CHICAGO (CBS) — A scathing report from the Chicago Office of the Inspector General this week accused the Civilian Office of Police Accountability of failing to live up to its job.
The report said COPA is not following policies requiring the release of video and documents to the public within 60 days in police use-of-force incidents.
On Thursday night at a virtual meeting of the Chicago Police Board, COPA fired back, saying they are doing all they can to be transparent.
“I want to assure the public at this moment that COPA has never intentionally withheld release of a mandated transparency material,” Sydney Roberts Civilian Office of Police Accountability. “COPA is transparent.”
The policy says COPA must release within 60 days “videotape and audiotape and certain specified police reports” related to use-of-force incidents that involve officers firing shots, or using Tasers and otherwise using force in a way that causes death or great bodily harm.
COPA is responsible for identifying all use-of-force incidents governed by the policy and releasing the materials accordingly. The Chicago Police Crime Prevention and Information Center is responsible for notifying COPA of such incidents. COPA relies on other agencies, including the Chicago Police Department itself and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications to provide it with video and files.
The Inspector General’s office found failures on multiple levels within all the government units that are involved.