Cop Calls for Reopening of “Austin 7” Case

Officer says he has evidence no one has ever seen that proves seven officers were framed 15 years ago

A current Chicago police officer says he has evidence no one has ever seen that proves seven officers were framed 15 years ago: VHS footage depicting what he said was a fake robbery staged by police to make him and other officers look as though they were robbering a drug dealer's girlfriend.

Never prosecuted himself, Otha McCoy, better known as TC, called for the investigation into police corruption be reopened.

"This has affected a community in which I would have gave my blood, sweat and tears and my life for," he said outside Chicago police headquarters Tuesday.

It was Dec. 20, 1996 when seven tactical officers from the 15th District were indicted for stealing or extorting more than $65,000 from undercover FBI agents posing as west side drug dealers.

"This is a very sad day because these seven individuals were not only acting as cops, they were acting as robbers," then-U.S. Attorney Jim Burns said at the time.

All seven and one civilian were convicted in the wake of Operation Broken Star. Three of those officers are still serving time in federal prisons.

McCoy admits he may have been the original target of the Internal Affairs investigation, but he says that when authorities couldn't get anything on him, they went after other members of his tactical unit.

"These seven officers were not the target of this investigation, but they were taken off the streets," he said.

McCoy and the executive director of the African American Police League are calling on police to reopen the investigation into the so-called Austin 7, despite it being one that has already taken a big toll on the community.

"Our community is continuing to be devastated. There's no trust of the police. The police department morale is low," said Pat Hill.

McCoy said he recently reached out to Attorney General Eric Holder's office asking to have the case reopened and was told it was a local matter.

There was no comment Tuesday from the Chicago Police Department on McCoy's demands.

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