Participation in hate groups should cost Chicago cops their job, alder says

Chicago Police Department
Photo credit Scott Olson/Getty Images

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) wants hearings on an ordinance that would mean Chicago cops could not stay on the job if they participate in the activities of racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, homophobic or other extremist groups.

“In light of the horrific murder of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, as well as the tragedy of another activist murdered in Atlanta, we understand, and we are urging elected officials to take this matter urgently,” Sigcho-Lopez said.

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) analyst Jeff Tischauser said they studied groups like the Proud Boys and found that such groups use the police to "legitimize" their actions. Members of groups such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, he added, have no business being police officers sworn to protect and serve.

“The Proud Boys are a bigoted, racist and anti-Semitic organization that uses political violence to achieve its goals,” he said. “For those reasons, the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the Proud Boys as a hate group.”

Over the past month, the Chicago Police Department has come under fire from the SPLC for not firing an officer with ties to the Proud Boys.

CPD has previously stated it has “zero tolerance for any of its members associated with … hate groups.”

“How can any community, but particularly Black and brown communities, Jewish communities, LGBTQ+ communities in Chicago feel safe calling the police for help if CPD allows white supremacists in their ranks,” Tischauser said

David Cherry, President of the Leaders Network, said this is a very serious problem.

“When we have people who lack character, they don’t care what the guidelines are,” Cherry said. “They will violate those guidelines. They pretty much do what they want to do.”

The advocates want to have a date and time for a City Council hearing. Sigcho-Lopez acknowledged that crafting an ordinance won’t be easy, but he said that’s what the hearings are for.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images