From the Chicago Tribune:
This is Illinois, where the state-imposed ethical standards for a cosmetologist are far higher than those for a cop.
A Tribune investigation found that police departments are largely left to police their own in what can be a Wild West of ethical lapses — unlike the high standards of some other states, or even the higher standards Illinois imposes on other professions. And that reality allows Illinois officers with questionable pasts to remain in what is supposed to be among the most trusted professions….
The Tribune reported Sunday on the south suburb becoming arguably the most lawless place in the area, with chronically high violent crime rates and few arrests, and about the people who suffer as a result.
In the latest investigation, the newspaper has found that state law allowed the department to keep officers whose work records are full of allegations of wrongdoing — incidents that could have gotten them disciplined by the state if they were accountants, physical therapists or dental hygienists.
In one example, a special state panel gave a bravery award to a Harvey officer two months after he was accused of slamming a pregnant teen to the ground so severely that she miscarried. A Cook County juvenile judge later found that the officer’s explanation of what happened with the teen was not credible, according to court records. That didn’t trigger a state review.
As for the officer who shot the teen and allowed the dump, he rose to become a veteran detective in Harvey, entrusted with investigating some of the worst crimes in one of the area’s most violent communities. His bosses later disciplined him for mishandling cases, but he kept his badge.
Overseeing the detective at one point was a commander previously fired for misconduct, then rehired, only to be pushed out again after a judge forced him to reveal tattoos that suggested ties to a violent gang.