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  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

Discredited by Their Own: An In-depth Look at Chicago Police Department's 'Brady List'

Written by: Sam Orlando

CHICAGO — In a striking revelation, documents obtained by The TRiiBE, a digital media platform reshaping the narrative of Black Chicago, have unveiled the complete extent of a list of hundreds of current and former Chicago police officers prohibited from testifying in court due to histories of misconduct or dishonesty. The Brady list, as it is known, unearths serious questions about the integrity and reliability of the Chicago Police Department's (CPD) law enforcement operations.

The TRiiBE, known for its dedicated work in journalism and documentary, gives a voice to the Black community, shedding light on multifaceted experiences, and, in this case, the truth behind the CPD's operations. Through their recent findings, the platform aims to prompt necessary dialogues about justice and accountability within the law enforcement framework.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO) maintains the Brady and 'Do Not Call' lists, which include names of officers deemed unreliable in court. The TRiiBE's findings reveal that these lists are far more extensive than previously reported, casting a shadow on the credibility of a significant number of active and former officers.

Among the startling revelations are the cases of Karol Chwiesiuk, a participant in the January 6 Capitol riot, and John Catanzara, the current president of the Fraternal Order of Police, both of whom appear on the recently updated lists. These findings underscore the far-reaching implications of the misconduct and untruthfulness rampant within the CPD.

Unsettling instances of documented misconduct extend to active-duty officers like Marc Jarocki, a veteran officer with over two decades of service, who has been the subject of 31 civilian complaints, including allegations of excessive force, illegal searches, and false arrests.

The comprehensive 'Brady list' and the corresponding 'Do Not Call' list contain 275 names, 200 of whom are or were CPD members. Alarmingly, 64 officers on these lists are still employed, potentially active in community policing or supervising ongoing investigations, drawing annual salaries totaling nearly $7.5 million.

The TRiiBE's uncovering of these lists not only exposes the breadth of documented misconduct within the CPD but also reveals systemic shortcomings in dealing with such misconduct. Evidence suggests that the problem of false reports and untruthfulness extends far beyond the nearly 200 officers identified in the past 11 years for violating the CPD's Rule 14, which explicitly forbids false reporting.

In response to these revelations, legal and civil rights experts are calling for transparency and reform. Accused individuals' due process rights are at risk when officers with histories of dishonesty or misconduct are involved in their cases. Recommendations for reforms include making the 'Brady' and 'Do Not Call' lists publicly available, requiring longer, more detailed affidavits for search warrants, and obliging prosecutors to review body-worn camera and dashcam footage before charging suspects.

Through their relentless pursuit of truth and liberation, The TRiiBE's breaking news unveils the deep-seated issues of misconduct and dishonesty within the CPD. With these revelations, the Chicago public now has a clearer picture of the credibility issues plaguing the department. In the upcoming weeks, demands for accountability, transparency, and reform are likely to escalate as the city grapples with the implications of these startling revelations.

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