Cop on Lightfoot’s security team charged with domestic battery

The 17-year veteran officer, Marni Washington, turned herself in about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday in the 2400 block of West Belmont Avenue after a warrant was issued for her arrest.

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A Chicago police officer assigned to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s security detail turned herself in July 3, 2019, after a warrant was issued for her arrest on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge.

A Chicago police officer assigned to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s security detail turned herself in July 3, 2019, after a warrant was issued for her arrest on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

A Chicago police officer assigned to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s security detail has been charged with a misdemeanor count of domestic battery.

The 17-year veteran officer, Marni Washington, turned herself in about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday in the 2400 block of West Belmont Avenue after a warrant was issued for her arrest for the June 27 incident, according to Chicago police.

During an argument, a 53-year-old woman attempted to leave a residence when Washington, 50, allegedly pinned the woman with her arm against a wall and threatened her verbally, police said. She also removed personal property from the woman and ripped her clothing, police said.

Washington was assigned to the mayor’s security detail as part of the department’s Detached Services Unit, a police spokesperson said.

According to city records, Washington is assigned as a “security specialist” and earns a salary of $107,790. She has two use of force complaints concerning “physical force —holding,” according to the Citizens Police Data Project, which tracks allegations of police misconduct in Chicago.

Lightfoot was asked about the embarrassing incident at a news conference Wednesday near Navy Pier called to outline security preparations for July Fourth weekend.

”I’m not gonna get into the specifics, given the circumstances. The process will be a process that is followed. It’s longstanding CPD protocol,” the mayor said.

”It’s a person that I know. A person that I care [about] and value. But the process is gonna have to play out in normal course.”

Washington was stripped of her police powers at the time of her arrest and has been placed on administrative duty, police said.

Washington appeared in court Wednesday before Judge Megan Goldish, who set her bail at $10,000, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office and court records. She was released after posting bond and her next court date was set for July 29.

An order of protection has been issued in the case, according to court records.

Lightfoot’s bodyguard detail has become a source of controversy — at least with the Fraternal Order of Police — because of her decision to hire retired U.S. Marshal Jim Smith to lead a detail that has long been the exclusive purview of Chicago police officers.

Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, co-chaired the Task Force on Police Accountability, which issued a scathing report on the police department following the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald in 2014.

Contributing: Fran Spielman

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