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Nineteen Lawsuits Against Him For False Charges Against LGBT People

Why Is Officer Fiorito Still on the Street?

GLN permalink posted August 21, 2009

Officer Richard Fiorito has operated in the heart of the "Boystown" entertainment district allegedly targeted numerous Lesbian and Gay motorists for false DUI charges.

During the stops he allegedly berated the arrestees with anti-gay slurs and sometimes roughed them up. Some of his fellow officers had so little confidence in his arrests that they repeatedly advised arrestees that they could beat the charges if they got a good lawyer.

Besides giving vent to his anti-gay bias, Fiorito allegedly made the bogus arrests so that he could ring up overtime pay for court appearances. His fellow officers refer to him as an "overtime whore."

Last year Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) honored Fiorito for being among the state's highest writers of DUI tickets. But now they're apparently thinking better of it.

"These 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."

In just about any other occupation, such a track record would have gotten Fiorito fired long ago, and criminally prosecuted. So why is the Town Hall District – allegedly the city's most "gay sensitive" – allowing Fiorito to retain his policing powers while the charges are investigated?

Please attend a pair of meetings next week at the police station, 3608 N. Halsted, to help demand answers:

7 PM, Wednesday, August 26th -- Meeting of the station's "LGBT Subcommittee"

6 PM, Thursday, August 27th – Meeting of the "District Advisory Committee"

And for more background on Fiorito's notorious track record, please read below:

Apr 3, 2009 9:27 am US/Central

Lawsuit: Officer Targeted Gay Drivers For Arrest

Officer Richard Fiorito Named In 4 Federal Lawsuits

CHICAGO (CBS) ― Four federal lawsuits were filed Thursday against a Chicago Police officer accused of targeting gay and lesbian motorists for unwarranted DUI's on the North Side.

At least seven more suits are expected to be filed against Town Hall District police Officer Richard Fiorito in recent weeks, according to a local representative of the gay and lesbian community.

The suits -- which allege Fiorito pulls over gay and lesbian drivers who are not intoxicated, then arrests them for DUI -- also claims other officers in Fiorito's district questioned the validity of his arrests.

"This guy was operating in the heart of the gay entertainment district for years acting on his anti-gay animus and no one in an official [capacity] was calling him out on it," said Andy Thayer, co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network.

During a Thursday morning press conference, Thayer and attorney Jon Erickson discussed the suits against Fiorito, saying they will hopefully encourage the department to take action.

According to the suits filed Thursday, Fiorito pulled over his alleged victims in the North Side neighborhood commonly known as Boystown, and "frequently" used anti-gay epithets during arrests.

Read more here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


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