The Chicago Police Department's watchdog agency is investigating after a former state lawmaker was taken into custody on an arrest warrant for a different man more than 30 years his junior during a traffic stop over the weekend.
Former state Rep. Art Turner Sr. was driving to pick up a new car on Saturday when police stopped him two blocks from his home on the city's West Side because he had no front license plate on his vehicle, Turner said. Capitol Fax first reported the incident.
The officers told him they had a warrant for his arrest, Turner told Capitol Fax, handcuffing him tightly and putting him in the back of their squad car despite his insistence that there was no warrant out for him. Turner said once they arrived at the police station, he was placed in a holding cell and asked to surrender his belt and shoe laces, according to Capitol Fax.
Turner represented Illinois' 9th District beginning in 1981 and ascended to the role of Deputy Majority Leader in the House before stepping down in 2010. His son, former state Rep. Art Turner Jr., took over his father's seat for 10 years, announcing his own retirement last month.
Turner Sr. told Capitol Fax that a Chicago police lieutenant who knew him from his years representing the area came to investigate and ultimately, the man with the warrant out for his arrest bore the same name, but was born in 1986, has tattoos on both arms and stands over 6 feet tall. Turner Sr. is nearly 70, Capitol Fax reported, smaller in stature and has no visible tattoos.
Turner Sr. was ultimately released without charges. He did not immediately respond to request for comment on the incident but told Capitol Fax that he then went to an area hospital to have his wrists checked and was referred to an orthopedic specialist. Turner also filed a complaint with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, CPD's watchdog agency that investigates allegations of misconduct, Capitol Fax reported.
CPD said in a statement that COPA's investigation into the incident was ongoing.
"The Chicago Police Department (CPD) strives to treat all individuals our officers encounter with respect and any misconduct by officers will not be tolerated," CPD said in a statement.
"A complaint has been received regarding this incident and an investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) is currently ongoing. Due to the open investigation, we are unable to comment further on this incident but we will ensure that if any wrongdoing is discovered by COPA, officers will be held accountable," the statement continued.
"As a reminder, anyone who feels they have been mistreated by a CPD officer is encouraged to call 311 and file a complaint with COPA, who will investigate allegations of misconduct," CPD's statement concluded.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot offered a brief comment on the incident at an unrelated news conference Wednesday morning, calling Turner Sr.'s arrest "hard to understand."
"It's hard to understand that one, it really is," Lightfoot said when asked about the situation. "I know that that is actively under investigation by internal affairs, so I won't comment further, but obviously there's a vast difference between a 73-year-old and a 30-year-old."
Capitol Fax reported that the officers involved in Turner Sr.'s arrest were part of CPD's newly announced citywide Summer Mobile Patrol Unit, deployed to areas around the city seeing high levels of crime and violence.