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Police Misconduct Against The LGBT Community To be Focus of This Year's Shepard March

GLN permalink 09-27-2009

One officer in the Town Hall District – Richard Fiorito – is the subject of more than 20 federal lawsuits for allegedly falsifying evidence to frame LGBT motorists for phoney DUI charges. He often allegedly pushed around defendants and called them homophobic slurs. Attorneys say ten to twenty additional suits against Fiorito will be filed within the next several weeks.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which last year gave Fiorito an award for his huge number of arrests, apparently now thinks better of that. "These [fake DUI] charges are disturbing on many levels," MADD grief therapist and victim advocate David Malham told Edge Chicago. "It is a crucial role that [police officers] are playing in stopping drunk drivers and saving lives. For [Fiorito] to diss his own role, turning [it] into a con is particularly egregious. Here he is, taking these accolades while pocketing extra pay and getting overtime for court appearances, fooling everyone into thinking that [he’s] a heroic figure, when really [he’s] just a con artist."

This year's Shepard March, aside from focusing on more general issues of inequality for LGBT people, will demand that the City of Chicago and Cook County act to protect its LGBT residents:

1) The City of Chicago must put Fiorito on desk duty until the internal misconduct charges and federal lawsuits against him are decided;


2) Under the law, criminal charges should be filed against defendants when there is "probable cause" of law breaking. Twenty-plus federal lawsuits referring to 20+ separate incidents of alleged lawbreaking is more than enough "probable cause" to justify the arrest of Officer Fiorito on charges of Obstruction of Justice and False Imprisonment. The Cook County States Attorney's Office must fulfill its duty file criminal charges against Fiorito.

The Matthew Shepard March for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender freedom will be:

7 PM – Saturday, October 17

7-11 Parking Lot – Corner of Halsted & Roscoe Streets

We will rally and then march through the community, including past Alderman Tom Tunney's office and the 23rd District Police Station.

Downloadable posters and flyers for the march are available here:


For more information about the 11th Annual Matthew Shepard March, or to volunteer to help out, please email LGBTliberation@aol.com


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