CHICAGO — More than 250 complaints have been filed against the Chicago Police Department just since Friday — many of them from protesters.
The 258 complaints that have come in so far have been for excessive force, denial of counsel, improper search and seizure and verbal abuse, said Sydney Roberts, head of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. The agency investigates misconduct in the Chicago Police Department.
Most of the complaints have been related to recent protests over the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis, Roberts said.
Protesters — and journalists — have reported being brutalized, beaten with batons and pepper sprayed by Chicago Police officers at such events.
The agency “must and will conduct fair, independent, objective and thorough investigations, and we will leave no stone unturned in the conduct of that investigation,” Roberts said during a Thursday press conference on police reform.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability has also sent a “host” of complaints to the Police Department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs, Roberts said. Those complaints have covered officers not turning on body cameras, concealing or not wearing their nametags and acting unprofessionally, among other things.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot confirmed the agency, which is independent, is investigating officers who were seen in a video from the weekend dragging a Black woman out of a car and kneeling on her.
Roberts and Lightfoot declined to comment on specific allegations of misconduct, with the mayor saying she did not want to prejudice investigations.
But Lightfoot did said there have been “deeply disturbing” videos — though she did urge the public to wait for officials to investigate and report on allegations of misconduct.
“We will hold people accountable who cross the line. I’m aware of reports of misconduct,” Lightfoot said. “Those will not be tolerated, and they will be aggressively investigated.”
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability investigates complaints and then recommends what discipline should be used, if any. The Chicago Police superintendent — and, in some instances, the Chicago Police Board — then reviews those recommendations and decides what steps to take with officers.
People who wish a file complaint with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability can call 311. More information about filing a complaint is available online.
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