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Proviso Probe

Sunday, December 11, 2005

PO-PO, Qs for Sturino on police brutality [FP]

Michael J. Sturino, Forest Park Village Administrator, wrote to me (Carl Nyberg) in response to my letter raising the possibility of a federal investigation of police brutality:
Your letter references a matter that is currently pending before the Village of Forest Park Police and Fire Commission, as well as a matter that constitutes "pending litigation." The Village of Forest Park does not comment on such matters to protect the interests of the parties and out of respect for the legal process.

Please be assured that all claims of misconduct are investigated. Thank you for your interest in this matter.

OK. I wrote the following letter to Commissioner Patrick Doolin:
Dear Commissioner Doolin,

I have received Michael J. Sturino's letter dated December 8, 2005. He basically told me he wouldn't respond to my concerns about decisions made by village leadership regarding the police department.

I request you ask Village Administrator Sturino some questions on my behalf. I am concerned that Sturino and others have put have put the village on a path that will bring the community shame and cost the village (taxpayers) millions in legal fees and settlements.

A. Insurance
1. Has Forest Park changed insurers more frequently than it would have otherwise because of police brutality settlements?
2. Who is Forest Park's insurance broker? Is some politically connected individual profiting from Forest Park's failure to address its police brutality problem?
B. Legal advice
1. To what extent has the village attorney participated in decisions about the four alleged incidents of police brutality reported by Sgt. Dan Harder?
2. To what extent has the village attorney participated in decisions about Forest Park's legal strategy in disciplining Harder?
3. If the lawyer wasn't involved in crafting Forest Park's legal strategies from the beginning, why wasn't he? Isn't this exactly why the village retains a lawyer?
4. Doe the attorney concur with the legal strategies being implemented? If the attorney did not concur with the legal strategy, was this information conveyed to all commissioners in a timely manner?
5. Has the attorney made recommendations in writing? What is the date on these recommendations?
6. If the attorney refuses to make recommendations in writing, should the citizens be concerned that the attorney believes Forest Park is pursuing a foolish legal strategy and that he doesn't want to be held accountable for the folly in the future (but he wants to continue to be paid for hanging around)?
C. "Misconduct"
1. How does Forest Park define "claim of misconduct"? What does it take to trigger an investigation of brutality or abuse by a police officer?
2. Are these policies in writing?
3. Who is responsible for enforcing them?
4. Have they been consistently enforced?
D. Investigation
1. What constitutes a proper investigation of police misconduct?
2. What makes it necessary to use an outside investigator? Are these policies in writing?
3. In the four incidents reported by Harder, were investigations conducted? When? By whom? How long were the written reports submitted b the investigating officers?

Thank you for assistance in this matter.


Carl Nyberg

cc: Michael Sturino
Seth Stern


  • Sturino has run into some bad luck on this matter.

    I'm researching a story in another community for which I'm interviewing numerous people that have been beaten up by police.

    Talking to survivors of police brutality really crystalizes that cops who do this stuff are predators who deserve no special exceptions.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 2:04 PM, December 11, 2005  

  • Why aren't they removed from the force? Why all the cover-ups?

    By Anonymous sickntired, at 11:41 AM, April 28, 2006  

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