CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County prosecutors Tuesday accused a Chicago Police officer of firing five shots at an off-duty suburban cop who tried to pull him over for driving drunk.
John J. Gorman, 53, is charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm, a felony, Cook County prosecutors said. He’s being held in the Cook County Jail, records show. Gorman could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
He’s been on desk duty since the 2014 incident, which was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.
According to data compiled by the Citzens Police Data Project, Gorman has had 22 complaints filed against him during his career on the force.
Although none resulted in discipline and many were classified as “not sustained” or “unfounded”–that number is above the average rates of complaints among Chicago police officers.
At 4:39 p.m. on Nov. 23, 2014, an off-duty Merrionette Park police officer was a passenger in a pickup truck when he saw a car driving erratically and almost hit a flower vendor standing in the street near 111th and Pulaski, according to court records.
At 111th and Spaulding, the pickup pulled next to the Buick that Gorman was driving. They were stopped at a red light.
The Merrionette Park officer showed his badge and noticed that Gorman was holding an open beer, but Gorman drove off when the light turned green, prosecutors say.
The Merrionette Park cop called 911 and followed Gorman to Prospect and Pryor avenues on the Southwest Side of Chicago — about two blocks from the Morgan Park police station.
Gorman allegedly walked to the back of his Buick and aimed his gun at the pickup truck.
The driver of the pickup drove away as Gorman fired five shots, prosecutors say.
One of the bullets left a hole in the rear bumper of the pickup, but the Merrionette Park officer and the driver were not shot.
The Merrionette Park officer reported the shooting to officers at the Morgan Park station. Chicago Police officers ran the license plate of the Buick and realized it was registered to Gorman, who they contacted and arranged to meet.
Gorman allegedly told the Chicago Police officers that he fired the shots, and he turned over his handgun. On the street, officers found five bullet casings that matched Gorman’s .380-caliber Ruger.
Gorman initially refused to take a Breathalyzer test, but more than five hours later Internal Affairs investigators required him to submit to the test for administrative purposes. His blood-alcohol content was .07, just under the legal limit for driving, and he was charged with a misdemeanor for driving under the influence.
At least 22 misconduct complaints have been filed against Gorman since 2001, according to a database made public Tuesday by the University of Chicago Law School and independent journalist Jamie Kalven.
Gorman, an officer since 2001, was not disciplined for any of those complaints, including the alleged 2014 shooting incident, the database shows. Many of the complaints alleged he was involved in illegal arrests.
In 2006, he and two other officers were defendants in a lawsuit alleging they used excessive force during an arrest. The city settled the case for $24,000 in federal court, but said the defendants denied any wrongdoing.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2015. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)