We’ve hit what I call the “FOIA Stone Wall.”
“FOIA” stands for the Freedom of Information Act, one of the most important tools in a reporter’s toolbox when it comes to finding out what government knew and when it knew it. Authorities, by law, are obligated to respond. But in Illinois, despite so-called FOIA reforms, public officials are expert at invoking exceptions, loopholes and strategies for dodging legitimate requests.
Since February, the Sun-Times investigative team, led by reporters Tim Novak and Chris Fusco, has filed more than a dozen FOIA’s of Chicago Police Department, the Cook County State’s Attorneys Office and other agencies.
But the Chicago Police Department is doing everything it can to stall or stop the release of unredacted reports, street files and lineup photos that could perhaps explain why it took the cops a full 25 days after Koschman was hit and 14 days after he was dead to set eyes on Vanecko at Area 3 police headquarters. The police, in all that time, never tried to pick him up.