The Illinois Freedom of Information Act mandates state government agencies like the Chicago Police Department to provide the public with access to public records.
“Such access is necessary to enable the people to fulfill their duties of discussing public issues fully and freely, making informed political judgments and monitoring government to ensure that it is being conducted in the public interest,” reads the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
But the Illinois FOIA—like other public records laws—is broken. Oftentimes, gaining access to records that should never have been secret in the first place requires lawsuits. And even when agencies lie and fail to comply, there are no real consequences for the agency.
Lucy Parsons Labs is maintaining a running list of instances in which the Chicago Police Department has violated its mandate under FOIA. This could include:
We’ll be compiling instances in which CPD hasn’t filed the law in responding to requests by Lucy Parsons Labs. But we’re also taking submissions—send us your CPD FOIA violations, big and small!
You can send your CPD FOIA violations to info [@] lucyparsonslabs [dot] com. Please include links to the request and any disclosed documents, such as a link to the request on MuckRock, and the status/outcome of the FOIA violation. If the case is unresovled, or you’re looking for legal assistance or second opinions on how to get the records, please note that too!