This video could be proof of a long-held rumor that some Chicago police officers dump suspects in rival gang territory in an effort to make them cooperate.
WBEZ broke the story, after someone posted the video on WBEZ’s Samuel Vega’s Facebook wall. Vega explained that once he saw the video, he immediately saved it to his hard drive, out of concern that the video would be removed from YouTube; and it was.
On the video, a slender youth is in the back seat of the police vehicle, a female is standing by the open door of the officers’ SUV, as the crowd shout insults, gang slogans, and at one point, a few approach the vehicle.
The detained youth is shielding his face the entire time. “Yeah, you scared!” one onlooker shouts.
Humboldt Park, where the video was allegedly shot, is home to at least three active street organizations. Apparently, there are Latin Kings and Gangster Disciple members flashing signs on the video; at least two members of the crowd are also taking footage of the crowd, the police, and the young man seated in the squad car.
It’s odd that the two gangs would convene at this one location to taunt the youth; it’s even more odd that the police allowed cellphones to record the incident.
However, cooperation between cops and gangs has occurred before, but in a very different way.
Last summer, the public was outraged after three cop murders, dozens of student killings, and one harrowing incident that occurred on Chicago’s Southwest side–nine commuters were sprayed with gunfire as they waited on the bus stop.
At that time, Chicago’s Southwest side was in the midst of an all-out gang war.
In response to the violence, then-police chief Jody Weis met privately with West side gang leaders, in effect, to warn them that if crime is committed by a gang member, they would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The controversial meeting drew criticism from community leaders, and Weis took a beating in the local press, however, in the months following the meeting crime rates declined.
Internal Affairs Division is aware of the video and the two officers seen on film have been reassigned to administrative duties while the matter is being investigated.