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Police Officer Arrested For Allegedly Taking Bribe In Criminal Case

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(CBS File Photo)

(CBS File Photo)

Marissa Bailey (CBS) Marissa Bailey
Marissa Bailey is the weekend anchor of the CBS 2 Chicago morning...
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Updated 09/18/12 – 3:56 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago Police officer has been arrested for allegedly accepting a bribe in connection with a criminal case.

CBS 2′s Marissa Bailey has details on how it went down, and reaction from the departments’ top cop.

It started as a routine traffic stop in front of a Popeye’s at the corner of 26th Street and California Avenue, just feet from the Cook County Criminal Courts building.

“It was a low level arrest. It was, like, for aggravated unlicensed driver,” Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said. “The person who was arrested had an extensive criminal history.”

McCarthy said, after realizing the suspect’s criminal background, the Ogden District officer conducting the traffic stop made the man an offer.

“The officer apparently solicited a bribe from the offender in this case, by saying something to the effect of ‘For $5,000, we can make this all go away,’” McCarthy said. “The offender called his relatives, who called Internal Affairs.”

Internal affairs officers showed up to the suspect’s house, with video recording devices and marked money, then instructed the driver to rendezvous with officer who had pulled him over.

McCarthy said the entire exchange between the driver and the officer was caught on tape when the driver delivered the money, and the officer was immediately arrested.

“We’ve got very significant evidence in this case. We have video, we have tape recordings, we have testimony; and the fact is, I don’t see him beating this rap,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy said such misconduct will not be tolerated on his watch.

“We have a zero tolerance for this,” McCarthy said. “If it was $50, or $5,000, we’re going to take every step we can to ensure that this person is fired and prosecuted,” McCarthy said.

The officer’s identity has not yet been released, but McCarthy said the officer works in the Ogden District and joined the department in 1994.

The so-called “Marquette 10” also worked at the Ogden District. They were the 10 police officers convicted of taking bribes to allow drug rings to operate in the district.

The Ogden District is located on the city’s Lower West Side, and includes much of the North Lawndale and Little Village neighborhoods, as well as the Cook County Criminal Courthouse and Jail.

The investigation is ongoing, police say. It was not clear whether charges have been filed.

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