Cameras in squad cars may help the city of Chicago bring down the cost of settling police abuse cases, said Mayor Richard Daley in response to a reporter's question at the ABA annual meeting.
Recordings from the cameras will allow the city to show that, in some instances, individuals used abusive language toward officers prior to those officers taking allegedly excessive action, said Daley, who addressed the ABA House of Delegates this morning.
“People, unfortunately, they lose their cool far too many times,” he said. “That’s where the problem is.”
Chicago last year spent $58 million settling cases of alleged police abuse. Some of those cases began more than a decade ago, Daley noted. Many are tied to former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge, who last year was indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago for perjury related to alleged torture under his command in the 1980s.
Still, not everything happened long ago. This year a Chicago police officer pleaded guilty to federal charges after the discovery of a 2005 tape showing him beating a man in a wheelchair.
“Like anything else, people have a right to sue because of conduct by an individual that went far beyond the law and became physically abusive,” Daley said.