WHO'S KIDDING WHO? 02/14/08
The Chicago Police Department has decided that the ability to defend itself from lawsuits is more important than the safety of our communities. The Department issued a revision to General Order 02-03 in which it amended the order to state, “Every person arrested without a warrant…will appear in court, without unnecessary delay. Under no circumstances, will such a person appear in court any later than 48 hour from the time of arrest.” The order goes on to state that the revision is a “continuing commitment to comply fully with the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court.”
That statement is patently false. The City has either misinterpreted the law, or even worse, is simply attempting to deceive its members with this order. The Supreme Court never said that an arrestee must appear before a judge within 48 hours of arrest. The law requires that an arrestee appear before a judge within a reasonable time. The Supreme Court stated years ago, and the law remains unchanged, that if an arrestee does not receive a probable cause hearing within 48 hours, then the burden of proof shifts to the government to demonstrate the existence of a bona fide emergency or other extraordinary circumstance. There are many, many examples of cases that have gone to court and survived various motions despite the fact that the detention exceeded 48 hours. The courts understand that a detention in excess of 48 hours may be permissible based on the circumstances surrounding the detention. The Chicago Police Department does not get it.
The genesis of the original G.O. came after an Illinois Appellate Court case, People v. Willis, 2002. In that case, the Illinois Appellate Court held that the exclusionary rule applied to a statement garnered after 48 hours. This case has been reversed. The Illinois Supreme Court subsequently ruled that the Court needs to consider the totality of circumstances surrounding the prolonged detention. A detention beyond 48 hours does not automatically invalidate an arrest, as the City has interpreted.
It is a sad day when a community’s interests are sacrificed by its own police department. The Chicago Police Department can implement a stricter standard to the arrest procedures if it so chooses. However, when it points the finger at the Supreme Court and blames the Court for creating the policy when in fact it was the Department’s own decision to implement the policy; the Lodge believes that the truth must be exposed. The Lodge will not allow the Chicago Police Department to hide behind the court in this case. The decision to implement the order is squarely on the Department and the motivation behind the decision $tinks.
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