Wassup With The "Perp Walk"?
Watching the news Monday night and Tuesday caused this one-time police reporter to have a flashback.
Carla Oglesby's "perp walk" was so retro and a clear departure from Chicago Police procedures in place for most of the last decade.
Oglesby--Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's deputy chief of staff--was arrested in a Loop parking garage after she left work Monday afternoon. Hours later, she would be charged with theft, money-laundering and official misconduct in an alleged scheme to rig no-bid contracts.
But during the time between Oglesby's arrest and booking, law enforcement sources provided three television stations (ABC7, WGN, NBC5) with enough information on the suspect's whereabouts for the news organizations to begin stakeouts at CPD Area 4 Headquarters.
The wait paid off for two of the three cameras when state's attorney's investigators pulled up in front of the building on Harrison Avenue. ABC7 and WGN videotaped the handcuffed and distressed-looking Oglesby as she walked the 20 or so yards from the sidewalk into the lobby of the West Side's largest and busiest police facility.
(I'm told the NBC5 cameraman missed the shot because he decided to loaf in his truck while his reporter went to the potty).
It was perp walk perfection for those who were ready.
I remember the 1980's and 90's when Chicago police routinely paraded suspects in newsworthy crimes before the cameras. In particularly heinous cases, the cops would wait for the video and still guys to assemble before they would "walk" the accused from one end of a police station's lobby to another so we could get our shots.
And sometimes, if a crew showed up late, they'd bring the suspect out for a second pass just for good measure.
Then in 2000, a Federal Appeals Court in New York ruled that staged "perp walks" violated a defendant's 4th amendment rights.
The Chicago Police Department still bans and tries to avoid all manner of perp walks, even though subsequent federal court decisions upheld the right of news cameras to shoot detainee transfers if they occurred during the routine movement of prisoners.
But back to the question posed by the headline of this post:
Howizzit that in the same city where police limit media access to multiple murder suspects does a 41 year old woman, with no previous record, accused of a white collar crime be subjected to the ultimate indignity of a "perp walk"?
It wasn't a coincidence that cameras were waiting for Oglesby.
Somebody wanted her humiliated.