CHICAGO (CBS) — A Bronzeville businessman is accusing an Evergreen Park police officer of an attempted shakedown.
As CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports, Michael Holton is angry and upset.
Holton is an insurance company benefit enroller, a Little League coach, and father of four who’s putting three of his kids through college.
Tuesday night, after pulling out of a gas station on 87th Street west of Western Avenue, he was stopped by an Evergreen Park police officer, and ticketed for a burned-out license plate lamp and driving on a suspended license.
Then, he alleges, after the officer informed him he’d need $800 to get his car out of impound, he was shaken down.
“The cop proceeds to tell me, ‘but Mike, if you could help us find a gun or locate a gun on the streets, we can make that go away and you can get your car back, right away,” Holton said.
He claimed he was told he’d have to come up with a handgun, and drop it in a dumpster at one of four locations on Chicago’s South Side.
“They could go ahead then and retrieve the weapon, come back to their chief or commanding officer, and let them know that they’ve taken a gun off the streets, and I helped end it, and I could get my car back, at no charge,” he said.
Holton’s lawyer, Jon Loevy, said this is not the first such case he’s heard of.
“If they catch you with a little bit of dope or drugs, no problem,” Loevy said. “We’ll make this go away, but I need a gun. Where can I get a gun?”
Holton said, “The menacing thing is that I’m scared to go over there to pay the money to retrieve my car.”
Holton said he plans to file a formal complaint against the officer. The deputy chief of the Evergreen Park Police Department would say only that no such complaint has been received.