CHICAGO - Chicago police have launched an internal investigation into a series of incendiary posts by a person claiming to be an officer in an online forum regarded as one of the darkest corners of the web.
Many of the posts on 4chan’s /pol/ board are racist and homophobic. They include photos of Chicago police uniforms, a city-issued ID badge and a gun — all covered by post-it notes with the forum’s name and a date written on them.
The person making the posts claimed to be a military veteran and a beat cop who worked in the Rogers Park and Chicago Lawn police districts. Among other things, the user bragged about racially profiling people and being involved in two on-duty shootings.
Like other people on the site, the user is only identified by a serial number.
The forum is widely regarded a hotbed of racism, antisemitism and other extremism. It was used to launch the unfounded QAnon conspiracy theory, which holds that former President Donald Trump is battling a cabal of Democratic pedophiles.
Jennifer Rottner, a spokeswoman for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, said the agency received a complaint about the posts on Monday and forwarded it to the police department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs.
Maggie Huynh, a police spokeswoman, would only confirm that an investigation has been opened.
Another officer, Robert Bakker, came under investigation in 2020 after his alleged affiliation with the far-right Proud Boys was reported by Vice. Bakker was handed a five-day suspension but didn’t immediately serve it because the probe was later reopened at the request of the city inspector general’s office.
Huynh couldn’t immediately provide an update on the status of that investigation.
The posts on 4chan began on Aug. 3 when the purported officer started a thread soliciting questions and including a photo of a shirt with a police patch. In the thread, the user spouted slurs for Mexicans and gay men and blamed the city’s violent crime solely on Black people.
The person also claimed to have voted for Trump three times in the 2020 election because "Chicago has a relaxed voting system." The user appeared to advocate for armed insurrection, noting that American cities "are not worth fighting for."
"I’ll leave here and shoulder a rifle in the woods if it ever comes to that," the user wrote.
The user started a new thread on Tuesday asking for more questions, this time including the photo of an obscured police ID and a gay slur in the title. Asked about racial profiling, the person offered a jarring response: "I don’t pull over anyone white."
Later in the thread, the user cited an interracial kiss as "the most serious crime" they overlooked while on the job, using the n-word in the response.
Many of the grievances aired by the purported officer are familiar. The user claimed to have pulled back on his police work, decried the department’s foot and vehicle pursuit policies, and railed against Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
"I hope the department knows I am posting here," the user wrote. "You can tell mayor … she is an abomination and the destroyer of a world [class] town."