On this quick-hit episode, Scott and Shaun are joined by a former Chicago-area police officer turned Public Safety Labor Attorney, Laura Scarry, for a blunt and honest assessment of the horrific incident surrounding the death of Tyree Nichols in the City of Memphis, Tennessee.
The group discusses that although the event has justifiably lead to murder charges against five Memphis Police Officers, there’s also a myriad of other factors to consider regarding culpability and the prevention of future occurrences.
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Ms. Scarry has extensive experience in all aspects of defending municipalities and municipal employees in federal courts in Illinois and Indiana and Illinois state courts. The majority of Ms. Scarry’s work has been in the representation of police officers, supervisors, administrators and the police agencies they work for against claims covering a wide array of law enforcement issues such as excessive force, deadly force, search and seizure, malicious prosecution, failure to train, duty to protect, police pursuit, employment discrimination, in-custody deaths and racial profiling. What makes Laura’s experience unique is that she sees cases from a practical standpoint, having been a police officer for the City of Lake Forest from 1986-1992.
In the area of employment law, Laura L. Scarry has wide-ranging experience in representing both management and labor. Laura has represented municipalities, school districts and other governmental entities against claims of discrimination and harassment. On the other hand, she has represented public employees in disciplinary hearings before municipal Boards of Fire and Police Commissions and Merit Commissions, often saving them from being terminated or otherwise having their discipline drastically reduced. She has also represented employees in state and federal administrative agencies such as the Illinois Department of Human Rights, Illinois Human Rights Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She is one of a handful of attorneys that has successfully represented police officers in reverse race discrimination claims obtaining an $800,000 settlement in one case and a $475,000 settlement in another case.
Ms. Scarry is a certified Force Science Analyst, having graduated from the Force Science Institute’s prestigious 40-hour Force Science certification course in June, 2010. Her acquired scientific knowledge of human dynamics involved in officer involved shootings coupled with her legal and practical experience has made Laura one of the most sought after defense attorneys by law enforcement agencies and officers. She is most proud of being trusted and called on by police officers, the municipalities they work for and police unions to provide legal representation to officers within hours of their being involved in critical incidents such as officer-involved-shootings and in-custody deaths.
Laura has far-reaching experience in drafting policies and procedures for law enforcement, corrections and fire agencies as she is a legal support attorney for Lexipol, America’s leading provider of risk management policies and resources for public safety organizations. She is a former columnist for Law Officer magazine writing about legal issues affecting the law enforcement community in a column called the Legal Eagle from 2007-2014. She is a legal consultant for the Police Law Institute, an organization that provides computerized training on the law to police agencies throughout Illinois. She is also a member of the Force Science Institute’s faculty lecturing on legal issues affecting officers following a critical incident. Ms. Scarry has lectured extensively by invitation to other police organizations, municipal groups and legal organizations such as the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, Performance Institute, Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy located in Quantico, Virginia, Illinois Tactical Officers Association, Illinois Law Enforcement Standards and Training Board and its various Mobile Training Units (MTU’s) throughout Illinois, Illinois Municipal League, and Chicago Bar Association.
Because Laura’s practice is multi-dimensional, she is able to analyze claims from a variety of perspectives whether it is from the standpoint of a manager, employee, victim, policy developer or trainer. Each of these points of view is important and explains why Laura is so successful in representing her clients.