The Chicago Police Department is asking prosecutors to see if two officers shown in a video on the city’s Northwest Side ought to face criminal charges.
The video, shot March 19 in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, shows the officers outside a marked police SUV with a backdoor open as onlookers flash gang signs and taunt a young man inside. After WBEZ spotted the recording, the police department stripped the officers of their police powers and put them on desk duty. The department’s Internal Affairs Division began an investigation.
Now the department has referred the case to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, according to office spokeswoman Sally Daly, who declined to comment further.
“It’s a rare occurrence when Internal Affairs actually refers a case for potential criminal prosecution,” says Craig Futterman, a clinical law professor at the University of Chicago.
Chicago attorney Arthur Loevy this week said he represents the young man shown in the video. Loevy said the youth is a minor and that the two officers put him into the SUV against his will.
WBEZ is not naming the officers at this time.
Some neighborhood residents, meanwhile, are circulating a petition that asks the police department to return the officers to beat duty.