Two Chicago police officers have been relieved of police powers and an internal investigation has been launched after home video surfaced on the Internet.
Two police officers face dismissal this week after they were spotted in a video letting gang members taunt a suspect in police custody.
Susana La Casa and Luis Contreras will appear before a Police Board Wednesday to defend their case, and according to Chicago Public Radio, Supt. Garry McCarthy is recommending their dismissal.
Casa and Contreras are accused of unlawfully restraining a man in their squad car in 2011 while members of a suspected rival gang taunted and threatened him. The scene was videotaped and posted to YouTube on March 19, 2011.
The video, about 90 seconds in length, begins with a shot of a crowd on the 1600 block of North Spaulding Avenue and the police vehicle on the street. The noise is not discernible until an off-camera voice says, "Get a close-up."
The camera then moves in for its next shot, revealing a young man, a gang member, in the back seat of the police vehicle. Two officers standing nearby appear to do nothing to block its access. A bystander told NBCChicago at the time that the officers let the crowd taunt the arrestee with insults and apparent gang signs.
"They were laughing; laughing at whomever is in the vehicle," she said.
Police officials refused to clarify at the time why the officers took the man into custody but said the Internal Affairs Division was looking into the matter.
"The conduct that is alleged does not reflect the behavior and core values of the men and women of the Chicago Police Department nor our commitment to serve the community in a professional matter," the division said in a statement.
The officers were relieved of their police powers during the investigation and charges were filed in September.