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Letter from the Editors: To serve and to protect? Or to serve and to assault?

Chicago Police Superintendent Terry Hillard said the actions of the police officers were inappropriate and against the law. Credit: ABC News

By: Kaitlin Kimont, Samantha Sanchez and Angela Romano

“To serve and to protect” does not seem an appropriate police motto after a recent incident that took place in Chicago.
According to the Chicago Tribune, a 22-year-old woman told investigators she was walking near Addison Street and Sheffield Avenue on March 30, crying and upset after drinking and arguing with a male friend.
According to the police report obtained by the Chicago Tribune, two on-duty Chicago police officers, both 10-year veterans, drove up in a marked police vehicle and offered her a ride home. The woman told police that on the way to her apartment in Rogers Park she had sex with one of the officers in the passenger seat.
The two officers and the woman then went inside her building where they played strip poker. The women then told police she had sex with one of officers but began to feel intimidated and was afraid to refuse their sexual advances.
The police report said she pounded on the wall to get her neighbors’ attention and then ran out of her apartment screaming. A neighbor told police he saw a naked man running down the hallway and another man walking in a Chicago police uniform.
Police found a cell phone belonging to one of the two officers in the woman’s apartment, according to the report. Another police source said the officers had left parts of their uniforms in the apartment.
According to Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Tom Byrne, neither officer has been charged.
“At this point in time, it is an active ongoing criminal investigation, but we also need to have the evidence worked up prior to any charging,” Byrne said at a press conference.
There are serious issues that should be raised regarding this incident. Putting aside the fact that police officers are supposed to be protecting our communities, police do not give you a ride home because you are drunk; if anything they give you a ride to the police station or help you get a cab.

Secondly, while the officers were busy having sexual relations, drinking and playing strip poker, what distress call were they not responding to?

Crime is an every day occurence in a big city like Chicago and the fact that two officers were preoccupied for a significant period of the night raises concerns. When they finally, did leave her apartment did they go back on the streets to patrol? That would mean there were two police officers patrolling our streets intoxicated.
In Illinois, anyone intoxicated cannot legally give consent for sex. Police officers should be very familiar with this law since cops uphold and maintain the law.

If this woman was drunk, that means her judgment was impaired and she was not able to give legal sexual consent.

It’s refreshing to see that in the press conference Interim Chicago Police Superintendent Terry Hillard said that whether the woman was drunk or not has nothing to do with the case; if the allegations are true, there is no way to justify what happened.
“What they did, or allegedly have done, is inappropriate and it’s against the law,” Hillard said. “And that’s what we’re investigating.”
Whether or not drinking was involved, the two officers did not act professionally and were severely inappropriate. They were on duty, in a marked squad SUV, out of district, and obviously lying to their commander conerning their whereabouts.
This is not the first time Chicago cops have tainted their name. In 2007, for example, a 12-year veteran of the Chicago force Anthony Abbate was sentenced to two years probation for attacking bartender Karolina Obrycka when she refused to serve him more alcohol.
Though we are raised to follow the law and law enforcement,the actions of these two police officers have forced us to challenge that willingess to obey.


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