Activists Score 1st Victory Vs. Anti-Gay Cop in “Boystown”
GLN permalink 10-09-2009
Late Tuesday activists with the Gay Liberation Network (GLN) learned that Town Hall District Police Officer Richard Fiorito had been placed on desk duty pending the resolution of numerous charges against him.
Fiorito is the subject of 22 federal lawsuits accusing him of framing Lesbian and Gay motorists for false DUIs, and verbally and physically abusing them while he's policed Chicago's gay entertainment district in the Lakeview neighborhood.
During a press conference two days ago Attorney Jon Erickson released police video demonstrating that Fiorito falsified police reports in order to frame defendants. Activists with GLN announced a Saturday, October 17th community march demanding action against Fiorito. The march is scheduled to begin at 7 PM in the 7-11 parking lot located at Halsted and Roscoe Streets, and will feature messages from some of Fiorito's victims.
"Winning this victory was a long time coming," said GLN co-founder Andy Thayer. "It's important to note that the CPD was well aware of this problem many months ago, but as a result of dragging their heels, Fiorito was allowed to harass and violate the rights of many more people over the ensuing months. The damning video that we aired on Tuesday, for example, dates from June, after many lawsuits had already been filed. Community pressure is what finally made the CPD act.
"While we savor this victory, it's important to note that removing Fiorito's policing powers is only a first step -- he is still getting full pay, still is employed by the City, and still is not under arrest despite plenty of probable cause evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
"Now it looks like criminal charges will probably be coming soon too. This again would be very good, but it would by no means be the end of the story. Many a time have pro forma criminal charges been put on cops and pro forma prosecutions followed in their wake. Once the charges are filed, we will have to keep up the pressure to make sure that the Cook County States Attorney's office actually vigorously prosecutes the case."