When former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot served on the Chicago Police Board, she summarized the city's approach to cops who give false statements: "You lie, you die." But, despite the rule setting dismissal as the appropriate discipline for false statements, at least 110 Chicago police officers kept their jobs after getting caught lying, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The city's inspector general found that the regulation isn’t being consistently enforced, undermining the department’s integrity. “By employing members with histories of Rule 14 violations, CPD risks undermining its core law enforcement function by potentially compromising otherwise successful criminal convictions, eroding public trust and violating its constitutional and legal obligations,” the office said in a report.
Some of the rule-breakers were assigned to specialized units, like an FBI task force. Others worked as detectives and were promoted even after being found to have lied or made a material omission, according to the report. The inspector general’s office called for stricter enforcement of the rule, criticizing “structural failures” in the city’s police accountability system and gaps in policies and practices that “contribute to underenforcement of Rule 14.” The office recommended that the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and the police internal affairs bureau should routinely recommend firing for such violations, that the police department should “consistently separate” members who have violated the rule and that the police board should uphold any firings. The Cook County state’s attorney’s office keeps lists of officers who are barred from testifying in court because they’ve committed misconduct that calls into question their credibility, including having made false statements. Earlier this week, the Triibe reported that 200 current and former Chicago cops are on those lists. But the police department’s general counsel told the inspector general that the department doesn’t keep track of the records that are handed over in response to prosecutors’ requests for employees’ disciplinary records. That means the police department can’t “confirm or verify that the department has met its obligations to inform [prosecutors] or any other requestor about a member’s Rule 14 history,” the inspector general’s office said.