COPA releases video after woman's death in Chicago Police holding cell

Irene Chavez, 33, was arrested at Jeffrey Pub a few hours before her death

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, February 17, 2022
COPA releases video after woman found hanged in CPD holding cell
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Chicago's Civilian Office of Police Accountability has released video and documents linked to the death of Irene Chavez in Chicago police custody.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's Civilian Office of Police Accountability released video and documents Wednesday linked to the death of Irene Chavez.

Chavez, 33, died while in Chicago police custody last December. At the time, COPA classified it as an attempted suicide investigation.

Family of Irene Chavez say Chicago police have offered few details about the circumstances surrounding her death in custody.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, you can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.

Police body camera video released Wednesday shows Chavez being arrested following what police say was a bar fight.

She was then taken to District 3 Police Headquarters where police said she was belligerent during processing.

SEE ALSO | Family demands answers after pregnant woman dies in Chicago police custody

Officers say she continued to yell in her cell, but after five minutes of silence, they checked on her.

Police said they found her with her shirt wrapped around her neck and tied to a bench with her body slumped over. This is seen in the video released by COPA, but ABC7 is not showing it.

Several officers then performed CPR on Chavez. She later died.

COPA said they are still investigating and that the Chavez family was made aware that the video would be released.