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Chicago Police Oversight Office Probes Officer Gun Seizures

Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating how a group of officers recovered at least five guns, with one of those recoveries being flagged by the FBI, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. At least four officers from the Calumet District were relieved of their police powers earlier this year in relation to the investigation. COPA investigated claims they recovered guns without making arrests, then filed bogus paperwork to cover their tracks. Former Chicago Police Supt. David Brown frequently emphasized taking guns off the streets. Two days after Brown stepped down, Andrea Kersten, COPA’s chief administrator, sent a letter to top police officials summarizing the accusations and pushing for the officers to be benched. Her letter also raised questions over whether the officers had taken guns, drugs and cash without turning in the evidence.

The alleged misconduct began on June 15, 2021, when two of the officers made a traffic stop that was captured on body-worn camera, according to the letter. It said the video showed them finding a stack of cash and a backpack with a large amount of marijuana, yet the property wasn’t inventoried, and there was no record of any arrests. Kersten said the accusations had been referred to both the FBI and county prosecutors. Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, said the matter “is under review.” The FBI didn’t respond to questions. COPA documented other incidents in which camera footage did not match the reports that were later filed, raising suspicions that the officers were lying about the guns they came across in street stops.


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