Former Chicago Police Commander, Lorenzo Davis, said that he was fired from his job as a supervising investigator at Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) after he determined that several officers involved in civilian shootings were unjustified, and he refused to change the status of his reports.
WBEZ reported that 65-year-old Davis was terminated less than two weeks after top IPRA officials accused him of “a clear bias against the police” and claimed that he was “the only supervisor at IPRA who resists making requested changes as directed by management in order to reflect the correct finding with respect to OIS,” or officer-involved shootings.
Davis told WBEZ that he worked as a police commander for 23 years, before retiring in 2004, because he didn’t like the direction the police department was going. “It appeared that officers were doing whatever they wanted to do,” Davis said. “The discipline was no longer there.”
Davis said he was then hired to work as an investigator for IPRA in 2008 and for the majority of his tenure, he was praised as an “effective leader” and “excellent team player,” before his final evaluation stated that he is “clearly not a team player.”
“Things began to turn sour, I would say, within the last year,” said Davis, who explained that while his management has no objections when his reports suggested exonerating officers, they did try to step in when he produced reports in six cases that ruled the officer-involved shootings “unjustified.”
“They have shot people dead when they did not have to shoot,” Davis said. “They were not in reasonable fear for their lives. The evidence shows that the officer knew, or should have known, that the person who they shot was not armed or did not pose a threat to them or could have been apprehended by means short of deadly force.”
Fox 32 noted that since it was created in 2007, “IPRA has handled nearly 400 officer involved shootings, and in every case but one, the officers were found to be justified in shooting someone.” Davis told the Chicago affiliate that he believes IPRA has lost both its independence and the public’s trust.
“With hundreds of cases, the citizens know some of those shootings were not justified,” Davis said. “If the public has no trust in police officers, many of the loved ones of those shot or killed by a police officers say that the police are no better than the gang bangers who are shooting and killing people.”