Chicago/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 29, 2024
Chicago Oversight Chief Urges Stripping Police Powers from Officers in Fatal Dexter Reed ShootingSource: Unsplash/LOGAN WEAVER | @LGNWVR

Chicago's police oversight chief is doubling down on calls for the city's top cop to strip police powers from four officers involved in a fatal shooting that claimed the life of Dexter Reed. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) head Andrea Kersten, has voiced concerns regarding the officers' return to active duty, as reported by the Sun-Times. Despite being technically active, a police spokesperson confirmed the officers are still on desk duties. The fatal incident, which occurred on March 21 during a traffic stop, sparked protests and drew national attention. COPA's request for the officers' suspension comes amid an ongoing investigation, which includes a "compelled officer statement."

At a recent town hall meeting in Jefferson Park, tensions ran high as some residents demanded the suspension of the officers who shot Reed, according to the Block Club Chicago. The gathering followed the disclosure from COPA that the same officers are under investigation for another traffic stop. Documents revealed that the five officers had been the subject of numerous complaints for making seemingly unwarranted stops. Police Supt. Larry Snelling was firm, however, stating that officers could not be suspended until COPA completes their investigation and confirming they will remain on administrative duty for the duration.

Further deepening the divide, COPA's assertion that the suspects' SUV was heavily tinted when they were stopped for a seat belt violation has raised questions about the department's transparency in such high-profile cases. Attorney for Reed's family, Andrew M. Stroth, expressed bewilderment at the police superintendent's inertia, stating, "The family believes that COPA’s recommendation is fair and objective and that the officers should be stripped based on the objective evidence on video in the Reed case," as stated by the Sun-Times. Amid the bureaucratic tussle, COPA stands firm on its request to Supt. Snelling, pushing for actionable measures while the investigation into the Reed case continues.