Did Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) throw his weight around and ask for a special favor from police? Or did the officers treat the alderman rudely?
Those are the questions that must be answered by the Chicago Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division after the alderman filed a complaint accusing the officers of mistreating him when they refused to let him drive through a crime scene.
The confrontation — captured on bodycam and cellphone video — occurred on the night of June 18 near Maldonado’s home in Humboldt Park.
Maldonado had his three children in the car and got angry when he asked an officer how he could get home and got no reply.
“He refused to give me any answer. Very smart ass. I’m very frustrated. I have my three little ones here and I want to get to my house,” the alderman said to one of the officers on the scene.
Bodycam video shows that police officers got their back up when Maldonado immediately identified himself as an alderman and asked for a favor that would not be available to an average Joe.
“Can anybody drive me to my house?” the alderman said.
An officer replies, “Is that a special favor you’re asking for as an alderman?”
Maldonado responds that he is simply “asking as a citizen.” He added, “You tell me. What should I do with my little three kids — stay out here all night?”
A police officer replies, “You should drive around and find a parking spot as close to your house as possible so your children don’t get wet. And then just proceed into your house, sir.”
Maldonado countered, “I don’t want to do that. I don’t need to do that. It would be a safety matter to do what you’re asking me to do. You give me another alternative that would be safe for my kids.”
Another officer stands his ground, telling Maldonado that he “wouldn’t interfere with officers who are in the middle of an active crime scene investigation.”
“From the moment you walked up, you announced who you were. You didn’t say, ‘I’m a citizen.’ You didn’t say, “I’m a neighbor.’ You made it quite clear to inform us that you’re an alderman. Are you looking for a special favor as an alderman?” the officer asks.
Maldonado was livid.
“You know what? This why the Police Department in such bad shape with the citizens,” he said.
Maldonado could not be reached for comment.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Maldonado filed a complaint accusing the officers of “rude and discourteous” behavior toward him. The Bureau of Internal Affairs is “actively investigating” the complaint, he said.