State agency questions COPA’s ability to probe police-involved shootings

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Sneed exclusive . . . 

Is a wrench about to be thrown into the gears at the Chicago Police Department?

• Translation: Sneed hears the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has just received a letter from a major state agency challenging the power of COPA to investigate Chicago police shootings.

In October 2016, the City Council voted to create the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) to investigate police shootings and major misconduct allegations; they claimed creating the new agency was critical to bolstering trust of the embattled Chicago Police Department.

COPA replaced the Independent Police Review Authority, which had been criticized for moving too slowly and rarely finding police wrongdoing by the Chicago police officers it probed.

In a letter exclusively obtained by Sneed, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board claims COPA is NOT a law enforcement agency and does NOT have qualified lead homicide investigators to probe Chicago police shootings!

“The Illinois Training and Standards Board approves all the training for law enforcement agencies in the state of Illinois,” said FOP chief Kevin Graham. “We have been looking for that board to provide us with this letter for almost a year.”

Graham pointed out that the state agency regulates all police standards throughout the state and insisted that Attorney General Lisa Madigan look into the issue.

“We are constantly discussing this issue with our attorneys … and we think the city needs to re-evaluate what they are doing to work out a fair investigative process with the FOP to make sure the public interests and the officers interests are protected,” he added.

“COPA has been given direction by the City Council to probe police shootings because they didn’t want police officers to investigate other police officers, so the city decided to use COPA to give the appearance of things being transparent,” he said.

“But you have to have qualified people to do this and we are exploring all possibilities on how to achieve fair investigations.

“We want to make sure there is compliance with the state law and make sure our officers are probed fairly and citizens have confidence in it,” he said.

Stay tuned.

Oh, Susana . . .

Suspected Chicago mayoral hopeful/incumbent State Comptroller Susana Mendoza was caught with her soccer socks down Friday when a video prematurely surfaced, showing had already cut a political ad declaring her candidacy for mayor.

• The kicker: Mendoza, who was Chicago’s city clerk in 2011, had once blasted former 7th Ward alderman Sandi Jackson for the same thing — when news percolated Jackson intended to run for city clerk after she won re-election for alderman.

• The buckshot: The reporter who covered the Mendoza/Jackson kerfuffle — is now working press for Mendoza.

Royal ruckus . . .

Berserk over bunions?

Well, I’ll be gobsmacked!

• Translation: The Brit press is going gaga in attempts to scoop anything and everything royal since the wedding of Prince Harry to American Meghan Markle.

• To wit: At last peak it was reported pregnant Meghan — who is now known as the Duchess of Sussex — was spotted with (egad!) a bunion on her foot. It drew speculation it may have been caused by strutting around in heels?

Or was it a scar perhaps from a previous bunion removal?

Oh, crikey!

Alert the Palace.

Sneedlings . . .

Mom knows best: Mayoral hopeful Gery Chico’s biggest fan, his 82-year-old mother, Jackie, was spotted passing out petitions the past few weeks to help get her son on the ballot . … Saturday’s birthdays: Kendall Jenner, 23; Anna Wintour, 69; and Colin Kaepernick, 31. … Sunday’s birthdays: Sean Combs, 49; Matthew McConaughey, 49; and Dez Bryant, 30.