This week, police in Chicago stopped responding immediately to 911 calls that don’t involve a criminal still on the scene or a victim in imminent danger. Limited resources, though, aren’t stopping the police union from demanding a 12 percent pay raise and a $3,000 bonus for being required to live in the city of Chicago. These demands come even as the city prepares to approve a $4.1 million settlement for the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by one of Chicago’s finest. From the Chicago Tribune:
A video of the incident shows Officer Gildardo Sierra firing three shots into Flint Farmer's back as the South Side man lay bleeding on a parkway early on June 7, 2011. The incident was the third shooting by Sierra in six months – and the second fatality, records show…
The Police Department ruled Farmer’s shooting justified, but Superintendent Garry McCarthy later told the Tribune that he considered the case “a big problem” and that the officer involved should not have been on the street given his history of shootings.
It’s not the first settlement the city is paying because of its police officers this year:
The proposed settlement comes just a month after aldermen voted to pay a combined $33 million to settle police misconduct cases involving Christina Eilman, a mentally ill woman who wandered out of a South Side police station and into horrific danger six years ago, as well as a victim of notorious police Cmdr. Jon Burge.
Late last year a federal jury found the city of Chicago responsible for the police department’s “code of silence.” No word on how much, if at all, this will affect the police union’s leveraging power in contract negotiations.