Two Orland Park cops suspended for racial remark
By Steve Metsch firstname.lastname@example.org February 19, 2014 10:52PM
Updated: February 20, 2014 2:22AM
Two Orland Park police officers have been suspended for 30 days without pay after they were heard on tape making a racially insensitive comment while on patrol duty, Police Chief Tim McCarthy said.
He said the officers had been guarding a prisoner at a hospital, and later that day were in a police car, recounting what work they had to do, which included contacting relatives of the prisoner, who was black. One of the officers said they had to contact “Aunt Jemima,” McCarthy said.
A videotape in the squad car captured the comment.
The chief said the reference was “certainly insensitive and could be harmful and hurtful. The whole episode was unprofessional. It reflected poorly on themselves and the department.”
The officers are not appealing their suspensions, he said.
“They took full responsibility for it. They have clean records. Very clean. We demand a high set of standards,” he said.
Orland Park police did not learn about the incident until Orland Park attorney Don Perry, preparing for an unrelated DUI case, heard the words spoken by the officers when reviewing the police videotape for his client’s case.
Orland Park, like most police departments, videotapes traffic stops made by officers. Usually, separate videotaping is done for each stop, but in this case “the tape was running throughout,” McCarthy said.
Perry said he found the comment “outrageous, inflammatory and insensitive” and felt the need to make it public.