Chicago officer recorded using homophobic slur during protests should be relieved of powers, COPA says

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An oversight agency is recommending that the Chicago Police Department take action against an officer who was reportedly recorded on cellphone video using a homophobic slur during downtown protests.

Chicago police are investigating after a video was posted on social media over a week ago. In the video, the officer is heard using a homophobic slur after a traffic cone was thrown in his direction while his back was turned to protesters.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability announced Wednesday a recommendation to relieve the officer of police powers, pending the outcome of the investigation.

According to COPA, the department has agreed with the oversight agency's decision.

COPA initially had asked CPD Supt. David Brown to identify and change the duty status of the police officer involved on June 5, after the video surfaced.

Chicago police issued a statement last Saturday, saying they do not tolerate such behavior and "any derogatory conduct is inexcusable and has no place in the department."

"We have opened an investigation into this incident and will take appropriate disciplinary action immediately as we work to identify the officer involved," the statement said.

In a statement, the advocacy group Equality Illinois said "we believe in keeping the focus on what the protests are primarily about: our society cannot tolerate police brutality against African Americans, including queer and trans African Americans. But we want to add unequivocally, there is no place for homophobia among those who are charged with protecting our city. This officer must be removed from duty."

The clip is the latest in a string of viral photos and videos demonstrating alleged police misconduct nationwide during George Floyd protests. Last week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for the firing of officers recorded flipping off protesters and hiding their badges, though she said that would be Brown's decision.

The full video can be viewed in an Instagram post by @kylcnnnghm.

Sun-Times Media contributed to this report.
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