Chicago’s New Top Cop Tied To Federal Probe In Newark, N.J.

UPDATED: 5/9/2011 3:10 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Federal authorities are investigating the police department in Newark, New Jersey, after the state’s American Civil Liberties Union complained of rampant misconduct and lax internal oversight.

Since 2006, that department has been led by Police Director Garry McCarthy. Last week, McCarthy announced that he’s leaving to take over as Chicago’s police superintendent.

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In September, the ACLU called for federal oversight of the city’s 1,300-officer department. The ACLU found more than 400 complaints over a 2 1/2 year period, with most in the internal affairs division. Of the 261 complaints in that division, only one complaint was found credible, which raises a red-flag for the ACLU.

“There were things that could have been done by then-Director McCarthy, said the ACLU’s Alex Shalom. “But I do want to stress it’s not something he could have solved on his own.”

The problems go back 50 years and the department is in need of major systematic reform, Shalom said.

At a news conference in Newark, McCarthy stood stoically as federal prosecutors spoke of serious allegations of misconduct.

The Justice Department will be look at “whether officers have engaged in excessive force, unlawful traffic stops, searches, arrests or discriminatory policing,” said U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.

In a statement, mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel sought to firewall is top cop from any blame.

“Before McCarthy’s tenure at the Newark Police Department, there were questions about complaints from the public.” Emanuel said. “As a result, McCarthy instituted aggressive and successful reforms.”

McCarthy said he took action to reverse the generations of problems within the department.

“This is the beginning of the end of this debate,” McCarthy said. “I believe the reforms we put in place will hold up to scrutiny and become the best practices all across the United States.”

Instances of misconduct included officers breaking a man’s jaw and eye socket during an arrest and seven deaths attributed to Newark officers. The deaths included shootings or ignoring urgent health complaints, the ACLU said.

The ACLU petition also said the city had paid $4.8 million over 2 1/2 years to settle 38 cases brought against police by residents or department employees, with at least three dozen lawsuits pending.

  • Bob

    lol, wow! Already Chicago has inherited yet ANOTHER corrupt city official to take another office and/or position of authority. As if the CPD doesn’t already have enough problems.

    • Native Chicagoan

      The ACLU is full of “attorneys,” and attorneys twist and create innuendo and basically squeeze the life out of the facts to make a buck for ACLU. Word gets around if up to 4 million, otherwise known as big bucks, was dished out by Newark. That of course would in itself increase the filings by opportunists looking to case in on making themselves a victim through fabrication. I don’t doubt there often are times when a cop needs to hit someone due to that person’s stupidness, it is not the cops fault a weak jaw was damaged. I suppose the cops could offer to paint the guys toenails to calm him down but bottled nail polish does not fit easily onto the cops belts or pockets. Yes, problems in cities go back 50 years and yes, I’m sure improvements have been made since 1960. I just wish the cops would stop arresting people for petty things and go after the big criminals. The ones that are the framework, the supportive beams of the criminal activity. Not the silly pot smokers and the brain addled herion addicts who’s lives are very sad and challenged already.

    • ChicagoCitizen

      @Bob, your pretty quick to condemn the police. Don’t forget, the ACLU is the complaining party. The ACLU is probably the least credible organization in the US. All they do is try to help the criminal element. My guess is that most of the complaintants are criminals that hate the police and deserved whatever they got. It’s the same here in Chicago.

  • Pothead

    The wheel goes round and round ……………Where are you ITISWHATITIS ?

    • Joan John

      Dat Da Chicago Way !

      • Don Keith


      • Don Keith



      Currently sitting on the river bank drowning worms and drinking a few cold ones. I’ll sound off on this fiasco a little later when I run out of worms and beer.

      • Pothead


  • Gina Pocan

    They need to kill this idea before it gets started. They need to go find some other criminal who isn’t as well known as this one, lol

  • srdib

    business as usual. is pretty amazing that there is no one qualified insde the chicago police dept. that should speak volumes about the department.


    Your all crazy… Read the flippin’ story and make some sense of it before commenting… We are talking about the ACLU who made the complaints and thats all they do… Helping people win the ghetto lottery and they take a share… And to the lame who does not know how to spell the rank and file is quite happy with the new top cop…

    • ChicagoCitizen

      Excellent comment, Losers. My point exactly.

  • srdib

    hmmmm, sounds like LOSERS is losing it. hope he/she is not on the PO lice dept.

  • Chivi

    Another Burke!! That’s all we need!! Rahm Rahm Rahm!!! You should’ve shown us your list before we elected you!!


    What’s the big deal people? It’s not like Chicago isn’t used to Federal Probes! They are a daily occurrence in this cesspool. I do think the all of the ACLU Liberals need to be sent to Cuba in the next 24 hours so they can protect and take proper care of the Muslim Terrorists there, as they seem so bent on proving our inhuman and unjust treatment of them. Just because the ACLU turds are involved in Newark’s probe,that doesn’t mean they will get involved in the new guys probe when he comes here to Chi Town. Rahmmy and Obammy will get Uncle Holder not to prosecute and the wheel will continue to go round, and round, and round.

  • Antonio


    Remind this the same ACLU who is representing an American born white terrorist who is on the drone kill list??? The same terrorist who stated he hated America and all it stood for and whose father with the ACLU are suing to get his name off the drone kill list because he was born American…HMMMM


      Antonio,If it’s not the turds from, ACLU, but it smells like them, it is probably a new offshoot group that just hates how bad America and it’s infidel citizens are behaving. The chances are pretty good it’s THE original and only,ACLU.Who else could possibly have their heads so far up their ass they forget why we are the land of the free?

  • ucity88

    Seriously? C’mon Rahm…can’t you find someone to hire who isn’t under investigation or litigation? *SIGH*

    • LOSERS

      He was head of the department that is under investigation you lame-o


      That would mean they would have to be anything other than a Liberal Democrat or a Republican named Ryan,and that will never happen in Chicago,or Cook County. It was the great Rahm that said to never let a good crisis go to waste. He’s just about to start his first official Chicago crisis. And the wheel goes round and round.

  • McCarthy Takes Over As Acting Police Superintendent « CBS Chicago

    […] But there were also revelations this month that federal authorities were probing the Newark Police D…, after the state’s American Civil Liberties Union complained of rampant misconduct and lax internal oversight. […]

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