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Police Board votes to fire officer involved in chase preceding crash that killed off-duty cop, civilian

The board noted in a written decision that Officer Jamie Jawor failed to use lights or sirens as she drove over 100 miles per hour in an unmarked police vehicle while trailing Officer Taylor Clark through the West Side. 

The scene of the crash that killed off-duty Chicago police officer Taylor Clark and Chequita Adams in June 2017.
The scene of the crash that killed off-duty Chicago police officer Taylor Clark and Chequita Adams in June 2017.
Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file photo

The Chicago Police Board voted Thursday to fire an officer for brazenly pursuing an off-duty cop before he was involved in a high-speed crash that left him and another driver dead.

In a 7-0 decision, members of the board agreed to dismiss Officer Jamie Jawor for her role in the chase that preceded the fatal collision in June 2017. One board member recused herself.

The board noted in a written decision that Jawor failed to use lights or sirens as she drove over 100 miles per hour in an unmarked police vehicle while trailing Officer Taylor Clark through the West Side.

Clark, who was 32 and had recently finished work, ran a red light during the chase and crashed into a vehicle driven by 27-year-old Chequita Adams near the intersection of Roosevelt Road and Kostner Avenue. Both were killed.

Jawor “violated the law and Department rules and policy by driving at a very high rate of speed, at one point exceeding 100 m.p.h., on a city street on which there were other vehicular traffic and pedestrians,” the board wrote. “In so doing, [Jawor] endangered the lives of pedestrians and persons in the vehicles she passed.”

As a result, the board ruled that allowing Jawor to return to duty as a police officer would pose “an unacceptable risk to public safety.” She had been suspended without pay.

Jawor and her partner were pursuing Clark because his Jeep Cherokee matched the description of another vehicle linked to an earlier carjacking. However, that vehicle had been recovered weeks before the collision, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability found.

Jawor’s attorney, Jim McKay, declined comment.

The crash has already come at an enormous cost to taxpayers. In 2019, the city settled a lawsuit filed by Adams’ family for nearly $5 million. Another suit brought by Clark’s family is pending in Cook County court.

The case was initially sent to the Police Board after former Supt. Eddie Johnson disagreed with COPA’s assertion that Jawor should be fired, though Supt. David Brown later supported her dismissal last August.

Brown, however, suffered a loss in another high-profile case Thursday in which he disagreed with COPA’s disciplinary recommendations.

COPA previously suggested discipline for eight officers involved in the fatal police shooting of Harith Augustus in July 2018. Brown proposed lighter consequences for two officers COPA sought to have suspended.

COPA recommended a 60-day suspension for Officer Megan Fleming, charged with making physical contact with Augustus without justification, failing to activate her body-worn camera in a timely manner and failing to discuss the shooting with another police official. A 30 day-suspension was also recommended for Lt. Davina Ward in connection to allegations she failed to separate Fleming from another officer and ensure they didn’t communicate with each other.

Brown instead called for a 10-day suspension for Fleming and a reprimand for Ward. But on Thursday, board member Matthew Crowl ultimately ruled to uphold COPA’s recommendations.