Daley condemns alleged brutality by cops in probe

October 19, 2010 3:24:04 PM PDT
Mayor Daley weighed in on the decision to strip some Chicago police officers of their powers while they are investigated for alleged brutality.

A sergeant and six other officers from the 6th District have been taken off the streets and reassigned to desk duty. The officers are accused of either witnessing or participating in the beating of a suspect last week.

No charges have been filed against the unidentified officers, and the police union says it hasn't been notified of any formal complaint, which is customary in misconduct cases.

Still, the mayor and a top alderman are standing behind Superintendent Weis' decision to reassign the officers before an investigation is complete.

While dedicating a new high school sports field Tuesday, Mayor Daley condemned the alleged actions of the seven reassigned officers.

"That's unacceptable conduct. That's unacceptable here, anyplace else. It's unacceptable," said Mayor Daley.

Chicago police have offered almost no details about the alleged beating which happened near 79th and South Vincennes. There's a police surveillance camera at that corner. The mayor said Tuesday that the incident involved an officer punching a young person who was handcuffed in the jaw while other officers watched.

"And I'm glad the superintendent did what's necessary, and an independent will investigate the misconduct," said Daley.

On Tuesday, before appearing at a police budget hearing at City Hall Supt. Weis avoided reporters.

"No questions, no questions," said Weis.

Last Friday, he said a sergeant had been relieved of his police powers and reassigned to desk duty. On Monday he announced similar actions against six more officers. All are now being investigated by the Independent Police Review Authority.

"This was pretty egregious. We try to be fair. We try to be consistent. My standard is always reasonable. From what I saw, this wasn't reasonable," said Supt. Jody Weis, Chicago Police Dept.

The Fraternal Order of Police has criticized the move, accusing the superintendent of a rush to judgment before the probe is complete.

But on Tuesday the alderman who chairs the city's police and fire committee supported Weis' move.

"They haven't been taken off the payroll. They've just been relieved of their duties pending the outcome of the investigation. So I support that. I think the superintendent has done the right thing. Because the message has to be sent that if you wrong, no matter who you are, you're going to be punished," said Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th Ward.

All seven officers are from the sixth police district. In addition to the police union, ABC7 has also spoken to the Chicago Sergeants Association, which didn't have any details on this case but disagrees with the reassignments before the investigation is complete.

The Independent Police Review Authority, which was formed in 2007 in the wake of multiple police brutality cases, is not commenting on these allegations.


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