Wednesday, October 25, 2023

'Oath Keepers' thriving in Chicago Police Department

There are at least 27 current and former Chicago police officials whose names appeared in leaked rosters for the Oath Keepers, an anti-government group that played a central role in the 2021 U.S. Capitol riot and counts many cops, servicemen and first responders as members.

An investigation by WBEZ, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project found some have troubling backgrounds that include allegations of excessive force, improper searches and racist comments on the job.

At least nine of them remain on the police force, even after newly elected Mayor Brandon Johnson vowed to rid the department of extremists.

The Chicago Police Department has resisted taking action against officers for their ties with the Oath Keepers — once again placing a spotlight on a troubled disciplinary system as police leaders struggle to make sweeping, court-ordered changes to policies and practices.

Investigators closed a probe into officers’ ties to the Oath Keepers last year without finding any wrongdoing or investigating most of the police officials who appeared in the leak. The inaction drew a sharp rebuke from the city’s top watchdog, who says just joining an extremist group violates the police department’s rules of conduct.

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