Body cam video shows CPD chief’s niece warn officers as they take cop’s car during drug bust: ‘My auntie’s probably your boss’

“My auntie’s a police officer,” the niece of Internal Affairs Chief Yolanda Talley says in footage of the Feb. 1 incident. “This is her car.”

SHARE Body cam video shows CPD chief’s niece warn officers as they take cop’s car during drug bust: ‘My auntie’s probably your boss’
Yolanda Talley, chief of internal affairs for the Chicago Police Department.

Yolanda Talley, chief of internal affairs for the Chicago Police Department.

Chicago Police Department

The niece of a Chicago police chief warned officers last month that her “auntie’s probably your boss” when they took possession of the high-ranking cop’s Lexus during a big heroin bust in East Garfield Park, video from a body-worn camera shows.

“My auntie’s a police officer,” the niece of Internal Affairs Chief Yolanda Talley then says in the footage of the Feb. 1 incident, obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times in response to a Freedom of Information request. “This is her car.”

Talley’s niece was behind the wheel when narcotics officers saw the passenger, 34-year-old Kenneth Miles, toss 84 baggies of heroin from the car in the 500 block of North Saint Louis Avenue, according to police reports. Talley wasn’t there.

The officers who arrested Miles were placed on desk duty without explanation, the Sun-Times has reported. And while they took the car to the police department’s Homan Square facility after the arrest, it was never impounded.

It’s routine for the police to impound cars that are stopped during narcotics arrests and search them for guns and drugs. And it can cost hundreds of dollars for a vehicle owner like Talley to get a car out of the city’s impound lot.

In this case, Talley’s Lexus was returned to her niece after investigators determined she “did not have any knowledge of said narcotics being inside the vehicle,” according to a report by the gang investigation division obtained through a public records request.

The report notes officers began tracking the Lexus as soon as Talley’s niece picked Miles up near the scene of the arrest. Prior to that, a sergeant monitoring Miles from a police POD camera suspected he possessed narcotics.

An investigative stop report shows Talley’s niece wasn’t patted down when Miles was arrested, though her belongings were searched. She ultimately “went on her way,” according to the report.

The body-worn camera footage obtained by the Sun-Times is highly edited, and Talley’s niece’s face and body are obscured throughout multiple videos. However, one of the videos shows the niece lashing out at the arresting officers as they moved to take the car.

In the video, she repeatedly swore at officers and referenced her aunt’s status on the police department. At one point, an officer shows a pair of car keys attached to what appears to be a miniature Chicago police star.

“Don’t worry about it because my auntie’s probably your boss,” says Talley, who is pulled from the back seat of the Lexus as she apparently tries to retrieve some of her belongings.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot greets then-Cmdr. Yolanda Talley before a press conference at the 10th District in Lawndale on Aug. 20, 2020.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot greets then-Cmdr. Yolanda Talley before a press conference at the 10th District in Lawndale on Aug. 20, 2020.

Pat Nabong / Sun-Times

The Sun-Times reported on Talley’s niece’s statement last month, based on an account from a source familiar with the incident.

Ernest Cato III, chief of the police department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism, was listed on a complaint against Talley with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability that noted her car was involved in the arrest. COPA then referred the “alleged misconduct” to the city’s inspector general’s office because it was outside the agency’s jurisdiction.

Questions remain over whether Talley or her niece were given favorable treatment and why the arresting officers were later pulled from their normal assignments.A police spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

A high-ranking police official previously said the move to pull the officers off the street could have only come from Supt. David Brown, First Deputy Supt. Eric Carter or Cato.

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