This morning Dan Proft & Amy Jacobson spoke to Dean Angelo, Sr., President of FOP Lodge 7 in Chicago, to get his reaction to a scathing report on the Chicago Police Department that was issued by the panel convened by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, which included a conclusion that the more than 12,000 Chicago police officers on the force have no regard for the lives of minorities in the city.
Against the backdrop of a 65% increase in murders and 78% increase in shootings year-over-year, combined with a 90% drop in investigative stops, Angelo discussed the impact this report will have on police morale and, by extension, peace on the streets of Chicago or the lack thereof.
Angelo said critics of the police talk about police-involved shootings without the additional context of data points like 13,000 police officers who have been battered over the past 8 years and the more than 36,000 criminals police have put behind bars.
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Dan Proft: Dan and Amy, so big story is that report on the Chicago Police Department that was commissioned by Tiny Dancer; he put together this star chamber of leftists, like Deval Patrick, former Massachussets governor, Lorie Lightfoot. Amy Jacobson: Yeah, his friends. Dan Proft: Yeah. Amy Jacobson: His buddies, so like come on, buddies, we’re going to investigate this. Dan Proft: And they’re not friends of the Chicago Police Department, not after the report that was issued yesterday that says – it doesn’t suggest, it says – “Chicago Police have no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color”. That’s pretty big statement about 12,000 Chicago police officers, almost half of whom are Black or Latino. Wonder how that is going to impact the job being done by Chicago Police. Amy Jacobson: It’s about a 200 page report that says that there’s racism, excessive force, a code of silence; when they do do things wrong, they cover up for each other. I mean, it’s a scathing report. Dan Proft: Let’s get reaction and not only in terms of the conclusions drawn by Tiny Dancer Star Chamber, but the impact this report will have on the safety in the streets of Chicago from Dean Angelo Sr., who is the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 in Chicago. Dean, thanks again for joining us, always appreciated. Dean Angelo Sr.: You’re welcome, good morning. Dan Proft: Good morning, so your reaction to the conclusions offered in that report. Dean Angelo Sr.: It’s difficult to find a place to start, but specifically the issues that they’ve mentioned concerning our collective bargaining agreement, I think they completely missed their mark, unless that was their intention. They could have gotten clarifications from us phone and asked us questions instead of assuming that the language is whatever the perception turned out to be, because they missed the mark, like I’ve said… Dan Proft: What specifically are you referring to? Dean Angelo Sr.: Well, they mentioned that there’re no statements given by anybody involved in an incident that a police shooting for 24 hours. That’s just not true. Like I told you, if they had asked, we could have clarified. Officers are making statements to the OIC, the officers in charge, they make statements to the investigator’s units that are out it. If it doesn’t walk through with the police officers, then you know… they were here for… I think three of them took the time to come here to talk to us; I don’t know how many people on that total taskforce, but three of them found it important enough to come here, and we had some conversation, we had some discussion on issues, none of which made it to the report, it seems, and I don’t know why they didn’t take the time to get clarifications. Amy Jacobson: Dean, what were some of the issues that you wanted to be have expressed in the report? Dean Angelo Sr.: Well, we mentioned the need to reopen the detective division areas as they were before. We didn’t see that it made any sense to go from 6 detectives in these areas down to 3 when you have people transported to give statements or view lineups from Belmont-Western and you have to go on the Congress Park where you pick them up, in the far west side of the city, when they used to go to Grand and Central. So how do you get a victim or witness to take six hours out of their day – three of those hours could be travel time, depending on the time of day. So we just thought that was a one thing that they could look at, about improving not only the presence of the investigating units, but also having the convenience of people participating in the prosecution of the arrestee. So, you know, we look at a clearer break, and you want to get people to comply with the process, so you have to try to make it convenient for them. Dan Proft: So there are process issues and efficiency issues; those are legitimate points of discussion, but what about the overall conclusion? I mean, it seems to me the blaring headline is this report concluding that the Chicago police department is beset by a systematic racism. Dean Angelo Sr.: Yeah, and I don’t know where their data came from, who they got those statements from, but I can tell you that police officers in the city of Chicago are professional, they go after criminals, they go after areas that are inundated with crime; the aggressive units are assigned regularly. So when you look at contact with public, you look at areas where the crime is prevalent, and that’s where the gang teams and the saturation teams and the gun teams are deployed every day. A reasonable person would conclude that the contact in those areas would be occurring more often. And to view those kinds of numbers and to say that there’s got to be racism attacked to that, I say it again, they missed their mark, unless that was their intention. Amy Jacobson: Now one of the recommendations was to get rid of the independent police review authority. Are you in favor of that? Their solution is to replace it with a civilian board. Dean Angelo Sr.: We haven’t had much contact with the new administration that they brought. I had one conversation face to face. You know, IPRA is involved in doing investigations at police shootings, and it’s actually in violation of the law, but that’s a different issue, where you’re supposed to have a sworn independent organization come in and investigate incidents where deaths have occurred and police have been involved. This law was signed in August, I believe, last year, and the department that IPRA would be the best people to investigate those, even though they’re not qualified or certified to do so. So we have a back and forth going on right now with them concerning that. Whether it’s IPRA, whether it’s OPS, whether they give us different tag names, it’s sometimes on the professionalism, the knowledge; you don’t want people coming in with a bias. You want people to conduct a fair investigation and allegation and to make sure that everybody gets an opportunity to address the incident of the accusation, which kind of puts us on our heels a bit, because we certainly don’t want this taskforce to go out and pick people to be on that whatever the next IPRA is. Dan Proft: Yeah, no question about that. Dean Angelo Sr. who we’re speaking with; he’s the Chicago FOP Lodge 7 President. Dean, a report last week that investigative stops by Chicago police down 90% almost year-after-year. We’re talking about the difference of more than 100,000 investigative stops, and concurrent, we find ourselves year-after-year with a 65% increase in murders, and a 78% increase in shootings. Are those numbers correlated, do you think, and why such a significant decline in investigative stops? Dean Angelo Sr.: Well, a couple of variables have come into play with that, I believe it’s the investigative stop reports that the department turned over to the ACLU; they authored it. Some people are saying that it’s because of Senate Bill 1304, but it’s not. Senate Bill 1304 does not require an extensive report; it required said document in contact, so state police have something similar to our old contact chart, with a few check boxes, and that’s it, there’s no narrative. So anyone believes that 1304, which was passed last year in July, he has the direct relationship, because the length of that ISR, they don’t know of what they speak; because it’s just not true. So I think the extensiveness of that report has a contributing factor, and I also believe that there is an awareness on the officers’ part that they don’t want to be the next Youtube stars; because those are edited, and those are posted. I just saw a video this morning of an officer in one of the Southern States trying to affect an arrest, and he gets attached and he gets beaten. This is where we’re at right now. Dan Proft: And do you think there is a correlation between the spike and murders and shooting and the decline in investigative stops. Dean Angelo Sr.: Well, I don’t know if you can connect those dots at this point. You know, there is a prevalence in this city; people talk about 400 police involved shootings over an eight year period of time, and that’s their banner that they carry ; but they don’t mention that over that over those same 8 years Chicago Police Department took over 86,000 guns off the street. They locked up over 36,000 people with a firearm, and on that same period of time, over 13,000 police officers were battered. No one talks about that; they talk about the 400 police involved shootings, and that’s the message that’s being carried, but I think what you have to look at is the prevalence of the guns; 86,000 is a warehouse. Amy Jacobson: Yeah, it’s insane. Besides the scathing report that was released yesterday, also yesterday Eddie Johnson, your new superintendent sworn in by the City Council. Are rank and filed police with this decision? Dean Angelo Sr.: You know, I haven’t heard a lot of negatives about the new boss, and for somebody that’s gone up the ranks, in any job, in leadership, you have it personally to remove some people from position and transfer some people out, so to discipline other individuals, but you don’t really get a clean slate of support going up the ranks. You’re going to have your detractors. And to be honest, I haven’t heard a lot of negativity. No one’s called it up and said “Oh my Gosh, how could they’ve picked that guy?” IT’s been pretty positive. We have yet to sit down and say, to say hopefully it happens soon; we’re both a little bit busy at this time, but I’m sure that’ll happen shortly. Dan Proft: How is this report going to impact how police do their jobs? Dean Angelo Sr.: Well, I mentioned to somebody else yesterday that superintendent’s been out there non-stop since he got placed interim. He’s trying to build morale, he’s going to the units, he’s talking to the role calls, and he had some pretty good press coming out of those role calls from our officers, and I think that now he’s got to go back and address this, right? When he was getting some momentum, and trying to encourage the people that “Hey, I’m going to wear a camera”, or “I’m going to be there for you”, or “I worked in this district”, “I worked in that unit just like you are now”, so he’s built some bridges and he started a positive spin on his administration, and now this comes out. So, you know, the bias of this report is so obvious, when they introduced narratives and names and statements of individual officers and they put them out there, like this is the opening statement of your passport, it’s incredible that they would think that that’s a good idea. Dan Proft: He is Dean Angelo Sr., President of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7; Dean, thanks again for joining us, appreciate it. Dean Angelo Sr.: You’re welcome.