The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating an allegation that a Chicago cop was photographed posing in blackface at a costume party.
The newly-unearthed photo, which was circulated Sunday on Facebook, apparently shows a man in a sailor costume donning blackface makeup and standing next to a woman who appears to be dressed as a mermaid.
The Facebook post identifies the man as a Chicago police officer and includes a screenshot outlining settlements related to misconduct lawsuits filed against the purported officer. The Sun-Times could not immediately verify the identity of the man pictured in the viral post, and it wasn’t immediately known when the photo was taken.
Another photo posted to Facebook in October 2017 appears to show the same man and woman posing in their costumes.
Ephraim Eaddy, a COPA spokesman, confirmed that the agency was investigating the allegation.
“COPA has been made aware and is investigating an allegation that a Chicago Police Department officer posed in blackface,” Eaddy said in a statement. “COPA is in the early stages of its investigation and has not yet identified that the individual is a member of the Chicago Police Department.”
“However, such actions if committed by a member of the department would be deemed unacceptable and undermining of the public’s trust,” Eaddy added.
CPD spokesman Tom Ahern said the department was prohibited from commenting on the allegation during COPA’s investigation.