Following FOP President Dean Angelo’s appearance on Monday, “Chicago Tonight” received letters of response from Lori Lightfoot, president of the Chicago Police Board and chairwoman of the Police Accountability Task Force, and Edwin Yohnka, director of communications and public policy for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.
“He repeated his specious comments that the PATF and its report are biased. But here again, the facts tell a different story and the report contains several provisions that are intended to improve the day to day life of Chicago Police officers,” Lightfoot’s letter states.
“It is hard to fathom that Mr. Angelo maintains his reflexive, uninformed position when it is obviously belied by the facts. Does he really believe that a better trained, better prepared and more professional police force will not inure to the benefit of his members?
“I encourage all members of the Department to read the entire report and take their own measure of the findings and recommendations,” the statement continues. “The substantial numbers of current and retired officers who have reached out and thanked me and the other members of the PATF for taking on the hard truths and sacred cows, and putting together blueprint for change can't all be wrong.”
In his letter, Yohnka says that Angelo misrepresented the work of the ACLU, including Angelo's claims about the forms that police officers must fill out when making street stops.
“Angelo also said that the City lets the ACLU ‘write the stop form’ that has been at the center of discussion regarding the drop in street stops in the City. We didn't write the form. We would have been satisfied with a shorter form, like the one in New York,” Yohnka’s letter said. "The City decided to collect information beyond the scope of our agreement, not us. Again, I think that it leaves a false impression to suggest that his complaint is with this form.
“The FOP has opposed every form. You can go back to the early 2000s when the City first began using contact cards and see the same sorts of complaints from the FOP,” the letter continues. “It is not the form; they simply do not like any kind of oversight.”
Related stories from “Chicago Tonight”
April 25: Changes are coming to the Chicago Police Department. But are the rank and file on board? We talk with the head of Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police.
April 21: The police superintendent and mayor announce big changes to Chicago Police Department practices and oversight. But did the much maligned Independent Police Review Authority make the cut?
April 14: Mayor Emanuel's Police Accountability Task Force has issued a sobering assessment of the Chicago Police Department. We talk about the findings and recommendations with task force and community members during this special edition of "Chicago Tonight."
April 13: “The community's lack of trust in the Chicago police department is justified.” That's a direct quote from the scathing report released Wednesday afternoon by the Police Accountability Task Force.
April 13: The Police Accountability Task Force released its report Wednesday on the Chicago Police Department, saying the CPD is broken and has a “history of racial disparity and discrimination.” Will the City Council move to abolish IPRA? We get mayoral and aldermanic reaction to the task force report.