In March, the state's attorney for Cook County, Anita Alvarez, was defeated in the Democratic primary and won't stand for reelection in November. One of the reasons she was ousted is her perceived allegiance to the Chicago Police Department at the expense of the rule of law. An extreme example of this involved CPD Officer Richard Fiorito, who was accused of fabricating dozens of DUI charges while on the force.
During a 17-month span in 2007 and 2008, Fiorito was making driving under the influence arrests at the rate of almost one per day. He even earned a “top cop” award from MADD and another anti-drunk driving coalition.
Here's the problem: Fiorito had a habit of pulling people over on suspicion of DUI and administering sobriety tests – and then charge the drivers with DUI whether or not they failed the tests. In some instances, Fiorito even made up details about the suspects' alleged drunk driving. One case involved Fiorito slapping James Dean, Jr. with a DUI - after Dean had followed the officer's orders and moved his car to another parking space in an impound lot.
After dashcam footage from a different DUI case revealed that Fiorito had lied, he was put on desk duty in 2009 and eventually forced to resign two years later. In the end, Fiorito stood accused of fabricating 40 DUI arrests; and more than 90 other DUI cases had to be dismissed because of Fiorito's involvement.
And after all this, Alvarez declined to bring any charges against Fiorito, even saying at one point that the 40 witnesses who accused Fiorito of wrongdoing had “severe credibility issues.”
As the events in Chicago illustrate, the voting public will not tolerate corruption and obfuscation in its law enforcement community and judicial process. What's sad is that this behavior went on for so long.