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Cicero police commander arrested in Chicago

January 28, 2008 4:14:13 PM PST
A Cicero Police commander was arrested Sunday after a traffic stop on Chicago's South Side. Forty-seven-year-old Wesley Scott is now facing drug charges. Scott made history in Cicero when he was appointed that suburb's first African-American police officer 20 years ago.

Scott was off-duty when he was arrested Sunday night and charged with possession of marijuana. Wesley Scott was arrested in the Englewood neighborhood. The police commander's lawyer cannot say why his client was driving through the area.

Officials with the Town of Cicero are shocked. They say the arrest is completely at odds with the person they know. Scott did face the cameras Monday, but his lawyer did all the talking.

Wesley Scott Is a historical figure in Cicero. The 47-year-old was the first African-American police officer hired in the town, and just two years, Scott made history again when he was sworn in as Cicero's first African-American commander.

But Monday, Scott sat and listened as his attorney defended his client against a drug charge. Sunday night, the high-ranking Cicero cop was pulled over by Chicago Police for running through a stop sign near the 6700-block of S. Ashland.

"They proceeded to go to his vehicle, to go through his vehicle, and then claimed to have retrieved marijuana from his vehicle," said Armand Andry, Scott's attorney.

Chicago Police say officers had probable cause to search Scott's car because there was a strong odor of marijuana. But Scott's attorney says the drugs did not belong to Scott.

"Whether somebody else left them there, whether police planted them there, I can't say that," said Andry.

Andry says this is not his client's first run in with Chicago Police. Scott filed a lawsuit against officers for two incidents of alleged harassment that took place a few years ago.

"Twice he was confronted by officers from specialized units who issued profanities toward him, used derogative language towards him, wrestled with him, threatened him, threatened to kill him," Andry said.

Chicago Police say this is the first time they are hearing about the lawsuit.

Meantime, Scott has a clean record with the Cicero Police Department. He has a reputation as someone who has organized programs for underprivileged kids.

"This is just wildly at odds with who we have experienced Wesley Scott to be. This is a guy who is, number one, just a really good guy, smart guy. He's got a 21-year record of being a standup officer for the Town of Cicero," said Dan Proft, Cicero town spokesperson.

Proft says Scott is taking a couple personal days. Cicero town policy calls for the police commander to take a drug test. Proft says the Town of Cicero will be conducting its own internal investigation.

As for the lawsuit filed by Scott, ABC7 asked his attorney if he believes Sunday night's arrest was in retaliation for the legal action. Andry said no, but he blames Chicago Police for leaking the drug charge to the media.


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