Durand Lee

  • Recommendation Termination
  • Decision Other
  • Length of process 6 months April 25, 2019 to October 17, 2019 Closed
  • Investigative Agency Not Specified

Charged with violating 2 rules on 2 counts

Show all counts

Rule 14 1 count

Making a false report, written or oral.

Rule 2 1 count

Any action or conduct which impedes the Department's efforts to achieve its policy and goals or brings discredit upon the Department.

Board Member Votes & Decisions

Majority Decision

0 disagreed

Disagreed with the final decision of the board

0 did not vote

Did not vote or were not present for voting

On October 9, 2019, the Superintendent filed a Motion to Withdraw Charges (“Motion”).
The Motion states that the Respondent is charged with making 911 calls on about four separate dates during which he falsely reported that a security guard in his building was selling drugs. According to the Motion, about four individuals who are familiar with the Respondent’s voice identified the voice of the 911 caller as being that of the Respondent. The Motion further states that the voice on the 911 calls was identified as being that of the same person, and that the calls were made from Chicago.

In September 2019, the Respondent’s counsel provided the Superintendent’s counsel with
documents in support of the Respondent’s claim that he was out of the country on two of the
dates that the 911 calls were made. According to the Motion, these documents were not
provided to the investigator from the Chicago Police Department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs (BIA) during its investigation of this matter. The Motion states that after being presented with
these documents the BIA investigator was able to verify that the Respondent was out of the
country on two of the dates that the 911 calls were made.

At the October 16, 2019, status hearing of this case, the Superintendent’s counsel stated
that the Superintendent cannot meet the burden of proving the charges against the Respondent at
this time, and moved to withdraw the charges without prejudice. Counsel for the Respondent
stated that the Respondent’s position is that the charges should be withdrawn with prejudice.

The Police Board has considered the Superintendent’s Motion. The Board is concerned
that it took three years from the time of the Respondent’s alleged violations for the
Superintendent to file charges that were ultimately unprovable. Counsel for the Superintendent
stated at the status hearing that sometime during this three-year period, the Respondent did, in
fact, inform BIA investigators that he was travelling abroad during the time that at least one of
the 911 calls was made. Because the same caller made all of the 911 calls and because all of the
calls were placed from Chicago, it was crucial for BIA to either verify or disprove the
Respondent’s alibi that he was out of the country when at least one of the calls was made.

According to counsel for the Superintendent, the Respondent promised to provide
documentation to the BIA investigators to confirm his alibi but never did. It appears that rather
than follow-up with the Respondent and/or undertaking other investigative steps to ascertain
whether the Respondent was out of the country, BIA simply concluded that the Respondent was
being untruthful and brought these charges against him.

The Board is not only troubled by BIA’s failure to more thoroughly investigate the
Respondent’s alibi claim; the Board is also troubled by the Superintendent’s request to withdraw
the charges without prejudice in light of the representation that the Superintendent cannot meet the burden of proof at this time. When asked if the Superintendent may later seek to re-file these
charges, counsel responded that they wanted to leave the possibility open in case they discovered
new evidence to support the charges. The Board finds that after a three-year-long investigation
and after suspending the Respondent without pay for more than five months while this case was
pending before the Board, withdrawing the charges with the possibility of re-filing them at a later
date would be fundamentally unfair to the Respondent. Consequently, the Board will approve
withdrawing the charges, but with prejudice, in order to prevent the Superintendent from refiling
these charges in the future.

Minority Opinions