COPA

COPA Recommends Firing Of Three Chicago Officers

One of the cases dates back to 2014

Amid earnest calls for greater police accountability, Chicago's Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) is recommending three CPD officers be fired after lying to investigators about two separate incidents.

In the first case, COPA sustained allegations of excessive force against Officer Clauzell Gause, after he was seen on video striking a handcuffed man in an exam room at Jackson Park Hospital.

That man, Rayshon Gartley had been admitted for a mental health evaluation. Last year, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx dropped criminal charges against the officer, saying Gartley refused to cooperate and show up in court.

But COPA recommended Gause's separation from the department, and in a statement said CPD Superintendent David Brown agreed with that finding.

Published reports indicate Gartley settled a lawsuit against the city for $175,000.

In the second case, COPA also recommended the termination of officers Carol Weingart and Laura Kuhlman, who were accused of making false statements to investigators about a 2015 incident where Kuhlman was seen firing her weapon at a moving vehicle with other civilians present, a violation of departmental policy.

COPA's reports indicate that in statements to investigators, the officers reportedly suggested Kuhlman was in danger of being hit by the fleeing vehicle. But the investigators said the video did not support that contention.

The firings now go to the Chicago Police Board for final action.

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