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Chicago Police Lieutenant Quits Ahead Of Watchdog Probe Over Racist, Homophobic Posts

Lt. John Cannon ultimately confessed to running the page, according to a police watchdog. Investigators recommended he be fired, but he quit.

A Chicago Police logo at Chicago Police headquarters on May 17, 2022.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — A longtime Chicago police lieutenant retired amid an investigation that he made racist and sexist posts under a Facebook page called “Samuel Hipster.”

Lt. John Cannon served 24 years and retired Oct. 15, police said. He left just before the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the city’s police watchdog, released a report recommending Cannon be fired over bigoted social media posts.

In 16 posts over two years Cannon “disparage(d) the same protected classes he took an oath to protect and serve, including Muslims, African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, the LGBTQ community and women,” according to the report.

One post included a photoshopped image of Barack Obama in a hijab with the caption, “Obama Is ISIS,” and another stereotyped firefighters as gay, according to the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Cannon shared a post that read, “White privilege is a myth perpetuated by those who hate white people,” according to the report.

Cannon frequently shared posts showing support for the MAGA movement and bias against Latino immigrants, according to the report. One included side-by-side images of a young man in a red MAGA hat and a person in drag, reading “LIBERAL LOGIC: Kid in MAGA hat, offensive. Kid in drag, BRAVE!,” according to the report.

Cannon’s attorney, Dan Herbert, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Police said Cannon last worked in the alternative response section, an office in the Near West Side staffed by desk cops stripped of police powers or not medically cleared for duty.

Cannon had 27 use of force reports, more than 97 percent other officers, according to the Invisible Institute. He also had 101 honorable mentions, more than 95 percent of officers.

Cannon was interviewed as part of the investigation and “suggested at times that someone had ‘hacked’ his account,” according to the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. But investigators traced Samuel Hipsters’ page back to Cannon and found a selfie he had posted on it, according to the report.

Credit: COPA
Pages in COPA’s report shows evidence that he was behind an incendiary Facebook page named “Samuel Hipster.”

Cannon recently studied at University of Illinois Chicago School of Law and sued the the school for discriminating against white cops, according to ABC7. Cannon said the school damaged his reputation after he contested emails from the dean about George Floyd’s murder.

Cannon told investigators he was “the victim of discrimination by multiple deans and a visiting lecturer,” and a visiting professor and fellow student had hacked his Facebook page. He ultimately admitted the “Samuel Hipster” account belonged to him, thought it was private and “intended for the account to be jestful and humorous,” according to the report.

Cannon posted his selfie to the page after making the dean’s list, according to the report.

“The liberal police hating class at this law school probably hates the fact that a rotten police officer kicks a— there,” Cannon wrote in the post. “Just give me my law degree you a—holes.”

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