CHICAGO (CBS) — Serious questions remain for the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Fire Department, after a white man later identified as a firefighter pulled a gun on a black man running errands in Bridgeport.
Two months after CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez broke the story, no one has been arrested, or even disciplined.
Jermayne Smith is fed up. Held at gunpoint in August, he wants the gunman held accountable, but there’s confusion over who’s even investigating the incident.
Smith said he was running an errand in Bridgeport on Aug. 24, when a man burst from a house, identified himself as a police officer, and held him at gunpoint.
“He identified himself as a police officer and said, ‘Get on the ground. What are you doing in the neighborhood? Get on the ground before I shoot you,’” Smith recalled.
Police radio confirmed the man had a gun.
“John’s calling in, caller says he has a gun and he caught a guy breaking into his vehicle. He’s holding him at that location. He’s got a concealed carry,” the radio report indicated.
After briefly handcuffing him, Smith said police told him there was a misunderstanding, and let both men go. A police report on the incident makes no mention of the gun, or the identity of the gunman, whom they called a “victim that caught someone breaking into his vehicle. No report or arrest was made.”
Smith wants the man – who CBS 2 identified not as a police officer, but as a Chicago firefighter – held accountable.
“If I did it, I would face punishment. So why shouldn’t he?” Smith said.
“His life was threatened, and his civil rights were violated,” said his grandmother, Brenda.
The city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications has denied efforts to get a transcript of the original 911 call, citing a “Chicago Fire Department open investigation.”
However, the Fire Department said they’re “waiting for the outcome of the police investigation.”
The Chicago Police Department said, “it’s now a COPA case,” meaning the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
However, COPA said “it is our understanding this incident is being investigated by the Office of Inspector General.”
The inspector general’s office said it’s investigating, but that doesn’t mean the Police Department and Fire Department can’t investigate as well.
“I just feel like they’re not taking it serious. I feel like they think this is a game, or that it’s going to go away eventually,” Smith said.
“If it had have been a white child, and a black man did this, it would have been all over the media,” his grandmother said. “He’d have lost his job. He would have been in jail.”
CBS 2 filed a Freedom of Information request for dashboard camera and body camera video from officers who responded to the 911 call.
The Police Department requested an extension on the request, saying it would respond by Wednesday. However, police still had not responded by Thursday.