The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating a Chicago Police officer who is seen in a viral Facebook video shouting profanities at a pair of African-American men.
“I kill mother—-ers,” Officer James Hunt appears to say at the beginning of the video, which was recorded on the Fourth of July.
Two men and a boy were charged with misdemeanors following the incident, which NBC-5 reported took place in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.
Those arrests, the officer’s actions, and the events leading up to the confrontation are all under investigation by COPA.
Courtesy of Tia Ewing via Facebook
“This kind of behavior is not what is expected of Department members and is in contrast to the hard work we have done and continue to do to rebuild trust with the communities we serve,” a police department spokesperson said in a statement.
The video opens with a man asking Hunt –– sitting in a stopped unmarked police SUV –– if he “tried to hit me with your car.”
Hunt then is seen on the video threatening to lock the man up for “walking in the street… illegally.”
A little more than a minute into the video, Hunt leaves his SUV and follows that man and others into a park. At one point, the whole group stops after Hunt says one of the men had “hit my shoe”.
Hunt repeatedly asks the man with a camera to stop recording him, at one point saying, incorrectly, that it is illegal under Illinois’ “two-party consent” rule. Illinois law allows the recording of police officers in the course of their normal duties.
The video ends as the men discuss calling Hunt’s sergeant and note that a tag identifying his name and badge number was not visible on his uniform. Hunt is seen on the video calling one of the men a “retard” and complains that “you’re walking in my way.” The man holding the camera-phone complains that Hunt is reaching for his phone and he seems to be moving away from Hunt when the video cuts off abruptly.
Dumarcus Wright, 20, was arrested for simple assault and battery; Kenneth Lee, 21, was arrested for aggravated assault to a peace officer; and a 15-year old boy was arrested for aggravated assault to a peace officer, aggravated battery of a peace officer, and a traffic citation for obstruction of traffic.
The video has been viewed 434,000 times as of late Wednesday afternoon.
A COPA spokesperson said their investigation into the incident was in its “early stages.” The officer has not been placed on desk duty, according to the CPD.
Hunt was the subject of five complaints in 2014 and 2015, according to the Citizens Police Data Project, which has obtained records of police complaints from that period through the Freedom of Information Act. One complaint accused Hunt of unspecified “verbal abuse.” The complaint was dropped because the complainant did not submit an affidavit to investigators.