Abels & Annes P.C., working with co-counsel, has filed a sex abuse lawsuit against the City of Chicago and former Chicago Police Department officer William Whitley. The lawsuit alleges that Whitley exploited his position as a Chicago police officer to sexually abuse a 14-year-old girl and that the City of Chicago facilitated the abuse by failing to investigate, discipline, and otherwise hold police officers accountable for misconduct. Whitley was recently sentenced to 25 years in prison for paying the 14-year-old and three other minors for sex between 2012 and 2016.
At the time of his crimes, there were at least 29 complaints lodged against Whitley by civilian and/or internal affairs agencies. He should long before have been removed from his position of public trust. But Whitley benefited from the City’s long-running pattern and practice of letting police officers get away with flagrant misconduct, and from the code of silence that inhibits police officers and others from speaking up about abuses. A federal government investigation recently reported that “numerous entrenched, systemic policies and practices … undermine police accountability” in Chicago, especially the code of silence that the “City, police officers, and leadership within CPD and its police officer union” all acknowledge that a code of silence exists.