CHICAGO (CBS)–City Hall is expected to be brimming with unhappy Chicago Police officers Wednesday who plan to show up for the “Blue Wednesday” protest.
Up to 1,000 unionized officers will show up to voice opposition to what they call a “lack of concern” from the city.
“The members feel as though the city has turned its back on police in many ways,” said Martin Preib, of the Fraternal Order of Police, during an interview with CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley.
The sentiment is prompted, in part, by a lack of progress on a new police contract, the union says. Only two negation sessions have been held during the past 11 months since the former deal expired.
Union president Kevin Graham said the lack of a deal hasn’t affected overall police performance but added the city could be doing more to reach a deal.
“They certainly could be meeting with us more if they wanted to be,” Graham said.
Many officers believe Mayor Rahm Emanuel doesn’t want a deal until after next year’s election, but Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the lack of a deal was not unusual.
“I’ve been a cop for over 30 years, and I can’t ever remember that contract getting settled quickly—ever,” Johnson said.
Police discipline is expected to be a major issue in the contract talks. Some officers are angry about the recent ruling over COPA’s ruling regarding Officer Robert Rialmo that said his shooting of Quintonio LeGrier was unjustified.
“This recent Rialmo ruling—guys are unable to figure out when they can defend themselves, (and) that’s a huge problem, said Pat Murray, union vice president.
The Police Board will decide whether to fire Rialmo.
The Justice Department Report and a local task force found contract provisions make it difficult to hold police officers accountable for misconduct.