Chicago Commander with 90 complaints

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Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks about security measures at this weekend’s gay pride festival and next weekend’s gay pride parade during a news conference.

     Recently a Chicago cop was promoted to the position of ‘Commander’ and while this usually wouldn’t be a big deal for most people, the promotion has caused a minor controversy.

     Chicago Police Superintendent, Eddie Johnson has a busy West Side district under the command of a cop with a long history of misconduct allegations, the WBEZ analysis of police records show.

     Commander James Sanchez has been the subject of at least 90 formal complaints since joining the force in 1985, according to the records, obtained through Illinois Freedom of Information Act. Most of the complaints alleged excessive force or improper searches.

     In total, Sanchez has nearly twice as many complaints as any of the departments other 21 district commanders, and about five times the total average.

     Even though there was major backlash at this decision, Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayor and Superintendent Eddie Johnson have said that they support the decision to promote Sanchez. When specifically asked by reporters if Emanuel knew Sanchez’s past misconducts, he went on to say,

     “I don’t know about that but I do know that James Sanchez is doing a very good job in taking a very challenging district and in many ways as of awhile ago – I haven’t seen recent stuff – making tremendous strides, in both gun violence as well as burglaries and robberies,” Emanuel said.

     Superintendent Johnson also commented on the controversy, pointing out that the city only found Sanchez at fault on a handful of those incidents.

     “The fact that you have an allegation doesn’t mean you’re automatically guilty of something,” Johnson said “That’s why it’s investigated. So, because they are not sustained allegations, that should not hold him back,”

     “That’s why you have due process” Johnson said “When we find that there is cause for concern, then we take appropriate actions but, at this point, the majority of those allegations were unfounded or not sustained,”

     Many people were still concerned afterwards, due to the fact that the majority of Sanchez’s complaints were the cause of extreme aggression.