Complainants and Victims / by Sukari Stone

In the complainant and victim data sets, a total of 47,042 complaints have any complainant and 16,847 complaints have any victim information. Occassionally, there are multiple victims and/or complainants. Complainant and victim information is very sparse before January of 2000, and, though complainant information is more common than victim information, both become substantially more common. Complainant information is significantly more common than victim information until January 1, 2015, after which victim information is more common.


Complainants and Victims in Sample

Focusing on the sample of complaints, it is clear that victim information is inconsistent for both civilian and officer filed complaints, but complainant information is almost fully known for officer filed complaints. Civilian filed complaints also have relatively consistent complainant information, but there is a considerable drop off in 2015.


Complainants and victims both tend to be male more commonly than female, but in both cases black complainants and victims are more commonly female than other races. Unsurprisingly, victims tend to be younger than complainants, as a young victim may not be their own complainant. In total racial composition, black individuals comprise 63.51% of know complainants and 71.05% of known victims. The next highest, whites, only comprise 23.58% of complainants and 12.85% of victims, followed by Hispanics at 23.58% of complainants and 12.85%. The numbers for Hispanics are surprisingly low, given Chicago being roughly 30% black, white, and Hispanic.


Complainants and Accused Officers

Considering the more complete information of complainants, we will continue focusing on their information.

The table below, displaying complainant racial breakdown with respect to officer race, shows a not unexpected relationship. Black complainants make up a larger share of black officer accusations (77.55%), while Hispanic complainants maintain their largest share in Hispanic officer complaints (17.29%).


Complainants and Outcomes

The sustained rates for all civilian accusations are miniscule compared to those of officer complaints. This section only includes the 46052 accusations with non-missing final findings. Focusing on accusations with affidavits, white civilian-complainant accusations are sustained at a rate of 9.66%, which is 3 times the rate of black civilian-complainant accusations (3.17%) and 2.3 times the rate of Hispanic. civilian-complainant accusations (4.22%). This is a considerable disparity. In officer filed accusations, there are still racial disparities, but to a lesser extent. Black complainant-officers have their accusations sustained at the lowest rate of 43.14%, followed by Hispanic officers (50.72%) and White officers (53.94%). Interestingly, Black officer complainants sign affidavits at a lower rate than other officers (11.56% compared to 8.88% and 7.66% for Hispanic and white officers, respectively).