An employee with the Chicago police oversight agency was arrested for looting a Macy’s store on August 10th but was later released from police custody without being charged.
According to Chicago police, the looting happened between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Hundreds of people were suspected of looting from numerous stores on State Street, including the Macy’s location.
Riots and looting spread throughout the city that week after police shot a man in Englewood on the South Side. Two people were shot and more than 100 people were arrested in the riots that followed.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Chicago Office of Police Accountability (COPA) confirmed that it arrested and then later released one of its own employees for looting during a riot. The agency said that they would be conducting a separate investigation into the matter.
“If misconduct has occurred, the employee will be held accountable. As an agency with high accountability standards and a strict code of conduct, we take these matters very seriously and will work with the Office of Inspector General in any review it may undertake,” COPA Spokesperson Ephraim Eaddy said in a statement.
Police have not released the name of the individual that was arrested, but they can allegedly be seen in numerous surveillance videos that show crowds of looters taking merchandise from a Macy’s store in the middle of the city. Police have also not commented on why the individual was not charged with a crime, aside form saying that they are conducting their own internal investigation.
According to COPA’s website, the agency claims to be “The leader in police accountability by conducting thorough investigations, to advance the culture of policing and build trust in civilian oversight.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, the employee was arrested shortly before 8 a.m. on Tuesday, near 29th Street and Michigan Avenue by members of the Chicago police fugitive apprehension section.
At this point, it appears that the employee will only be facing professional consequences for their actions at this time, and will not be facing any legal charges. There is a chance that they could be suspended or even fired as police employees sometimes are, but their current position with the police department still seems to be shielding them from legal consequences, at least for now.
Sadly, this type of situation is extremely common, even when police are accused of more serious violent crimes like assault or murder.
Police that break laws will often hide behind their badge, and their police departments and police unions will back them up and cover for them, even if it means attacking victims of police violence, or expressing hostility towards anyone who criticizes the officer’s actions. This recent situation in Chicago just happens to be particularly ironic because of how police use fears of looting and rioting to spread fear and hatred towards protesters.
Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]