More Cop Drama
By Margaret Lyons in News on Sep 28, 2007 3:52PM
The Special Operations Section of the Chicago PD has yet another scandal on its hands: An unconstitutional sweep of a bar on March 27, 2004, was caught on video, and the officers' story does not, in any way, match what's on the tape, which is now in the hands of the Tribune. News of this perversion of the social contract comes as part of the bigger take-down of the SOS cops' style of protecting and serving.
Police reports claimed Raymundo Martinez threw a beer bottle outside a bar, prompting the officers to search him, whereupon they discovered a bag of cocaine and arrested him. Officers stuck with this story through preliminary hearings — er, isn't that perjury? — until Martinez's lawyer presented the bar's surveillance tape to the prosecution. "Instead of two officers approaching a man drinking on a public street, the video shows more than two dozen police from the SOS unit raiding the bar and searching everyone, and arresting Martinez inside the bar," sayeth the Trib. Charges against Martinez were dropped, but now the question is: Why didn't anyone investigate the SOS cops after something this damning surfaced?
The search of the bar was bogus and illegal. Then the police lied about their conduct. And this was all on the table in 2004. (Martinez and another man arrested in the same sweep also say that while they were in police custody, officers went to their homes and robbed them. This isn't the only pending robbery allegation against SOS officers.)
U of C law prof Craig Futterman sums it up pretty perfectly: "You have 30 officers in a clearly illegal sweep, and they knew it. There's clearly something wrong with the culture there."
Largely unrelated: There's a CPD judo club?
Photo by our editor at large, Rachelle.