Two years after the Chicago Police Department requested the firing of three Chicago police officers, all three are staying with the police, according to the city’s salary database.
In a series of memos in January 2019, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability recommended that officers Calvin Ridgell Jr. and Gerome Summers Jr., along with Sgt. Alvin Jones, during an “ongoing investigation into allegations of false arrests and false reports and testimony “are deprived of their police powers.
The three were part of a team that worked with the corrupt Sgt. Ronald Watts, who was jailed after revelations about a far-reaching scandal in which drug dealers and residents of the former Ida B. Wells housing project were shut down and staged.
In fact, in 2017, all three, along with six others, were named in a letter from the Cook County State Attorney’s Office to the CPD’s Legal Department. In that letter, Joe Magats, then chief of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, said none of the nine officers would be summoned again as witnesses “because of concerns about the credibility of and alleged involvement in Sergeant Watts’ wrongdoing.”
But all three stayed with the troop. A review of the city’s online payroll database reveals that all are still identified as Chicago cops.
“We have no record of what the CPD did in response,” said criminal defense attorney Joel Flaxman, who included the COPA memos in a new motion that he and attorney Joshua Tepfer filed in court on October 22nd know that COPA made that formal recommendation in part of this investigation earlier this year, and we’re still waiting to see where that leads. “
Flaxman and Tepfer represent dozens of people whose cases were closed following the revelations of suspected wrongdoing by Watts and his team, and dozens more who have petitions to seek similar help.
Aside from Watts himself, only one other officer on the team, Kallatt Mohammed, was indicted in the scandal. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. But even undercover officials tasked with the investigation argued that the corruption went well beyond Watts and Mohammed.
“I think these cases show a really shocking pattern of these officers making false arrests on a regular basis, regularly making false police reports, and regularly giving testimony on those false police reports of drug arrests and drug transactions that they never saw and that never happened,” Flaxman said .
Earlier this year, COPA recommended that the CPD remove Jones of his police powers. When asked why he was still with the police, a source said the matter had been referred to the legal department. A spokesman there referred NBC 5 back to COPA.
“The real finding is that this investigation is proceeding far too slowly,” said Flaxman. “And it is time to do something for the people who were wronged during this scandal.”