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Reporter Demands Info on Chicago Cops

CHICAGO (CN) - A reporter demands that Chicago deliver "three types of public records:" the mayor's appointment schedule; the Police Department's electronic records on "the incidence and nature of homicides and homicide investigations in the City;" and the "final report or assessment of the Chicago Police Department which the City has publicly acknowledged not only exists, but has had a direct effect on public policy in shaping Chicago Police Department administrative operations."

Plaintiff Michael "Mick" Dumke says he has reported for the Chicago Reader and other media. He says the city denied his FOIA request for all three types of documents. He sued in Cook County Court, under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

The city denied his request for homicide information by claiming "that the information contains highly personal information about victims and perpetrators of crimes," Dumke says. But Dumke claims the Chicago Police "publicize" much of the information he seeks on its "ClearPath" website for a brief period after each crime. And he says homicide victims no longer have any personal privacy interest, and the public interest in homicide arrestees outweighs any privacy issues the arrested people may have.

Dumke says that after the final report or assessment of the Chicago Police was completed, Mayor Richard Daley assigned 130 more officers to the street. The study was done by the consulting firms McKinsey & Co., and A.T. Kearney, with pro bono assistance from the Civic Consulting Alliance. The public interest in the report, Dumke says, is obvious.

Dumke wants to see the documents, and he wants his costs reimbursed. He is represented by John Elson with the Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern University's Law School.

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