Chicago police investigating video of officer allegedly asleep in squad

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Chicago cop sleeping on the job?
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Chicago police are investigating a video posted online that allegedly shows an officer asleep in his vehicle.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police are investigating a video posted online that allegedly shows an officer asleep in his vehicle on the city's South Side.

At first from a distance and then up close, a witness recorded a Chicago police officer appearing to sleep inside his squad car on busy 63rd Street at Campbell. As cars and a bus pass by, not even the witnesses' narration stirs the officer from his apparent slumber.

The man who recorded the video tells Eyewitness News it happened roughly two weeks ago. Since then, it's racked up more than 716,000 views and 25,000 shares on Facebook.

"You can't sleep! That's your job! You're supposed to protect the people, you're not supposed to be sleeping!" said Chavse Denson, a Chicago Lawn resident.

The video was recorded in the 8th District, a part of town that's seen a 44 percent increase in shootings in the last year.

"We're not paying for him to come to work and go to sleep. He should stay home and do that," said Frederick Smith, a Chicago Lawn resident.

The viral video has neighborhood residents buzzing - and police brass responding.

A police spokesperson wrote: "We are already aware of this video and this matter is under investigations, which may result in disciplinary action. From all appearances this incident is not in keeping with the high expectations placed on our officers by this department and the residents of Chicago - which is unacceptable."

"He didn't even see nobody recording him and they was close on the car. How can you not? He was in a hard sleep and they heard him snoring!" Denson said.

At least one resident came to the seemingly snoozing officer's defense. Christel Steward says he's helped her daughter steer clear of gang bangers.

"My daughter goes to the store and they try to jump on her. He sits right here by the restaurant and he gets out and protects her from the gang members," Steward said. "He's a good officer."

Chicago police said late Tuesday that the officer is still on the beat, but the investigation is progressing quickly.

We may learn whether or not the officer will face disciplinary action within the next couple of days.