Two Chicago police officers were dismissed last week after being accused of assaulting a young woman in a police car. Although the case is still being investigated, the details that have emerged are horrifying, and the interim police superintendant has decried the actions, if they are proven, as “inappropriate.” He expressed his “outrage and disappointment,” saying that neither he nor the Chicago Police Department would tolerate this behavior. The officers have been arrested, released and reassigned to administrative duties while the investigation continues.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the victim was a 22-year-old woman whom the officers saw “crying and walking outside after leaving a male friend’s home where they had been drinking and arguing.” They offered her a ride, and she accepted. During the ride, the woman said that she had sex with one of the officers in the passenger seat, and that she “did not say no” (which does not sound like she said “yes”).
When they arrived at her house, the officers accompanied her inside, where they played strip poker. The woman was then sexually assaulted by one of the officers in her bed. She “began banging on her wall with her hands hoping to catch her neighbors’ attention because she felt intimidated by the officers and was afraid to say ‘no’ to their sexual advances,” according to the Sun-Times.
To his credit, the police superintendent, Terry Hillard, said that it was irrelevant whether the woman was drunk (Mayor Daley, by contrast, said that “misconduct unfortunately happens” – nothing they can do about it!). “That has nothing to do with the case,” he said. “What they had done — what they allegedly did — was inappropriate and it was against the law and that’s what we’re investigating.”
Hillard says that he would condemn the acts even if they were proved to be consensual. And he has a point — police officers shouldn’t be engaging in sex or playing poker while on the job. The fact that these police officers seem to have taken advantage of a woman while she was extremely vulnerable is even more chilling. Police officers’ job is to keep people safe — which is hard to do when they’re pressuring them into nonconsensual sex.
Photo from Fotopedia.