The Mandel Legal Aid Clinic's Police Accountability Project released Wednesday a groundbreaking study of the Chicago Police Department's supervisory and disciplinary practices in its report, "The Chicago Police Department's Broken System." The study, co-authored by Clinical Professor and head of the Project, Craig Futterman, prior Clinical Lecturer Melissa Mather, and recent graduate Melanie Miles ('07), outlines the results of a three-year study into the habitual misconduct of a group of Chicago police officers assigned to Chicago's former south side public housing projects. The study's origins lie in the case of Diane Bond, a fifty year-old resident of Stateway Gardens, one of the former public housing communities located on the south side of Chicago, who was the victim of multiple instances pf physical, verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of the rogue team of officers assigned to the housing project. The Clinic represented Ms. Bond in her litigation against the individual officers and the CPD and in the course of law students' fact investigation the students uncovered the pattern of abuse and sparked the idea for the study.
The study, which has gained attention in local and national print publications, radio and television, not only demonstrates fundamental and systematic failures of the Department to address misconduct of its officers, it also discusses ways in which the study's use of statistical analysis can be used in litigation against police officers who engage in the type of abuse examined in the study.
This type of complex and substantive investigation and scholarship is indicative of the quality of work our students perform as part of their clinical experience. The study will be published in the upcoming Volume 23 of the Civil Rights Litigation and Attorney Fees Annual Handbook.