On July 5, former Afro-American Police League president Patricia Hill’s final hearing was conducted at the City of Chicago’s Police Board, 30 N. LaSalle. Hill is facing termination for allegedly failing to follow a direct order.
In 1986, Hill joined the Chicago Police Dept. after teaching school as a physical education instructor. Hill attended Northern Illinois University in Dekalb and came back to Chicago to finish her B.S. at Chicago State University. As a youth, Hill was an excellent athlete and toured the nation with Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley Youth Foundation track team. Hill had as her instructors Olympians Willye White and Ira Murchison. During the 1970s she was one of first females to play professional basketball as a member of the Chicago Debs.
In 1987, Hill served as one of Mayor Harold Washington’s bodyguards. Always outspoken and well-known in the black community, Hill served as both president and executive director of the Afro-American Police League. She has been known to voice her views on racial profiling, controversial shootings and police brutality of blacks by white officers. Like the league’s founders, Renault Robinson and Howard Saffold, who founded the organization in 1968 after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she wanted to change the relationship between the black community and Chicago police, whose reputation for brutality against blacks was significant (eg. Jon Burge).
Hill’s current predicament began two years ago when her female commander of the 2nd district, Mary Ann Peery had Hill working inside. Inside duties consisted of working the desk, working the review office and lockup. According to Hill, Cmdr. Peery was getting heat by the department to put Hill put back on the street. When Cmdr. Peery put Hill on lockup, she was subsequently transferred. When the new district commander, Walter Green, came to the 2nd district in 2003, Hill contends that the heat was still on to have her removed. She stated, “for no apparent reason that I know of, Green suddenly started taking me out of lockup, putting me on the street and telling me to watch the parking lot and things like that.”
Hill was accused of not following orders when she was reassigned. During Hill’s hearing, she was represented by union attorney Joseph Roddy, who vigorously pointed to Hill’s outstanding record, repeatedly stating how in 20 years she had approximately 21 days’ medical leave. Roddy stated that the two times Hill took off to go on medical, it was allegedly in reaction to being taken off lockup. He pointed out that documents proving this was not true were never received from the 2nd district after many requests.
Roddy noted that on Sept. 13, 2004, Hill was stripped of her police powers. In January 2006, she was suspended and his repeated calls for a hearing showing cause for this action were not answered.
Hill alleges her current suspension and subsequent hearing occurred because she had filed a Complaint Register (CR) number against the district commander, Walter Green.
Cmdr. Green testified to receiving two written documents that had been sent to him about Hill going on medical when told she could not work lockup. No further questions or cross was done.
Cross-examination by corporation counsel asked each witness the same basic question, “Did you have any conversation regarding Hill’s truthfulness?”
Testifying on Hill’s behalf was former commander Mary Ann Peery, who stated she had a good reputation and was honest.
Dorothy Gaters, coach at Marshall High School since 1969, also testified about Hill’s character. Gaters indicated that they had played basketball together over the years.
Police Chaplin, Rev. Davis also testified that Hill has a good reputation.
Officer D. Mosley, a detention officer at the 2nd district, testified that Hill was a very straightforward, no-nonsense officer.
Lt. Weisskopf said he supervised her when she was call-taker for 311 and had no problems and respected her.
Now that final arguments have been completed, Hill expects a ruling during the second week of August?”this announcement will take place at Police Headquarters, 35th & Michigan, at the August police board meeting.
AWN was directed to police News Affairs Division’s Monique Bond for comments. However none of our many phone calls were returned.