Hundreds of current and former Chicago police officers can never be called to testify by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO) because they have histories of misconduct or untruthfulness that would undermine their credibility on the stand, according to documents obtained by The TRiiBE

The SAO’s so-called Brady and Do Not Call lists, which include names of officers who can’t be relied on in court, are far more extensive than has been previously reported, and include officers who were not included in previous releases by the SAO. One such officer who was not on previously released lists, but is now, is January 6 Capitol rioter Karol Chwiesiuk, who was fired by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) in 2021 and has been charged with five misdemeanors for his part in the attack. Another is Nicholas Jovanovich, who was fired last year for knocking out an activist’s teeth during a 2020 protest in Grant Park.

John Catanzara, the current president of the Fraternal Order of Police, is also listed. Catanzara resigned from CPD in 2021 while facing termination for nearly a dozen rule violations, but was reelected president of the city‘s largest police union earlier this year.

Officers who are still active members of CPD are also on the lists. Marc Jarocki, a 43-year-old  officer who is in his 21st year on the force and currently works in the 7th District, is one. He has cost the city more than $200,000 in civil lawsuits and racked up at least 31 civilian complaints, including allegations of excessive force, illegal searches, and false arrests, according to the Invisible Institute’s Civilian Police Data Project.

One lawsuit filed in 2013 alleged that Jarocki rammed 19-year-old Lazarus Fleming with his squad car after Fleming fled from officers. Jarocki then rolled over the boy’s leg, breaking his right ankle. Fleming was unarmed and was carrying only a misdemeanor amount of marijuana at the time of the stop.

Many prosecutors’ offices maintain Brady lists with the names of officers whose past histories of misconduct, including but not limited to lying, warrant disclosure to defense should they be called to testify. Even more stringent are Do Not Call lists which refer to officers who will never be called on behalf of the prosecution.

Previous reporting by USA Today revealed that SAO maintained an ad hoc system regarding Brady disclosures from 2009 to 2017. Under that system, higher-ups advised Assistant State’s Attorneys via email whenever an officer should not be allowed to testify. In March 2023, WGN News reported that SAO maintains a private Do Not Call list of 66 names. At the time, advocates said that that list seemed outdated and glaringly incomplete.

Via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, The TRiiBE obtained the SAO’s most up-to-date Brady and “Do Not Call” lists in April. The lists include 275 names of officers, 200 of whom are or were CPD members. Sixty-four are still employed, meaning they may still be policing out in communities or overseeing active investigations, with annual salaries totaling nearly $7.5 million.

Some prominent names, however, are missing. Robert Bakker, who lied about his links to the Proud Boys and is now subject to a probe into sex abuse claims against him, is not on either list. Neither is Detective Reynaldo Guevara, who framed and tortured dozens of people into confessing to murders they did not commit.

Rule 14 of the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) Rules of Conduct expressly prohibits officers from “making a false report, written or oral.” 

But false reports are not at all uncommon in the department.

One high-profile example was the botched 2019 CPD raid on social worker Anjanette Young’s home. In its investigation of the raid, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) found that several of the officers involved in the authorization process for the search warrant made false statements to investigators in violation of Rule 14.

COPA found that CPD Sgts. Petracco and Wolinski, who were in charge of authorizing and planning the raid, were not credible witnesses. Petracco’s version of events, in particular, “was not reliable and was in fact refuted by other evidentiary sources,” according to COPA investigators.

In order to develop a more accurate measure of the scale of Rule 14 violations, The TRiiBE requested internal data from CPD’s Bureau of Internal Affairs (BIA), CPD’s internal investigatory agency for police misconduct, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The request centered on the number of Rule 14 violations that occurred between January 2011 and December 2022. 

The BIA data shows that 140 officers had Rule 14 violations sustained, meaning the department’s own investigators were able to verify and corroborate the evidence that a false report in fact occurred. Of those 140 officers, 87 (or 62 percent) have been separated, terminated, or resigned from CPD.

Similar data obtained through a FOIA request to the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), another public entity charged with investigating police misconduct in serious incidents involving the use of force, uncovered the names of 58 additional officers who violated Rule 14.

This brings the total to nearly 200 CPD officers over the past 11 years, indicating that the problem is by no means confined to a handful of individuals. A TRiiBE analysis found 74 of those officers with sustained Rule 14 violations made SAO’s Brady and “Do Not Call” lists.

But even these nearly 200 officers who’ve had allegations of making false statements against them sustained is likely only scratching the surface of the issue. The Chicago Police Data Portal includes a far larger set of 590 civilian complaints accusing police officers of giving false testimony, and researchers generally contend that the number of civilian complaints made represent only a fraction of the incidents that gave rise to those complaints.


Sarah Staudt, director of policy at Chicago Appleseed and one of the report’s coauthors, said that even if prosecutors have suspicions or evidence of police lying, they remain averse to throwing out a case if they have other ways of securing a conviction. The ASA, if they know their case is weak because of police lying, still has the option of offering a plea deal to a lesser charge that doesn’t result in prison time, but nevertheless secures a conviction.  

“The legal incentives to take a plea, to not take something to trial are huge,” Staudt said.

 Jon Brayman, a criminal defense attorney who has worked in Chicago for over 12 years, says he’s received exactly one Brady disclosure from the CCSAO regarding adverse information about an officer involved in a case. The issue is essential for “due process rights of accused individuals,” Brayman said.

“I feel strongly that an officer ‘Do Not Call’ list that is maintained by a prosecutor’s office should be publicly available,” Brayman said. “Certainly [it] should be known to lawyers that are defending accused in cases.”

Joey Mogul, a criminal defense attorney at the People’s Law Office, concurred. “There may be individuals who are behind bars who don’t realize that the detectives who were involved in their investigation have now been identified as individuals who’ve engaged in torture, excessive force, coercion, official misconduct, and are now on this Brady list,” Mogul said.

“They should be able to come in and get new hearings, at least to raise this essentially newly discovered evidence regarding the recognition around this officer’s misconduct,” Mogul continued.

In response to The TRiiBE’s questions about the lists, the SAO provided a statement that read, “We are currently reviewing policy related to Brady matters and plan to make an announcement in the upcoming weeks.”

According to Frank Chapman, the field director for the National Alliance Against Racist Political Repression (NAARPR), “the consistent violation of people’s constitutional rights with impunity, with no consequences,” including for the misconduct of lying, is why there’s little “record of any trust” of law enforcement in Black and brown communities.

A January 2023 report by the Chicago Appleseed Center for Fair Courts and the Chicago Council of Lawyers found that “systemic factors allow police to lie, submit false reports, and perjure themselves.” The report alleged that prosecutors and judges tolerate lying as part of a “collective culture” that encourages them to see themselves and police as being members of the same law enforcement team. And prosecutors may be incentivized to overlook inconsistencies in police statements if they can help secure convictions.

The Appleseed report offers several common-sense recommendations for reforms to increase oversight and transparency that wouldn’t require additional spending:

  • Require police to submit longer, more detailed affidavits when requesting search warrants, and subjecting such requests to greater scrutiny.
  • Require prosecutors to review body-worn camera and dashcam footage before charging suspects.
  • Make the SAO’s Brady and Do Not Call lists public-facing, and increase transparency around how the lists are maintained and updated.
  • Improve transparency in the SAO’s performance measures and promotion criteria, and publish the SAO’s protocols for responding to police perjury and false reports.

Asked to comment on the report, CCSAO provided a statement that read, “The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (CCSAO) is committed to pursuing justice as well as focusing on public safety for everyone in our communities. We value transparency and the efforts of community justice stakeholders to evaluate the critical work of this office. We were not aware of this report and are unable to provide an analysis or further comment at this time.”

Mogul said that for decades, the CPD and SAO refused to investigate or keep track of civilian allegations of police lies and misconduct. 

“We live in a city with endemic police excessive force, coercion, torture, and official misconduct,” Mogul said. “We’ve been branded the false conviction capital of the world.” 

“It’s been the outsiders who’ve tracked these cases, who created these lists, not the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, not the Chicago Police Department,” Mogul said.

To have CCSAO create a list without input from relevant stakeholders means, according to Mogul, that “that list is fatally flawed.”

is a fellow with the Invisible Institute and staff writer for the Hyde Park Herald.