CHICAGO — A Chicago Police officer is being investigated after a video showed him yelling a homophobic slur during a River North protest.
The police received a complaint of misconduct in the incident and are investigating in response, according to a Chicago Police Department statement released Saturday.
The video was shot May 30 during a protest over the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis. It shows a police officer walking with a stop sign near Grand Avenue and State Street.
Someone appears to throw a traffic cone at the officer, who turns around and yells, “(Indiscernible), b—-! Wait ’til I turn my back, you f—-ing f—–.”
The officer then walks away as people yell in anger.
“F—ing racist a– homophobic piece of s—,” one person says in response.
WARNING: Profanity and slurs:
The Police Department is trying to identify the officer who used the slur, according to its statement.
“The Chicago Police Department strives to treat all individuals our officers encounter with respect,” the agency said in the statement. “Any derogatory conduct is inexcusable and has no place in the Department. We do not tolerate this kind of behavior, which is why we have opened an investigation into this incident and will take appropriate disciplinary action immediately as we work to identify the officer involved.”
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability has received hundreds of complaints about officers’ behavior during the protests and fallout.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Friday the city will find and discipline officers who do not behave appropriately — including those who use homophobic language and profanity.
“While I believe that the vast majority of Chicago Police officers have done their job well and, under difficult circumstances, have exercised restraint, unfortunately we’re seeing evidence of some who have not,” Lightfoot said during a passionate speech. “We will not tolerate people who cross the line. We will not tolerate excessive force. We will not tolerate profanity and homophobic comments that demean the badge, demean the honor of being a Chicago Police officer and demean the value of who we are as Chicagoans. We will not tolerate that.
“Officers who choose to do those things or to tape over their badges or to turn off their bodyworn cameras — all things that violate very clear directives of the [CPD] — if you are one of those officers, we will find you, we will identify you and we will strip you of your police powers. … You are demeaning all of your colleagues, who are working their tails off on 12-hour shifts to keep our city safe. Shame on you. … As appropriate, you will be fired from the Chicago Police Department.”
Recent videos and photos have shown police officers hitting protesters with batons, hiding their identifying information, pushing and hitting people and pepper spraying reporters, among other things.
Last week, video showed police officers dragging a Black woman from a car by her hair and kneeling on her neck. A photo from a Block Club reporter showed another officer flipping off protesters. Those incidents are being investigated, the city has said, and Lightfoot has called for the officer who flipped off protesters to be fired.
And on Friday, WTTW revealed police hit the president of the Police Board, Ghian Foreman, with a baton while he protested Sunday. Foreman has filed a complaint with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which investigates officer misconduct.
People can file complaints with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability by calling 311.
“Some of the things we’ve seen aren’t honest mistakes,” Lightfoot said Friday. “These are people who do not share our values and will not be part of the Chicago Police Department.”
Still, Lightfoot said the vast majority of officers are doing good work amid the protests.
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