Warden v. Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department


Chicago Police badgeIn June 2019, MacArthur Justice Center argued on behalf of Rob Warden (Executive Director Emeritus of the Center on Wrongful Convictions) that the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to provide photographs of police officers for use by the media. The CPD had denied Rob Warden’s February 2016 request for photographs of nine officers, claiming that “these photos can be used for retaliatory and harassing purposes against the officer himself or against his family.” In August 2019, the judge rejected the CPD’s claim and issued an order granting Rob Warden’s motion for summary judgment and directing the CPD to provide the requested photographs of the officers.

During the hearing, Locke Bowman (Executive Director of the MacArthur Justice Center) framed the issue as one of public accountability and argued that access to their photographs is crucial for protecting journalistic endeavors that hold the government accountable.