Report on Investigations of Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Chicago Police Department Members

Pursuant to Paragraph 444 of the consent decree entered in Illinois v. Chicago, the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Public Safety section is required to “review and analyze” closed sexual misconduct investigations involving complaints “against a [Chicago Police Department (CPD)] member alleging conduct against a non-CPD member.” The consent decree requires OIG to publish an annual report “assessing the quality of sexual misconduct administrative investigations reviewed,” “recommending changes in policies and practices to better prevent, detect, or investigate sexual misconduct,” and “providing aggregate data on the administrative investigations reviewed” by OIG.

Paragraph 444 of the consent decree requires “the City” to provide OIG with the complete administrative file for each complaint of sexual misconduct against a CPD member alleging conduct against a non-CPD member within ten days of a final disciplinary decision. Neither CPD’s Bureau of Internal Affairs (BIA) nor the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) complied with this provision by directly providing investigative files for sexual misconduct investigations to OIG within ten days of their closure in either 2019 or 2020. The Independent Monitoring Team (IMT) overseeing compliance with the consent decree found that BIA and COPA were not in compliance with their obligations under this paragraph in Independent Monitoring Report 3, issued in April 2020. In the interest of complying with its own obligations under the consent decree, OIG has undertaken to identify any cases which are reportable under Paragraph 444 in the course of its regular, ordinance-mandated review of closed disciplinary investigations.

This report contains statistics on and analysis of all of the cases reportable under Paragraph 444 identified by OIG. As further required by Paragraph 444, OIG made a number of recommendations to improve the investigation and reporting of sexual misconduct allegations by both BIA and COPA. OIG recommended that BIA and COPA refer all closed investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct––as defined by Paragraph 444––to OIG within ten days of a final disciplinary decision as required by the consent decree. Recognizing the disparity in the consent decree between the obligation of BIA and COPA to refer cases which have reached a final disciplinary decision and OIG’s obligation to report on all cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, regardless of whether those cases reached a final disciplinary decision, OIG additionally recommended that BIA and COPA refer to OIG any reportable investigations into sexual misconduct which are closed short of reaching findings and which therefore never reach a final disciplinary decision. Further, OIG recommended that BIA and COPA make a standardized designation in their case management systems for all cases which they determine to qualify for reporting under Paragraph 444, in order to facilitate the identification of those cases. Finally, OIG recommended that BIA and COPA document their determinations of whether the alleged sexual misconduct constitutes criminal misconduct, whether to refer the matter for criminal prosecution, and the outcome of each such referral.

In its response, attached at Appendix B, COPA raised the concern that it does not receive automatic notification when the Superintendent accepts COPA’s disciplinary recommendation or when the Police Board issues a final decision, making it difficult to notify OIG within ten days of a final disciplinary decision. COPA committed to working with BIA to create a process to ensure OIG will be notified in such cases. COPA also committed to building a solution into its case management system to ensure sexual misconduct investigations will be categorized consistent with Paragraph 444 and subsequently provided OIG with a list of new case management system category codes specifically related to these classifications. However, COPA declined OIG’s recommendation to refer sexual misconduct investigations that are closed short of a final disciplinary decision.

In its response, attached at Appendix C, BIA also committed to working with COPA to create new and more specific category codes to classify sexual misconduct allegations in its case management system. Further, BIA instructed its relevant constituent members to “identify any files they see as they conduct their review of closed files for processing in Command Channel Review which should be provided to PSIG for review.” CPD did not address OIG’s recommendation that BIA refer cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct that are closed short of findings, though it did detail the efforts BIA has made to identify and refer cases involving sexual misconduct by searching its case management system by certain category codes and keywords.