM

“To boil this down, the Police Department will not tolerate officers maliciously destructing equipment,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

I’m guessing he went to school in Chicago.

Ward Cleaver on February 1, 2016 at 10:30 AM

How would YOU feel being recorded every moment you were at work?

eyesights on January 31, 2016 at 7:29 PM

This is as much about protecting cops as it is citizens.

Ward Cleaver on February 1, 2016 at 10:32 AM

Make it a criminal offense to tamper with the camera or mic.

Like a cop is going to arrest another cop. Please. This is Chicago.

CelebrateHomogeneity on February 1, 2016 at 10:51 AM

“To boil this down, the Police Department will not tolerate officers maliciously destructing equipment,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

I’m guessing he went to school in Chicago.

Ward Cleaver on February 1, 2016 at 10:30 AM

It also applies to those who keep saying “self-destruct” rather than “self-destroy”.

CelebrateHomogeneity on February 1, 2016 at 11:20 AM

Need a third camera that watches the other two and is not known to the cops. You’ll catch the saboteurs pretty quick.

Doc Holliday on January 31, 2016 at 5:18 PM

And a cop has to install that camera. And might tell all his buddies about it. Of course, if you only install it in some cars, they will simply never tamper on those cars. If you put it on all of them, that that camera will develop regular “difficulties”.

Pretty simple actually. Every Cop that attempts to defeat a camera should be charged with tampering with evidence.

Johnnyreb on January 31, 2016 at 5:19 PM

That’s a pretty good charge – except, as you note, it’s Chicago. Until you change the culture of corruption, it just won’t matter.

Are union leaders turning a blind to the corruption within their own ranks, because the city is paying off the settlements and not the union itself?

You know, there’s an idea. Determine if there’s a leadership problem or a cop problem in any particular instance. Then make the union responsible for paying settlements if it’s a cop problem.

GWB on February 1, 2016 at 11:42 AM

So I’m guessing body cameras won’t catch on, either.

Ward Cleaver on February 1, 2016 at 11:48 AM

Put two cameras in each car, one for street recording, the other focused on the first camera.

Better yet…use Skype. Every officer with a camera is online, live. Wait….donut shops may not survive the loss in revenue.

“hey Chief…..take a look. Are we cracking down on strip clubs today? Looks like half the force is in a nudey bar right now….”

BobMbx on February 1, 2016 at 2:43 PM

Any time any surveillance equipment, computer logs, etc are lost, missing, damaged, or otherwise not available there should be an absolute assumption that any accusations against the police are true.

They have a chance to prove with all that technology how innocent they are: If they make that evidence go away (through negligence or malfeasance) they must have something to hide.

HBowmanMD on January 31, 2016 at 6:46 PM

Guilty, until proven innocent? Umm… doesn’t sound right, offhand.

ReggieA on February 2, 2016 at 4:15 PM