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Ex-Officers Burke, Taliaferro Want 2-Year Deadline On Police Abuse Probes

By Ted Cox | June 23, 2016 11:55am | Updated on June 24, 2016 11:26am
 Ald. Edward Burke leaves the floor at Wednesday's City Council meeting.
Ald. Edward Burke leaves the floor at Wednesday's City Council meeting.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

CITY HALL — Two former Chicago Police officers in the City Council moved Wednesday to set a two-year deadline for a police review board to complete investigations of police misconduct.

Aldermen Edward Burke (14th) and Christopher Taliaferro (29th) submitted a proposed ordinance at Wednesday's Council meeting that would call on the Independent Police Review Authority to complete all investigations within two years.

"Allegations of misconduct must be investigated promptly," Burke said.

Reporters at a recent IPRA news conference where police videos were released were surprised to find that an apparently clear-cut police shooting in a 2012 Little Village burglary was still under investigation.

At the time, Sharon Fairley, IPRA's chief administrator, said she could not explain the delay in processing the case, which went back to before she assumed the office late last year.

According to Burke, the two-year deadline to complete police probes was recommended by a group led by former Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Safer in a report prepared for the city called "Preventing and Disciplining Police Misconduct."

The ordinance would also set a five-year statute of limitations on cases that could result in an officer being fired or suspended longer than 30 days. The aldermen cited a recent Illinois Appellate Court ruling stating that charges filed by the Chicago police superintendent against an officer six years after the incident constituted an "unreasonable length of time."

"It is only fair that if charges are going to be placed against officers that the potential for investigation should not hang over them like a Damocles forever and without limit," Burke said.

Fairley's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The proposed ordinance was assigned to the Committee on Public Safety.

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