Daley promises police won't hurry into spying <http://www.suntimes.com:80/output/news/red13.html> January 13, 2001 BY FRAN SPIELMAN CITY HALL REPORTER The Chicago Police Department will proceed with caution before taking advantage of relaxed federal restrictions on police spying to preserve First Amendment rights and assuage those "paranoid" about a return to the infamous Red Squad days, Mayor Daley said Friday. "We're not going into [anybody's] bedroom. We're not going into any living room. Nobody's doing that in society. . . . What we're asking for is, how do you protect society? How do you protect the city of Chicago?" Daley said. Under the current restrictions, hate groups like that of Benjamin Smith, who murdered Northwestern University basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong, could hold a convention here and police would be powerless to monitor it, the mayor said. "No one can give us information about a hate group that's going to be on your block preaching hate in front of your home because you're black, Hispanic, Asian, a Jew or an Arab. We can't even protect the people of that community until they throw the brick through your house, until they shoot your father and mother or try to destroy your home," Daley said. Police Supt. Terry Hillard said he would "go even slower" than his implementation of the gang loitering ordinance to make certain police officers are fully trained and mindful of First Amendment rights. "This is a magnificent tool. Terrorism goes in cycles. The cycle is coming back, and not from abroad but from within. We'll go even slower to make sure that we're constitutionally sensitive and that we live by what the judge gave us," Hillard said. Promises of a go-slow approach were not enough to allay the fears of Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), who was a victim of police spying during his days as deputy defense minister for the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. "I'm quite uncomfortable with it. Unless there are some guarantees against abuse by the police agencies, we might have a return to the time of the '60s when police were in fact spying on American citizens," Rush told reporters after the city's annual breakfast honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. "Certainly Dr. King was spied on. I was spied on. There were many, many others who were [politically] active in those days who really viewed police agencies across the country as being a force that was opposed to them, and they were using illegal tactics and unconstitutional methods to spy on us and damage our character." The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed Thursday to modify a 1981 consent decree that had reined in the notorious Red Squad, accused of spying on political dissidents. Although the constraints are being loosened, the consent decree is not being scrapped. Chicago Police still won't be permitted to gather intelligence for purposes of harassing, intimidating or prohibiting activities protected by the First Amendment. And the Police Department will continue to be subject to annual court-monitored audits. Daley said those who fear a return of the Red Squad days are "paranoid from 1960." Hillard has asked his staff to put a committee together to determine how internal orders and procedures should be re-written to comply with the relaxed requirements.
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