Donovan angry with 'mob' at Fire and Police Commission meeting

CREATED Dec 7, 2012

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Ald. Bob Donovan said Friday that he was disappointed that "a mob of angry citizens" had apparently convinced the Fire and Police Commission to reconsider its decision  to suspend Officer Richard Schoen for 60 days instead of removing him from the force for punching a handcuffed woman in the face.

"The Fire and Police Commission was originally created, at least in part, to remove the possibility of 'mob mentality' and/or political influence from affecting its decisions," Donovan said in a statement. "Unfortunately, it looks very much to me like that is exactly what is happening with the case of Officer Schoen."

Donovan said he did not have an opinion on whether the Fire and Police Commission did the right thing in suspending Schoen. But he said he was upset that people who attended Thursday's meeting made a judgment based on a few seconds of video. He said a determination should be based on a fair hearing and testimony.

"It is not and should not be conducted based on the cries and shouts of an angry mob," Donovan said.

Donovan said he believed the commission was succumbing to outside pressure, a situation he said had set a dangerous precedent.