Rockford, IL Police Chief Daniel G. O’Shea Must Be Fired

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Police Chief Daniel G. O'Shea of Rockford, IL made a public statement in a press conference stating that at risk youth in the 16 to 17 year old age range are a lost cause and undeserving of the life and path changing relationships that build trust with law enforcement and ultimately encourage non violent behavior.

He specifically states, "juvies, the 16 and 17 year old's that are running around shooting each other, we're not wasting our time trying to save them. They're lost." He went on to say, in the now viral video, "17 year olds that go around committing murders and shooting at people, I, sorry, off to prison you go. I got nothing for ya."

Rockford PD is widely known in the community for racial profiling, using excessive force and harsh policing of primarily black and brown areas of Rockford, IL. There is no sect of any population that should be treated this way and then counted as a lost cause by the Chief of Police who took an oath to protect and serve the ENTIRE community.

A primary role of the Police Chief is to manage police departments, which includes hiring, assessing, training, disciplining and firing of officers. A police chief who disregards an entire sect of the youth of our city as a lost cause should NOT be in the position to implement these views and practices on the officers who are in direct contact with this community.

Police Chief Daniel G. O'Shea administers the adherence to and should abide by the ROCKFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT GENERAL ORDER - NUMBER: 1.18 - TITLE: BIASED FREE POLICING

In this order the policy and purpose are listed as follows:

POLICY: It is the policy of the Rockford Police Department to respect the civil rights of all persons and to prohibit and prevent any form of discrimination by employees of this Department when any action taken on behalf of or by any employee of this Department is motivated by race, color, ethnicity, age, gender, national origin, religion, economic status, cultural group, sexual orientation or any other identifiable group. Specifically, employees of the Rockford Police Department will not engage in any activities that are discriminatory or indicative of a practice of biased based/racial profiling.

It is biased policing if an officer’s decisions/actions are based on the fact that the individual’s demographics (e.g. race, income) are different from the demographics of the majority of the residents in the area in which the individual is found.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Order is to ensure that a person’s race, color, ethnicity, age, gender, national origin, religion, economic status, cultural group, sexual orientation or any other identifiable grouping, shall not be the sole basis for any stop, detention, search, arrest or other disparate treatment by any employee of the Rockford Police Department.

In this document a discriminatory practice is defined as follows:

Discriminatory Practice: To take action based on partiality or prejudice; to take actions on the basis of class or category without regard to individual merit or to show preference or prejudice.

Dan O'Shea's statements reflect the exact bias and discriminatory practices that are prohibited within the Rockford police department. 

For this cause,

We, the people, demand Police Chief Daniel G. O'Shea's dismissal.

We, the people, demand the individual who assumes Daniel O'Shea's position possess a personal and public philosophy of building rapport with the community, especially the youth of all creeds and colors including the black and brown youth of Rockford, IL.

We, the people, demand the Rockford Police Department and all governing bodies of the city of Rockford publicly present their plans to repair the relationship, build rapport and build trust between the police and the people, especially the black and brown youth of Rockford, IL.

If we do not receive our demands, we will demand the resignation of the Police Chief's superior, Mayor Tom McNamara.

These are the kinds of preventative measures we must take and our local government must take to prevent further abuse at the hands of police and ultimately another black or brown, man, woman, trans, gender neutral, non-conforming, adult or child Hashtag. 

 

 

FORMAL COMPLAINT:

Dear Mr. Linnabary:

I. The Fire and Police Commission of the city of Rockford, Il has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to IL LAW 65 ILCS 5/10-2.1-17 CHAPTER 24, PAR. 10-2.1-17, which provides the Fire and Police Commission with jurisdiction over the removal, discharge or investigation into charges against the appointed Chief of Police as the appointing authority. 
II.  In a press conference on May 18, 2020 regarding the rise in crime amidst the Covid-19 shut down and stay-at-home orders, Chief Daniel G. O’Shea was asked by members of the local press if there was “anything in works” in reference to education and prevention programs to address the issue of violent crime. 
Chief O’Shea’s response was as follows: "juvies, the 16- and 17-year old's that are running around shooting each other, we're not wasting our time trying to save them. They're lost." He went on to say, "17-year olds that go around committing murders and shooting at people, I, sorry, off to prison you go. I got nothing for ya." 

Police Chief Daniel G. O’Shea violated The Rockford Police Department’s Policy Against Biased Policing with the aforementioned statements.

The policy and purpose of the Policy Against Biased Policing are listed as follows:

POLICY: It is the policy of the Rockford Police Department to respect the civil rights of all persons and to prohibit and prevent any form of discrimination by employees of this Department when any action taken on behalf of or by any employee of this Department is motivated by race, color, ethnicity, age, gender, national origin, religion, economic status, cultural group, sexual orientation or any other identifiable group. 

Specifically, employees of the Rockford Police Department will not engage in any activities that are discriminatory or indicative of a practice of biased based/racial profiling.

It is biased policing if an officer’s decisions/actions are based on the fact that the individual’s demographics (e.g. race, income) are different from the demographics of the majority of the residents in the area in which the individual is found.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Order is to ensure that a person’s race, color, ethnicity, age, gender, national origin, religion, economic status, cultural group, sexual orientation or any other identifiable grouping, shall not be the sole basis for any stop, detention, search, arrest or other disparate treatment by any employee of the Rockford Police Department.

In this document a discriminatory practice is defined as follows:

Discriminatory Practice: To take action based on partiality or prejudice; to take actions on the basis of class or category without regard to individual merit or to show preference or prejudice. 

When Chief O’Shea offered to give clarity to the public on the statements made on May 18th, he stated that his statements were misconstrued, but at the exact same time he stated he would not have reworded it, he will not apologize and he meant what he said. He has refused to acknowledge the bias and the harm his bias has caused. 

III.  We, the people, are filing a formal complaint with you, the appointing authority, based on the above claim of the violation of the Chief’s own Policy Against Biased Policing for the following reasons:

We, the people, believe there is no group of citizens in the City of Rockford that should be viewed and communicated as disposable. 

Chief O’Shea has expressed an inherent bias that has completely changed the landscape of how all individuals in the City of Rockford view and can view this particular group of citizens. His words, as the once trusted leader of policing in this city, impact the views of this particular group among his colleagues, his subordinates, his supporters, the victims of the statement and the organizations and individuals that are tirelessly working with this particular group of citizens to give them alternative outlooks on life and outlets of expression. 

As the captain of the culture of policing in this city, officers can hear these statements, and decide for themselves that particular citizens are a waste of time, thus preventing them from operating from an unbiased place as required by the above policy. 

Citizens who agree with Chief O’Shea and his statements are more likely to report suspected criminal activity with that same bias. 

As children, much of self-worth comes from a place of outside influence, which is the work many organizations, community leaders and individuals are actively pursuing to build the self-worth of those that otherwise would be cast away as a waste of time. 

These statements are a direct threat to that work. These statements are dangerous to the perception of youth who could be profiled as violent without due process. 

The programs implemented under the administration to build trust with the youth of this community have been unraveled with a few words; “they are a waste of time.”

Elected Mayor, Tom McNamara stated during a press conference on June 4, 2020 “I don’t agree with Chief O’Shea’s comments. Every single person who calls Rockford home is valuable. Every single person who calls Rockford home is worth fighting for.” 

Local Democratic Caucus members and City of Rockford Aldermen have expressed that Chief O’Shea must be held accountable for his words.

If there is any sector of the population Chief O’Shea is responsible for and accountable to, that he considers or has considered within his tenure as Chief of Police as a ‘waste of time,’ he is no longer qualified to facilitate the culture of policing of the people of Rockford.

All officers must be held accountable for their actions and their words. The Chief of Police cannot escape the same level of accountability. 

IV.  The enumerated policy violations support the demand of  We the people that the Fire and Police Commission conduct a probable cause hearing into Chief Daniel O’Shea’s violation of the Policy Against Biased Policing resulting in a decision to dismiss Chief Dan O’Shea from the position of Police Chief of the City of Rockford, Illinois on the grounds of his inability to acknowledge and correct the bias in his May 18, 2020 statements.

 

Sincerely,

 


We the People