CHICAGO (CBS) — Multiple Chicago Police officers were under investigation this week, after hundreds of complaints were filed since Friday.
At 10 p.m. Wednesday, CBS 2 showed you video of officers dragging two women from their car outside the Brickyard Mall. As we were reporting on that, a high-speed police chase was winding its way across the city – and a woman was killed when a squad car hit her vehicle during the chase.
The head of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which looks into complaints about officer misconduct, said they have received 258 complaints since Friday alone.
She, the mayor, and the police superintendent said all complaints are taken seriously and will be investigated.
It was a weekend of unrest this past weekend, and our cameras captured multiple physical incidents between civilians and police. Such confrontations resulted in 258 calls to COPA.
On Thursday, the head of the agency, Cindy Robbins, said: “We see you. We hear you.”
Robbins stood with Mayor Lori Lightfoot and police Supt. David Brown to address the recent policing concerns, stemming from days of both peaceful and tense protests, and looting.
“There is no contradiction in supporting officers and holding officers accountable,” Supt. Brown said.
Robbins said the complaints include those of excessive force, verbal abuse, and denial of counsel – meaning they couldn’t call a lawyer.
They also include complaints involving images now circulating on social media showing Chicago Police officers without body cameras and with tape or bands covering up their badges or nameplates.
“Number one, they of course should have body cameras,” Mayor Lightfoot said.
A Chicago Police representative said officers are “required to wear their unit assignment designator, nameplate, and prescribed star so that they are clearly visible.”
But the mayor said there could be another explanation for those obstructed badge numbers.
“Clearly if somebody’s trying to black out their identity, that’s a whole different issue, but most of the officers who were out there with a black band, that’s over their star showing respect for the officer who have been lost,” Mayor Lightfoot said.
Kozlov also spoke with Ald. Christopher Taliaferro (29th), a former Chicago Police sergeant and the head of the City Council Public Safety Committee, who echoed the possible explanation for the badge bands.
But it is being investigated, though the mayor also cautioned people not to take everything they see on social media at face value.
If an officer is assigned a body camera, it is supposed to be worn. However, two police sources said not every officer had one last weekend because first, there are not enough of them for the numbers of officers that were on the street last weekend, and second, because cameras are assigned out of the district, but many officers were just meeting at a centralized location.
But the issue is all part of the investigations.