Chicago Inspector General raises concerns of CPD affiliation with extremist groups

The Chicago Office of Inspector General (IG) released an advisory report Tuesday morning outlining its concerns regarding the Chicago Police Department's (CPD) affiliation with anti-government and extremist groups. 

IG Deborah Witzburg said her office notified Mayor Brandon Johnson's office of their concerns on April 25, 2024. 

The advisory said Mayor Johnson’s administration has "fallen short" of promises to root out extremism within the ranks of CPD and recommends internal affairs get more aggressive in removing cops with ties to groups like Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

According to the IG advisory, CPD's Bureau of Internal Affairs (BIA) initial investigations into these claims resulted in no disciplinary action, were "deficient" and should be reopened.

The IG's office became aware of the allegations against CPD members during an ordinance-mandated review of closed disciplinary investigations by the BIA. 

Over the past three years, the BIA has conducted several investigations into officers believed to be associated with extremist and anti-government organizations–specifically the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and the Three Percenters.

The IG's advisory acknowledged the mayor's campaign when he was quoted saying, "active involvement in domestic terrorist organizations should be grounds for immediate dismissal" from CPD. The report also quoted Superintendent Larry Snelling from October 2023. 

"It serves the Chicago Police Department in no way, in no way good, to have members amongst our department who are members of hate groups. And we will not tolerate it," Snelling said. 

The advisory ended with a list of recommendations for the City. 

"The City must take a definitive and unequivocal position against extremism within its police ranks. CPD must be equipped and encouraged to aggressively investigate allegations that its members belong to or associate with extremist or anti-government groups. However, a robust disciplinary response alone is not enough. Rather, the City should identify and exploit each opportunity to prevent, identify, and root out extremist and anti-government associations and activities among CPD members," the report stated. 

There were suggestions to implement new policies across several processes including hiring, training, budget planning, policymaking, and misconduct investigations. The IG advised the mayor's office to create a task force which should make regular public reports on its activities. 

Access the full report HERE or read it below: