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I am looking for some resources to file complaints against an officer's treatment of me while biking this morning.  This officer was clearly uninformed about biking rules of the road and made lots of generalizations about bikers in general.  

I do believe it is possible that my bike (a cargo bike with kids in it) is being targeted since this is not the first run in I've had near the police station at California on Palmer.  This particular officer just took things a bit far threatening me with a ticket and telling me that he could kill a biker with his car.  My son was with me at the time and the altercation took 40 minutes. I need to know what my future course of action can be and if there is a way to file a report against this officer. I do have his name, car number, time of incident and details.

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https://portal.chicagopolice.org/portal/page/portal/ClearPath/Inter...

When Cam tried to file a complaint at this same station and it was a very cumbersome process.  The desk Sargent did his best to reschedule/postpone him enough to simply not bother with the complaint. I'm not sure if going directly to internal affairs would be easier.  

I would sit down and clearly write out what you recall of the incident today for your own records, while your memory is fresh.  

Can you give some details on the event?

What bike laws did the officer not understand?

I'm not convinced the police in this city are any better than the criminals that they are supposedly out catching. IMO, I think it's a waste of time to pursue anything against that POS. Next time, carry a camera and record the incident (the law barring not-recording police was found unconstitutional) and post it to youtube or send it to a news station and embarass the sh*t out the them. That's about the only way anything gets done.

I take that back, the eavedropping law is still on the books, but there is a case precedent that has found it unconstitutional. So, theoretically, I think you can still be arrested for it and I'm sure this A-hole would do it. Of couse, you'll likely not end of with charges because it would be a waste of money and time for the police as they would lose. Supposedly the House and Senate will revisit the law in the fall session.

spencewine said:

I'm not convinced the police in this city are any better than the criminals that they are supposedly out catching. IMO, I think it's a waste of time to pursue anything against that POS. Next time, carry a camera and record the incident (the law barring not-recording police was found unconstitutional) and post it to youtube or send it to a news station and embarass the sh*t out the them. That's about the only way anything gets done.

anika - very sorry to hear about this. Rather than pursue the issue with the CPD (in my experience they always protect their own) I wouyld approach it from another angle : I would send a letter and also in email form to your alderman; the alderman for the Shakespeare District; and also Gabe Klein (the bike advocate for the city department of transportation). then after a few days I would folllow up with phone calle to each; and maybe even visit your alderman in person.

 

keep us posted

 

Dan

I would do this in addition to filing the formal complaint.  Once the complaint is made and signed they are required to follow up on it, even if its only a slap on the wrist.  Get enough complaints and you start losing pay.  That usually get their attention.  The biggest problem is the hoops they make people jump through to actually file the complaint, so its seldom done.  If more people followed through on complaints there would be fewer of the bad apples out there.  

Also when asking you about it, any of these other people will wonder why you haven't filed a complaint if the behavior was so bad.  

dan brown said:

anika - very sorry to hear about this. Rather than pursue the issue with the CPD (in my experience they always protect their own) I wouyld approach it from another angle : I would send a letter and also in email form to your alderman; the alderman for the Shakespeare District; and also Gabe Klein (the bike advocate for the city department of transportation). then after a few days I would folllow up with phone calle to each; and maybe even visit your alderman in person.

 

keep us posted

 

Dan

I find it hard to advise until I have an idea what happened. I take it that you don't think you were breaking any laws. What laws did he think you were breaking?  If you are certain that you are correct there are two options- 1) write a letter to the officer that does not cc anybody else to let him know why he is wrong.   I suggest this because you live in the area and  may have to deal with him again.  This private insistance may do the trick.  If not, 2)go viral.  Write to the newspaperrs, the chief, your choice of social media outlets. Dan had good advice in that regard.  3) go the official complaint route.You probably will not get far with an official complaint. However, there may be value to setting the table by doing so so you can refer to your complaint if your treatment is repeated.

 

But before you do anyting, be 100% certain that you are in the right.  From what I have read, I really do not know.  If, after searching your memory and your soul you feel that you may have "techinically" broken a law but the cop was an [insert your adjective here} for enforcing it in your situation,I suggest you move on and take no further action.

I think regardless if she was or was not breaking any laws, threatening to kill someone with their car would be illegal and outright uncalled for, especially when coming from a police officer

David Barish said:

I find it hard to advise until I have an idea what happened. I take it that you don't think you were breaking any laws. What laws did he think you were breaking?  If you are certain that you are correct there are two options- 1) write a letter to the officer that does not cc anybody else to let him know why he is wrong.   I suggest this because you live in the area and  may have to deal with him again.  This private insistance may do the trick.  If not, 2)go viral.  Write to the newspaperrs, the chief, your choice of social media outlets. Dan had good advice in that regard.  3) go the official complaint route.You probably will not get far with an official complaint. However, there may be value to setting the table by doing so so you can refer to your complaint if your treatment is repeated.

 

But before you do anyting, be 100% certain that you are in the right.  From what I have read, I really do not know.  If, after searching your memory and your soul you feel that you may have "techinically" broken a law but the cop was an [insert your adjective here} for enforcing it in your situation,I suggest you move on and take no further action.

Anika-

Please email me your information and story and I'll pass it along to our contact in the 14th. I'm sorry this happened to you.

charlie.short@cityofchicago.org

You don't have to be certain you are in the right to file a complaint, you just have to be honest.  Its the job of the internal investigations unit to decide whether or not the officer misconducted himself. 

David Barish said:

I find it hard to advise until I have an idea what happened. I take it that you don't think you were breaking any laws. What laws did he think you were breaking?  If you are certain that you are correct there are two options- 1) write a letter to the officer that does not cc anybody else to let him know why he is wrong.   I suggest this because you live in the area and  may have to deal with him again.  This private insistance may do the trick.  If not, 2)go viral.  Write to the newspaperrs, the chief, your choice of social media outlets. Dan had good advice in that regard.  3) go the official complaint route.You probably will not get far with an official complaint. However, there may be value to setting the table by doing so so you can refer to your complaint if your treatment is repeated.

 

But before you do anyting, be 100% certain that you are in the right.  From what I have read, I really do not know.  If, after searching your memory and your soul you feel that you may have "techinically" broken a law but the cop was an [insert your adjective here} for enforcing it in your situation,I suggest you move on and take no further action.

You do not have to be right to make a complaint. However, you better be right if you want your complaint to have any value other than getting things off your chest.  If you want to make a war of it you better make sure that you are starting the good fight. Otherwise, you are better served by moving on. 

Insofar as the officer's threats, that is another matter. That conduct is uncalled for regardless of the situation.  If that, and only that, is what you are going to complain about, go ahead. It doesn't matter  if there was a perfectly kosher stop there is no reason for that kind of treatment. However, if you are complaining that the stop should never have taken place (which is what I gather is the biggest issue here) then you better make sure you are correct in assuming that the stop was not proper and was harrassment rather than police work.   That being said, I agree with Clint in that we are not clear on whether there was a threat or a poorly worded or poorly heard statement of the reality of  a bike being vulnerable.

The title of this thread is "Hasseled and Threatened by police..."

Clint H said:

As others have pointed out, it's hard to know what Anika did that the cop--mistakenly or otherwise--thought was wrong. Even in Anika's description, I didn't read the statement as a threat, as in "You know, I could kill you with my car if I wanted," but as, "I think you put yourself in a spot where I could have killed you with my car." Depending on the situation (which we don't know), the cop may have been overreacting to a perceived danger, the way a mom might say "I could have killed you" when a kid runs in front of the riding mower or something. I don't think we have the information to say this was a threat.
 
spencewine said:

I think regardless if she was or was not breaking any laws, threatening to kill someone with their car would be illegal and outright uncalled for, especially when coming from a police officer
 

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