Mihalopoulos: CPD investigating cop for saying ‘Mike Brown deserved it’
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The Chicago Police Department is investigating an incident in which a white, plainclothes officer on duty in an African-American neighborhood was videotaped saying, “Mike Brown deserved it.”
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Tuesday the department has identified the officer recorded making that statement regarding Michael Brown, the black teenager whose shooting death by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked riots last year.
But Guglielmi would not name the white, male officer, who also is heard making other racially charged remarks in a video posted on YouTube.
In the 41-second video, the officer is seen wearing a black bulletproof vest and standing next to an unmarked police vehicle while he bickers with the man who records the argument.
WARNING: Video contains offensive language.
As the clip begins, the officer appears to be replying to a complaint that the police engage in racial profiling.
“It’s all black people that live here, so I got no choice but to f—— pull over black people,” the officer says. “If you don’t like it, then move.”
“Ain’t gotta go nowhere,” the unidentified man shooting the video replies.
“Then, sit around and b—-,” the officer says. “I don’t give a f—. If you think that camera is gonna make a difference to me [in] what the f— I say, you’re incorrect.”
The man recording the video tells the officer he doesn’t trust the police because “you all might shoot us,” then mentions Brown.
“Mike Brown deserved it,” the Chicago cop answers as he walks toward the police car at the end of the video. “He got what he had coming.”
The video, first reported by the Mediatakeout website, quickly came to the attention of Chicago police brass, who sought to distance themselves Tuesday from the sentiments expressed by the officer.
“The comments in this video are troubling and do not represent the views of the department,” Guglielmi told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Upon learning of the video, we have opened an internal affairs investigation into the actions of the officer.”
Guglielmi said the police would not identify the officer because of the ongoing investigation.
He gave the same reason for declining to say where the videotaped incident took place.
It’s unclear when the video was recorded. The city’s Independent Police Review Authority received a complaint about the video last week but referred the matter to the police department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs, IPRA spokesman Larry Merritt said.
Merritt said that’s because IPRA deals with allegations of officers engaging in “verbal abuse with bias” — cases in which police may have used derogatory terms referencing someone’s sexual orientation, religious preference or ethnicity. That wasn’t the case in the video, which was posted online last week, Merritt said.
IPRA was created in 2007 in response to concerns about how the department was handling allegations of officer misconduct.
A review of six years of Internal Affairs decisions by University of Chicago law professor Craig Futterman found that officers were not disciplined in more than 99.5 percent of cases.
Guglielmi, the police spokesman, said the department “prides itself of fostering productive relationships with communities to help make Chicago safer.”
There’s obviously nothing productive about a white officer arguing on a street corner — much less with someone videotaping the exchange, and in a black neighborhood — about a topic as racially charged as Brown’s death.
Never mind that a St. Louis County grand jury didn’t indict the officer who shot Brown.
How the Chicago police deal with the officer in the video could go a long way toward showing whether the department abhors such behavior as much as it says it does.