The Latest: Chicago police report dashboard video use is up

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Posted: Jan 06, 2016 5:14 PM
The Latest: Chicago police report dashboard video use is up

CHICAGO (AP) — The latest on scrutiny surrounding Chicago police shootings, including the resignation of a top city attorney after a judge accused him of hiding evidence in a fatal police shooting (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

An effort by Chicago police to ensure videos from dashboard cameras also have audio has resulted in a dramatic increase in video and audio usage.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports (http://bit.ly/1ONxJc8 ) 22 police officers have been disciplined in a one-month period since squad-car dashboard videos at the scene of the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald didn't have audio.

Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says the punishment officers received ranged from a reprimand to a three-day suspension or loss of leave. He says the officers were disciplined for failing to use the cameras properly, including not synchronizing audio, not uploading videos at the end of a shift and not inspecting the cameras to ensure they worked correctly.

The spokesman says as a result of Interim Police Superintendent John Escalante saying all officers are responsible for checking their equipment to make sure it works before every shift, there has been a 75-percent increase in user uploads of video.

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4 p.m.

Services have been held for a Chicago woman who police say was accidentally hit by gunfire intended for a 19-year-old man during a domestic disturbance.

Relatives of Bettie Jones remembered her Wednesday as the glue that held the family together. During the funeral at a West Side church, Jones' family and friends said she died carrying out the commandments to be a good neighbor.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez has asked the FBI to help investigate the Dec. 26 shootings of the 55-year-old Jones and Quintonio LeGrier. The request came amid continuing demonstrations over police shootings, including one in 2014 in which a white officer shot a black teenager 16 times.

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3:30 p.m.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says a federal civil rights investigation of the Chicago police should be expanded to include the city's law department.

Rauner said Wednesday that Mayor Rahm Emanuel showed a "failure of leadership" when he told reporters on Tuesday that such a probe isn't necessary. Emanuel made the comments one day after a federal judge accused a city attorney of hiding evidence in a lawsuit over a deadly shooting by police.

The Republican governor said during a radio interview the position shows the Democratic mayor is "out of touch." He says: "How tone deaf can you be?"

The Department of Justice announced its investigation of the Police Department last year, after the city under court order released squad-car footage of a white officer shooting a black teenager 16 times.

Emanuel's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

The mayor said Tuesday he has confidence in the head of the city's legal department. The office is examining all cases handled by the lawyer, who resigned Monday.

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12:50 p.m.

Chicago's law department is examining more than three dozen open cases handled by a former top attorney who was accused this week by a federal judge of hiding evidence in a fatal police shooting.

Department spokesman Bill McCaffrey says Jordan Marsh was supervising or was the lead attorney on 37 open police misconduct cases on Monday when he quit hours after the judge tossed out a jury's finding in a civil lawsuit. The judge harshly criticized Marsh in a scathing opinion.

McCaffrey says there are no plans to examine closed cases that Marsh worked on since he joined the office in late 1997.

The law department represents the city in lawsuits brought against the Police Department. U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang's opinion dealt with Marsh's work on a lawsuit brought against the city by the family of a black man fatally shot by police in 2011.