Three Chicago police officers have been removed from duty after two of them allegedly assaulted a woman after offering her a ride home. And this isn't the first time the officers have been accused of sexual misconduct.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a police report of the incident alleges that two policemen drove (in a marked police car) by a woman who was "crying and walking outside after leaving a male friend's home where they had been drinking and arguing." They offered her a ride home, and one of the officers had sex with her — apparently consensually — in the car. They then accompanied her to her apartment, where they played strip poker and she again had sex with one of them. But she then began to feel like she couldn't turn down further advances (whether she felt pressured into the first two sex acts is a question the Sun-Times coverage doesn't address), grew frightened, and began calling for help. Eventually a neighbor heard her and called the police. A neighbor saw the two officers leaving the scene — he says, "one of them was in a hurry but the other was calm."
The two officers have been put on administrative duty, as has a third officer who may or may not be involved in the incident. A confusing statement by the police department reads, "While these allegations are not criminal at this time or directly associated with [the Wednesday incident,] the [third] officer has been relieved of his police powers and placed in an administrative assignment pending resolution of the allegation." According to Chicago Breaking News, the third man "had a previous complaint lodged against him in connection with an incident involving another young woman one night he was partnering with one of the other two accused officers." Also frustratingly vague is this information CBN got from a police source: "at least one of the cops being investigated in the Wednesday incident has in the past had at least one other complaint lodged against him alleging sexual misconduct." And when Chicago Police Supt. Terry Hilliard was asked if the officers involved had "exemplary careers," he said, "I don't think so."
Hilliard also condemns the officers' actions, even if all the sex turns out to have been consensual. He says, "I'm a father. I also used to be a police officer before I retired and became interim superintendent. [It's] inappropriate. You can't justify it." Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (pictured) is a little more blase regarding the allegations: "There could be one next week or the following week. This unfortunately happens, misconduct." It's true that claims of police misconduct have been somewhat common in Chicago recently — in addition to the several against the three officers in the current incident, there were charges against officer John Herman, accused of raping a cocaine addict in her apartment while he was on duty. Herman was acquitted on appeal, and has always maintained that the woman was his consensual "sex-friend" whom he saw only when he was off-duty. The other three officers haven't yet been charged, but Hilliard's right that even if the woman consented to sex, picking up potential sexual partners and playing strip poker with them isn't something officers should be doing while on patrol. Citizens need to be able to trust police, and that means knowing that when they're on duty, they're trying to help people, not trying to get laid — and certainly not sexually intimidating the people they've pledged to protect.
Cops Accused Of Sexual Assault [Chicago Sun-Times]
Daley On Cop Sex Assault Allegations: Misconduct ‘Unfortunately Happens' [Chicago Sun-Times]
Sex Allegation Leads To Steps Against 3rd Officer [Chicago Breaking News]