CHICAGO (STMW) — The U.S. Supreme Court has shot down a bid by the Chicago Sun-Times to overturn a federal appeals court ruling that found it broke the law when it published the heights and weights of Chicago cops who acted as âfillersâ in a police lineup in the David Koschman case.
The court denied the Sun-Timesâ petition without comment Monday, records show. Sun-Times Publisher Jim Kirk said the paper had no comment.READ MORE: Jensen Elementary Mother Dies From COVID-19 After Daughter Exposed At School
The 7th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in February that physical characteristics of five cops who stood alongside Mayor Richard M. Daleyâs nephew, Richard âR.J.â Vanecko, in a lineup amounted to âprivate informationâ improperly obtained from the officersâ driverâs licenses. That included the officersâ height, weight, eye and hair color, as well as their months and years of birth.
Vanecko pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter last year under a deal that saw him jailed for 60 days. He threw a punch in 2004 that killed the 21-year-old Koschman, but he was indicted only after a series of Sun-Times articles raised questions about whether he got preferential treatment from the police, including the way a 2004 lineup was handled in which the police said witnesses failed to pick him out as Koschmanâs attacker.READ MORE: Woman Struck And Killed When Car Jumps Curb, Hits Building In Gresham
The officers sued the Sun-Times in 2012, saying they were âgravely concerned for their safetyâ after the newspaper on Nov. 21, 2011, published for the first time a photo from the lineup. A story published alongside that photo noted that the five officers picked to stand alongside Vanecko were all larger and heavier than Vanecko, who witnesses said had been the largest man at the scene when Koschman was punched.
The appeals court ruled the paper violated the federal Driverâs Privacy Protection Act when it published the officersâ weights, heights and other identifying details obtained from records held by the Illinois secretary of state.MORE NEWS: Cook County Gives $200,000 Grant To Social Service Agency Lawrence Hall
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2015. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)