A white, plainclothes police officer on duty in a black neighborhood who was videotaped saying, “Mike Brown deserved it” will lose about a week’s vacation and be sent to retraining because he was “taunted and abused” before losing his cool, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Friday.
Three days after Mayor Rahm Emanuel publicly condemned the officer and hinted strongly that the officer would be fired, McCarthy disclosed that the punishment would be lenient.
“In this case, it’s not going to reach the Police Board. This is a case where we’re just going to discipline the officer, take some vacation days from him and send him for retraining,” McCarthy said, during a taping of the WLS-AM Radio program, “Connected to Chicago,” to be broadcast at 7 p.m. Sunday.
“The officers didn’t start that confrontation. That guy walked up while the officers were doing their job. He was not involved. Stuck his nose in and started taunting and abusing the officers. And unfortunately, the officer bit. And he lowered himself to get into an argument and a confrontation with somebody that he shouldn’t have done.”
McCarthy said the officer, whom he refused to identify, is “sick to his stomach” about his failure to “maintain his composure and his professionalism.” But, the superintendent said, “That’s “as far as it goes, as far as I’m concerned.”
In fact, McCarthy turned the tables and wondered aloud why the man who “taunted and abused” the officer was not being punished as well.
“A police officer was stopping somebody and somebody else comes over and starts arguing with the police officer and starts recording it. There were some comments that the officer made that were not appropriate. Let’s put it that way. But by the same token, that officer is being held accountable but nobody is holding the individual accountable who was taunting the officer while he was doing his job and that’s a little bit troubling because it has to be fair,” McCarthy said.
“We’re disciplining the officer involved in that particular event that was videotaped. But by the same token, is anybody taking a look at the individual who made inflammatory comments to the officer like, ‘I don’t know if you’re gonna shoot me. You’re gonna shoot me just like Michael Brown.’ Here’s an officer doing his job trying to protect the public and stop people from getting murdered.”
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Dan Mihalopoulos reported last week that the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division was investigating the white male officer videotaped making an remark about Brown, the black teenager whose shooting death by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked riots last year.
In a 41-second video posted on YouTube, the officer is seen wearing a black bulletproof vest and standing next to an unmarked police vehicle while he bickers with the man who records the argument.
As the clip begins, the officer appears to be replying to a complaint that the police engage in racial profiling.
“It’s all black people that live here, so I got no choice but to f—— pull over black people,” the officer says. “If you don’t like it, then move.”
“Ain’t gotta go nowhere,” the unidentified man shooting the video replies.
“Then, sit around and b—-,” the officer says. “I don’t give a f—. If you think that camera is gonna make a difference to me [in] what the f— I say, you’re incorrect.”
The man recording the video tells the officer he doesn’t trust the police because “you all might shoot us,” then mentions Brown.
“Mike Brown deserved it,” the Chicago cop answers as he walks toward the police car at the end of the video. “He got what he had coming.”
Earlier this week, Emanuel publicly condemned the officer. The mayor was somewhat careful not to prejudge the Chicago Police Department’s internal investigation. But, he could not contain himself when asked what should happen to the unidentified officer.
“I’m not going to judge what should happen. It’s under investigation where it belongs. But, I’ll speak to the values of the city of Chicago. Those values — as expressed [by saying that Mike Brown] deserved what he had coming do not belong in the city of Chicago, do not reflect who we are as a city and don’t reflect what we are trying to do in building one city, one future,” the mayor said then.
“The investigation will conclude. That will be the responsibility to be clear. But I want to be clear as mayor what our values are. And there is no place for discrimination. No place for racism. And no place for expressing discriminatory or racist views. You represent the city of Chicago and all of the people that pay your salary.”