Judge: CPD violated labor laws in body cam expansion

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News/Associated Press) - A federal judge has ruled that the way the Chicago Police Department expanded its body camera program last year violated Illinois labor law.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Administrative Law Judge Anna Hamberg-Gal concluded that the city was obligated to bargain with the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police before expanding the use of the cameras last year. The judge issued a recommendation this week for the city to comply with state law by starting a dialogue with the union about safety and disciplinary matters surrounding the body camera expansion.

The state's Labor Relations Board must sign off on the recommendation and the recommendation does not prevent officers from wearing the cameras issued in last year's expansion. Nor does it reverse any disciplinary measures taken against officers based on footage from the cameras.

The police union was already upset, saying CPD shouldn't be able to discipline officers over private conversations caught on the cameras.

CPD says the ruling won't stop it from rolling out more body cams, and it may appeal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.