West Chicago police sergeant Leonardo Aviles, a 19-year veteran of the department, wanted to reward the officers on his midnight shift. So he brought them into the station for a couple of hours, fed them popcorn, doughnuts and sliders, and screened some cop films: "Street Kings" one night, "Pride and Glory" the next.
The problem, according to authorities, is that those cops were supposed to be out on their beats.
"The first night all of the officers on patrol duty, about eight, came in and watched the movie, and on the second night, all of the officers but one came in," said attorney Patrick Bond at a hearing on Aviles's firing, as the Chicago Tribune reports.
Bond was speaking before Judge Terrence Sheen, who was reviewing Aviles's firing. In his defense, attorney Joseph Mazzone admitted that the movie nights had happened, but suggested that it wasn't as big a deal as Bond made it out to be. “He’s going to continue to fight this,” he said, according to the suburban Daily Herald. “I think ultimately the sergeant will be reinstated."
But James Knippen, attorney for the civil service commission, wasn't so flip about the incident. From the Tribune:
"Is there a single member of the public that would say it is OK to watch the movies? I guess we could put all the officers in the police station and just wait for calls. The mere presence of officers on the street has value, and builds confidence in the community."
Judge Sheen agreed, upholding Aviles's firing for neglect of duty, incompetence and ten other violations of protocol.
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