Chicago Police

Police oversight panel asks Chicago's OIG to investigate CPD officers' ties to extremist groups

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Members of the Community Commission For Public Safety and Accountability voted unanimously Thursday night to recommend the Office of Inspector General to investigate nine Chicago police officers and their alleged involvement in extremist and hate-based organizations. 

“We think that in order to restore that trust and actually rebuild it, you actually have to have an independent and neutral body investigating it,” CCPSA president Anthony Driver said. “I have full faith in Chief Talley of the Internal of Bureau Affairs they do a good job but we think its important that there’s an independent and neutral person who is leading that investigation.”

Driver told NBC Chicago the allegations are disturbing as first reported by the Chicago Sun Times.

“We’re trying to turn the page here. There’s a terrible history in the city of Chicago when it comes to policing,” he said. “We’re trying to actually move forward and do a better job and I think that starts with rooting out folks who are like that, who are members of those organizations.”

The allegations were addressed at a police budget hearing at City Hall earlier this week. Superintendent Larry Snelling said the department will not tolerate such behavior.

“The Chicago Police Department will be as stringent in the background investigation and we will complete thorough investigations to make sure that we do not have members of hate groups amongst our Chicago Police Department,” said CPD Supt. Larry Snelling. “Once those investigations have been completed and due process is served and we find that we have members amongst our ranks, who are members of hate groups. We will do everything that we can to remove those members from our ranks.”

This comes as the commission spent the past 10 months working with CPD to revise a policy that prohibits officers from associating with criminals or bias-based organization.

“The new policy should give the police department a stronger and more effective tool to fire police officers who associate with extremist or hate-based groups,” said Yvette Loizon, CCPSA commissioner.

The vote is in favor of the OIG to audit CPD’s process and practices for identifying and disciplining officers who associate with such groups, assess whether its effective and to recommend termination.

The commission is looking to hear from the public on the revised policy. Community members will get a chance to ask questions or share any feedback at a webinar next Monday afternoon. The plan is for the commission to vote on the revised policy next month.

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