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Posted: Friday, 27 July 2007 2:46PM

Audit: City In Compliance With 'Red Squads' Decree

CHICAGO (WBBM) -- An independent audit shows the City of Chicago to be in substantial compliance with a consent decree that stems from the era of police 'Red Squads, ' which were set to to monitor dissident activity and target left-wing activists.

WBBM's Jennifer O'Neil reports.

The city's law office says that a national independent public accounting firm has found that the city never violated First Amendment rights during investigations from 2001 through 2005.

The consent decree was set up in the early 1980's to make sure Red Squads weren't violating people's rights - but in March of 2001 it was modified and the rules were relaxed.

The federal court modification now calls for an internal police audit every year and an independent audit every five years.

An internal audit in 2003 found that undercover officers had infiltrated meetings and rallies of groups like the American Friends Service Committee and had taped them, but the city has said they were legitimate targets because the groups planned on protesting an international business meeting in Chicago in 2002.

Andy Thayer of The Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism calls the audit 'a joke.'

He says they filed a Freedom of Information of Act for records of alleged police spying in 2005 , but the city rejected the request, saying they were concerned for their privacy.

Back in 2005, Thayer says Chicago police arrested some of them as they were attempting to hold a press conference on a public street about the second anniversary of the war.

Thayer says he has no confidence in the audit by Deloitte and Touche and he says the spying victims were never contacted.

Copyright 2007 by WBBM


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