Chicago Police Department - Working Video and Audio Recording Required For Criminal and DUI Police Contacts

Posted by Jeffrey A. Fagan | Dec 09, 2015 | 0 Comments


A frequent problem we as Chicago lawyers face in defending clients charged with DUI or other criminal offenses that are initiated by contact with a police officer using a vehicle is that with alarming frequency, Chicago Police Department officers tell the Court there is no video because their squad video recording system was malfunctioning or not operational. Usually there's little to no paper trail to back this claim, despite the existence of written policies that require it, and the Court is left to decide what to believe. Naturally, this complicates the defense of those cases and eliminates important independent evidence.

We at Fagan Fagan & Davis are strong advocates for the use of video with audio in all police vehicles. Very often, these videos reveal important information that can help us develop a powerful defense for our clients. Even when that's not the case, it helps us and our clients objectively evaluate their case. Either way, squad video is helpful.

In response to the recent scandal over the shooting of LaQuan McDonald and other criminal police contacts that have been in the media, Interim Chicago Police Superintendent John Escalante has taken a strong stand on the issue, warning officers that they will face disciplinary action if their dash cams aren't properly functioning, and that includes audio. 

This is good news for both police officers and defendants and we at Fagan Fagan & Davis applaud Interim Superintendent Escalante on taking steps to ensure that everyone gets the benefit of video and audio recordation of police contact.

About the Author

Jeffrey A. Fagan

Jeff graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management.  He earned his law degree from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago Illinois.   Jeff left college before completing his undergraduate degree, spending 11 years in the restaurant business, working his way from bar back to General Manager and becoming the youngest General Manager in that restaurant company's history.  Jeff specialized in turning around restaurants with problems, making them run more efficiently, improving the customer experience, and earning them record profits. Jeff's life changed when he was selected to serve on a Special Grand Jury for 30 days, an experience that few people have enjoyed.  His experience on the Special Grand Jury inspired him to return to college to complete his undergraduate degree with an eye towards attending law school.  Jeff turned down a job offer to become a district manager for a major coffee company and oversee their growth throughout the Midwest to return to school.  After graduating from Columbia, Jeff spent three years working for a Fortune 500 technology company where he was a founding member of their Healthcare division.  Upon gaining acceptance to law school, Jeff left his lucrative career in sales to pursue his passion for the law.  While attending law school, Jeff won two CALI “Excellence for the Future” awards for earning the top grade in Federal Criminal Law and Real Estate Transactions. Jeff is devoted to serving his client's needs.  He brings his years of real world experience to the firm and believes in treating the client the way he would want to be treated.  Jeff is a member of the DuPage County Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  One of the things that differentiates him from other attorneys is his desire to ensure that every client understands their case, the underlying law, and the possible outcomes.  Jeff also plays guitar, drums, and trumpet, loves dogs, and lifts weights at least three times a week.


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Our Des Plaines location is strategically located minutes from I-294, Edens expressway and I-355. We regularly appear for Illinois Criminal defense, DUI defense and Traffic violations throughout Cook, Lake and DuPage county courts, including all of Chicago, Skokie, Rolling Meadows, Bridgeview, Markham, Maywood, Waukegan, Wheaton and more.

The information on this website is general information only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Receipt or viewing of this information is not intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client relationship. Fagan, Fagan & Davis is a partnership of professional corporations, including Joseph M. Fagan, PC, Alan T. Davis, PC, Jeffrey A. Fagan, PC, and Steven H. Fagan, PC.