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What are complaints and CR documents?
What are complaints and CR documents?
Chaclyn Hunt avatar
Written by Chaclyn Hunt
Updated over a week ago

The complaints published here are allegations of misconduct made against Chicago Police officers. We display complaints made by civilians (e.g. excessive force, illegal search) and complaints made by other officers (e.g. inventory procedures, medical roll violations).

We include complaints that are made against officers whether they are on-duty or off-duty. We also include complaints against officers who are no longer actively on the force. 

Each complaint is coded with a single category, despite containing multiple different allegations. Each complaint is then coded with a single outcome, despite containing different outcomes for each allegation. 

For example, a complaint with the category “excessive use of force” may be coded as “sustained.” But it may be that the allegation sustained was that the officer failed to fill out the correct form, and the allegation that the officer used excessive force is unsustained.

In order to supplement the data with more accurate information, we routinely request and publish underlying documents associated with the complaints contained in the data. These documents are called Complaint Registers, and they are the case files of the investigation into the complaint. They often include witness narratives, evidence collected, arrest and incident reports, and other important contextual information.

We receive these documents through the Freedom of Information Act, and each document must be redacted of personal identifying information (except for the officers themselves). Full Complaint Registers can sometimes be hundreds of pages, and the redaction time is very long.

We also accept Complaint Register Summary Digests - a document that is typically under 20 pages and includes basic narrative and investigative information. If you are interested in a specific complaint, you can skim the summary and request the entire document.

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