CPD chief’s niece told cops who busted her boyfriend for heroin, ‘My auntie’s probably your boss,’ source says
Officers pulled over a Lexus belonging to internal affairs chief Yolanda Talley on Feb. 1. Talley’s niece was driving, and a man in the passenger seat was charged with possession of 42 grams of heroin, but the car wasn’t impounded.
A Lexus belonging to the Chicago Police Department’s chief of internal affairs, Yolanda Talley, wasn’t impounded after cops found 42 grams of heroin during a traffic stop earlier this month — raising questions about whether she got favorable treatment.
Talley’s niece was behind the wheel of the car when officers stopped it on Feb. 1 in the 500 block of North St. Louis Avenue and saw her passenger, Kenneth Miles, 34, try to ditch 84 packets of heroin valued at $6,300, according to police records and a source familiar with the investigation.
Talley wasn’t in the car, but the source said her niece made sure the officers knew about their relationship.
“My auntie’s probably your boss,” she told police, according to the source.
Miles was arrested on drug charges. But Talley’s niece was cut loose because there wasn’t clear evidence linking her to the heroin, the source said. The officers involved in the incident were later pulled from the street by police brass without explanation.
After making the stop, the officers took Talley’s Lexus to the police department’s Homan Square facility on the West Side knowing it belonged to her, the source said. A decision was eventually made not to impound the car following conversations between high-ranking police officials.
“Knowing what we know, I don’t think Chief Yolanda Talley had any idea what was going on with her car,” the source said.
Still, it’s routine for the police to impound cars that are stopped during narcotics arrests and search them for guns and drugs. It can cost hundreds of dollars for a vehicle owner like Talley to get her car out of the city’s impound lot.
The source said there’s “always been a gray area” when it comes to impounding vehicles, although officers typically “take the car” in cases involving such large amounts of drugs.
It even happens when the quantities are small. For example, Miles was arrested in October 2020 after selling an undercover cop $30 worth of heroin, and the Ford Fusion he was riding in was impounded, and more than $1,200 in cash was recovered from the vehicle, according to an arrest report.
After the Feb. 1 arrest, officers drove Talley’s Lexus back to the block where the arrest took place, and the keys were returned to her niece, the source said.
Court records indicate the niece lives with Miles.
Miles is a reputed member of the Traveling Vice Lords street gang with a lengthy criminal record that includes multiple drug-related arrests, seven of which resulted in convictions, court records show.
At the time of the Feb. 1 arrest, he was free on bail in a separate felony case for allegedly selling fentanyl.
He’s now being held in jail without bail, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office.
A day after Miles was taken into custody, the officers involved in his arrest were taken off the street for training with no further explanation, a move the source called an apparent “punishment.”
“This was in direct response to this incident,” said the source, adding that all the officers are expected to return to normal duty next week.
A high-ranking police official said the move to pull the officers off the street could have only come from Supt. David Brown, First Deputy Supt. Eric Carter or Chief Ernest Cato.
Police spokesman Don Terry reiterated Tuesday that the incident involving Talley’s car has been referred to the city’s office of the inspector general. That’s to avoid a conflict of interest because in her role as chief of internal affairs, Talley is in charge of investigating allegations of misconduct against other officers.
Terry declined to answer questions from the Sun-Times.
Talley’s been a rising star in the police department and is well-regarded among many former and current bosses and rank-and-file officers interviewed by the Sun-Times. She’s been quickly promoted through the ranks, and many police sources say they thought she was being groomed for an even-higher position — perhaps the No. 2 spot if Carter were to retire.