Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli speaks during a June 2020 rally alongside legal and activist groups in support of their lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department. [YouTube/Cook County Public Defender]

When it was Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli’s turn last July to beg county commissioners for mercy from a crushing wave of budget cuts, she warned them taking an ax to her office could make it impossible to meet the county’s constitutional obligation to give every defendant access to a lawyer.

But first, she explained why she was suing the Chicago Police Department.

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