Chicago Police Board Weighs Fate of Officer Who Pulled Gun on Cabbie

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Chicago police detective convicted of a crime is fighting to keep his job. A jury convicted John Killackey of assaulting a cab driver and refusing to pay the fare. NBC5 ’s Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

    The Chicago Police Board is considering whether to keep an officer on the job after a 2010 conviction for pulling his gun on a cab driver while off-duty.

    It comes as a relief to the driver who said he feared for his life.

    "It became a cab driver's nightmare," Karl Clermont said. "He didn't pay. That's a mental rape for any cab driver, to not get paid and have somebody just walk off and not pay."

    But it wasn’t just an ordinary fare. Clermont picked up off-duty police Detective John Killackey in April 2009 outside an Ontario Street nightclub where Killackey admits he had been drinking.

    Clermont then dropped him at the intersection of Armitage and Damen. As Killackey walked away, Clermont lowered the window and told him, "Hey, you forgot to pay."

    Killackey said he didn't owe him anything. When Clermont told him he would call the police, he says the situation escalated.

    "He reaches into his right-hand side," Clermont said. "It looks like he is going to his pocket for some money. Instead he pulls out a weapon, points it at me directly and says, 'I don't owe you s---.'"

    Eventually Killackey collapsed on the street, allegedly from alcohol, and Clermont called 911.

    "I am thinking I am going to die, for eight bucks," he said.

    In June 2010, Detective Killackey was convicted of aggravated assault and theft of services and sentenced to probation and community service, but he remained on the force.

    During Friday’s hearing, Killackey pleaded guilty to bringing his gun to a place where he planned to consume alcohol but not guilty to all of the other charges.

    The case is due back before the hearing officer on July 14. The board will then review the video tapes and transcripts of the two days of hearings before it decides whether Killackey will keep his job or be booted from the force.

    Since the incident, Clermont has moved on to a new career.

    "I am an EMT now," he said. "I don't want to drive a cab. It's too dangerous."

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