One year ago, Chicago police chased one of their own down Roosevelt Road, a pursuit which ended in a violent crash which killed the allegedly fleeing officer and another motorist.
Despite the passage of time, investigators have revealed virtually nothing about what they have learned about that incident. And 12 months later, the victims’ families say they believe answers are long overdue.
“This is a case where a police officer is chasing an off-duty police officer, and when we say off-duty, he had just left the district,” says attorney James Montgomery Jr. “The public deserves answers—it doesn’t take a year to get it.”
All that is known for certain, is that it was a violent accident. Officer Taylor Clark, who was allegedly fleeing his fellow officers, rammed another car driven by 27 year old Chequita Adams. Both Adams and Clark died in the accident, at the intersection of Kostner and Roosevelt Road.
“I smell a rat,” says Montgomery, who represents Adams’ family in a lawsuit against the city. “Taylor Clark is dead, and can’t tell us what happened.”
The incident occurred at approximately 1 a.m. June 27 of 2017. Later that day, police said the officers had given pursuit because Clark’s Jeep SUV matched the description of a similar car involved in a pair of carjacking incidents June 9, a few weeks before the fatal crash.
“They had to know that couldn’t be true,” says Montgomery, who notes that documents provided by city attorneys show that the SUV in the earlier case had been quickly recovered.
“That was recovered the next day, June 10, and this incident happened 17 days later,” he says. “It had no relationship to this, couldn’t and they had to know it.”
A separate suit was filed against the city this week by attorney Thomas Needham on behalf of Clark’s family.
The matter is being investigated by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. When it was established, COPA leaders promised rapid and transparent investigations of incidents involving Chicago Police. But after one year, the public file for the Clark case on the COPA web site contains surveillance videos of the crash, along with only a single report, which has no details of the incident.
“I am suspicious that stories that have been given us sound like a cover-up,” Montgomery told NBC 5. “And we need to get to the bottom of it.”