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Proviso Probe

Monday, December 05, 2005

PO-PO, beating handcuffed human beings [FP]

According to the lawyer at the Criminal Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, it's a big no-no to beat someone who is already handcuffed. It's one of those no-gray-area things.

This means the Village of Forest Park is kinda in a bind vis-a-vis disciplining Sgt. Dan Harder. It looks like village leadership--Mayor Tony Calderone, Administrator Mike Sturino and Police Chief James Ryan--are trying to make jaywalking into a capital offense while ignoring actual big crimes reported by the jaywalker.

In an effort to do Mike Sturino a favor, I delivered a letter to his office today.
Michael Sturino
Forest Park Village Administrator
517 Des Plaines
Forest Park, IL 60130

December 5, 2005

Dear Mike Sturino,

I have read Sgt. Dan Harder’s complaint to the EEOC that has been retaliated against for his role in the sexual harassment suit against the Forest Park Police Department. I find his version of events more persuasive than the Forest Park Police Department’s version of events.

I don’t have any tolerance for police brutality. And to me the police brutality allegations are the nut on which the conflict turns. If Harder’s allegations are lies, Forest Park should be firing him for lying about other police officers. If Harder’s allegations are true, Forest Park looks completely venal firing an honest cop for inconvenient sick days while turning a blind eye to more serious abuses by other officers.

While speaking to a lawyer at the Criminal Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Justice Department today on another matter, I learned that allegations of abuse against a handcuffed individual automatically trigger an investigation. Three of Harder’s allegations involve individuals already handcuffed when abused.

I will wait until December 12, 2005 to make a complaint to the Justice Department. If I am convinced Forest Park is working to investigate the actual misconduct and desisting from harassment of Sgt. Harder, I will not forward Harder’s allegations to the Criminal Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Justice Department. But this needs to be more than sham investigations and a “no harm, no foul” call.

Of course, if Harder is manufacturing allegations of misconduct then Forest Park has nothing to fear from an investigation by the Justice Department.


Carl Nyberg

Cc: Seth Stern, Forest Park Review
Jeanine Stevens

I'm hoping that Sturino is calmer than Calderone and Ryan. Ryan seems irrational about Harder. And the most logical explanation for why Ryan is irrational about Harder is that Calderone helped Ryan become this way.

But if Sturino can't prevail upon Calderone to do the right thing, we can let the Justice Department sort it out.

BTW, I'm having trouble posting comments or even reading the blog.


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