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McCarthy Defends Police Department’s Steps To Prevent False Confessions

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Police Supt. Garry McCarthy

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy (Credit: CBS)

dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Wednesday he wants to set the record straight, following a “60 Minutes” report about suspects who were pressured to confess to crimes they didn’t commit.

On Sunday, a “60 Minutes” segment titled “The False Confession Capital” revealed the U.S. Justice Department is investigating the Chicago Police Department’s interrogation practices.

On Wednesday, McCarthy said it stings to hear Chicago described as the false confession capital of the nation. He doesn’t deny Chicago’s had too many cases of false confessions leading to wrongful convictions, but he said most of them happened several years ago, and he said plenty has been done to solve the problem.

“This thing of the way the department is being presented publicly is not necessarily something that I can address, but what I can do is talk about what we’re doing to prevent re-occurrences moving forward,” he said. “Nobody’s asked us – to date – what we’re doing to address these issues within the department; not one person.”

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports

For instance, he noted the state has required videotaping of all homicide interrogations and confessions for years, to document whether proper procedures were followed.

“You know, there’s been so many other things; upgrading supervision in the department, better training for our detectives, and looking at the methods that we’re doing lineups, for instance,” he said.

McCarthy said all police procedures are under review, even now.

“We’ve got nine separate committees that are working on revamping everything that we do,” McCarthy said.

Sweeping actions are anticipated.

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