Five officers with the Chicago Police Department are suing the Chicago Sun-Times for publishing their names, faces and personal information in an investigative story that examined their connections to an ongoing case concerning former Mayor Richard Daley's nephew.
The federal lawsuit was brought Monday by officers Scott Dahlstrom, Hugh Gallagly, Peter Kelly, Robert Shea and Emmet Welch, who allege that the newspaper violated their privacy by publishing personal information obtained from the Illinois Secretary of State's motor vehicle records, the Chicago Tribune reports. The story included information from their drivers' licenses, including their heights, weights, physical features and birth dates, which the officers said made them "gravely concerned for their safety," according to the complaint.
The Nov. 21, 2011 Sun-Times story examined how lineups were conducted following the 2004 death of 21-year-old David Koschman, who died of brain injuries from a single punch in a confrontation involving former Mayor Daley's nephew, Richard J. Vanecko. The five officers named in the lawsuit stood in Vanecko's lineup, along with two of Vanecko's friends.
The Fraternal Order of Police filed a similar suit against the newspaper and the city when the story first ran. The order accused the city of doing too little to prevent the photos' publication, and called for an injunction against the Sun-Times to halt further circulation of the photos, Fox Chicago reported.
The newest lawsuit is seeking $2,500 for each officer, plus punitive damages and litigation costs, CBS Chicago reports. It also calls for a declaratory judgment that the officers' rights were violated and an injunction blocking the photos from future publication.
The Sun-Times has yet to comment publicly on the allegations.