Home / News / Trump-Loving Chicago Cop Under Fire for Racist Facebook Posts—and there Are Plenty More Like Him

Trump-Loving Chicago Cop Under Fire for Racist Facebook Posts—and there Are Plenty More Like Him

Photo Credit: Thomas Haw / Flickr Creative Commons

The Chicago Police Department says complaints against officers for making secular and secular slurs and other discriminatory comments have declined in new years.

But as a story published this week shows, it’s a realistic problem in a city that has prolonged struggled with racism.

ProPublica wrote about Officer John Catanzara, a 23-year maestro who, over the years, two superintendents have tried to fire. In September, he was reprimanded for a controversial Facebook post. Now, he is under review for two other complaints about his social media conduct.


One of the complaints, lodged by his district commander, alleges that the officer displayed “bigoted views” and “hostile remarks” on Facebook, including against Muslims, women, liberals, Michelle Obama and those who are economically disadvantaged.

This is not the first time I’ve created about an officer accused of identical conduct, which in the waste denunciation of digital censure information is coded as “Verbal Abuse: Racial/Ethnic.”

In one case we wrote about, a sergeant was found to have referred to President Barack Obama with a secular slur in 2015 while he and other officers were determining who would work on the president’s confidence fact while he visited Chicago.

The city’s police slip group endorsed Sgt. Jack Axium be fired. Supt. Eddie Johnson argued for a cessation instead, and the group and dialect resolved on a 270-day suspension: 9 months but pay.

The case is now on interest to the Chicago Police Board, which has the management to make the ultimate decision.

After Axium was investigated, Sharon Fairley, the former conduct of the slip agency, endorsed in 2016 that the police dialect supplement a policy that creates transparent that members are taboo from enchanting in secular or other discrimination. While the department’s human resources policy categorically forbids officers from exhibiting secular bias, no such denunciation is enclosed in the apart Standards of Conduct for dialect members, she wrote in her recommendation.

The police dialect never responded to that recommendation, a orator for the slip agency, now called the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, pronounced Thursday.

In another ProPublica Illinois story, we told how an officer, during a traffic stop, done “racial comments” to the men in the car. Records show he told them: “Johnnie Cochran is passed and Barack Obama can’t save you.”

The officer, Matthew O’Brien, was primarily systematic to be dangling for 10 days, but won an interest and perceived no discipline. The men in the automobile had no thought of the case’s outcome until we called them.

That’s not uncommon. Officers mostly get little or no punishment — and complainants never find out.

In essay this week’s story, we analyzed 50 years of police censure data. A demeanour at about 2,700 complaints coded as written abuse formed on race or ethnicity showed that about 3 percent — 81 complaints in all — were upheld.

One officer — in 50 years —has been fired from the dialect for this behavior. Most of the officers found to have committed this form of written abuse perceived possibly a rebuke or a one-day suspension.

Citizens and observers of the dialect contend disposition is a determined problem.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s police burden charge force resolved in 2016 that “CPD is not doing adequate to fight secular bias,” and speedy some-more training and adopting a “policing truth grounded in core values such as respect, safeguarding the sanctification of all life and safeguarding polite and human rights.”

The U.S. Department of Justice, in a report last year, also identified secular taste as an issue in the department.

Police officials contend they have taken stairs to fix the problem. All recruits are compulsory to attend in informative recognition training that includes visits to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and the DuSable Museum of African American history. Veteran officers also can elect to attend in the training as partial of their stability preparation program.

We’ll be monitoring this confirmed problem and to do so, we’d like your help.

We wish to hear from people who have filed complaints against Chicago police officers. By conference and training about your experience, you can help us keep lane of the officer censure routine and the outcomes. Plus, there may be information about your case you’re unknowingly of — and we can help you find it. Submit here.

But we’re not only meddlesome in conference about police complaints from Chicago. If you live here in Illinois, and have filed a censure against an officer, we wish to know about that, too. That could embody officers for your internal police department, college or university, or sheriff’s office.

A doubt for you that can help figure the reporting: Have you been the aim of written abuse? Tell us. Plus, we always acquire tips and submit on what else you consider we should be covering when it comes to policing. Email the author anytime at [email protected].

Jodi Cohen is a contributor for ProPublica Illinois. 

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