Breitbart News article A federal judge on Thursday ordered the Trump administration to explain why it decided to sue the city of Chicago over comments made by police officers in a 2015 incident.
The lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice seeks to force the city to make public police department communications from the 2015 shooting of a black man, as well as other documents related to the incident.
“I think that’s really important because they are not going to be able to defend themselves on the basis of what happened last year,” said Michael Orenstein, a University of Chicago law professor and former Justice Department official.
“The public has the right to know if they have been treated fairly.”
Orenstein is a former assistant attorney general for civil rights and is now a law professor at the University of Illinois.
He said that under the First Amendment, he believes the city is required to release its communications.
“I think it’s important that they make that public, because the public has a right to see that information,” Orensteins statement said.
A decision by the court to issue an order on Thursday would be expected to be the most important in the case, given the ongoing investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Justice Department into possible civil rights violations at the Chicago police department.
“What they’re asking is for us to provide them with documents, so they can come forward and defend themselves,” Oreskes said.
The city, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit, has already filed its response to the DOJ in the federal court system.
The city is expected to file a response to those requests by June 6.
The DOJ is asking for a court order requiring the city’s lawyers to make all public communications of the Chicago Police Department available for public review.
The department has asked the court not to require it to release all public records.
“This is an issue that we need to take seriously,” Orienstein said.
“It’s not just an issue of what was said, it’s what the police did, how they did it.”