Officers involved in Red Line shooting relieved of police powers

Two Chicago police officers have been relieved of their police powers after they tried to arrest a man in a CTA Red Line station last week, leading one of the officers to shoot the man twice.

Chicago police said the two officers were relived pending the outcome of an external review.

“Interim Superintendent Charlie Beck has reviewed COPA’s recommendation regarding the February 28th incident at the CTA Grand Red Line Station,” police spokesman Tom Ahern said in an emailed statement. “As a result of the Superintendent’s review of the incident, both of the involved officers have been relieved of their police powers pending the outcome of the external reviews into this matter.”

The announcement came just hours after Chicago’s police oversight agency released a letter saying the officers should be relieved.

“Due to the serious nature of both officers’ actions, I felt it was necessary to recommend the officers involved to be relieved of police powers while we continue to investigate this incident,” Sydney Roberts, Chief Administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, said in a statement.

Roberts called for the officers to be “relived of police powers, effective immediately,” but not to have them fired.

COPA said it reached its decision after reviewing CTA video, civilian cellphone video and interviews of civilian witnesses. COPA said the investigation is “in the early stages” and has not reached a conclusion.

The officers were taken off the street after the Feb. 28 encounter, recorded on cellphone video, that Mayor Lori Lightfoot called “extremely disturbing.”

Two officers assigned to CPD’s Mass Transit Unit saw a man jumping from train to train, and followed him off the train and approached him in the station, still underground.

After using stun guns as they tried to arrest him, one of the officers shot their weapon, striking the man twice, police said. The man was critically wounded, but his condition has stabilized, police said.

Police interim Supt. Charlie Beck told reporters after the incident he would consult the Cook County state’s attorney’s office on the matter “due to the potential criminal nature of this incident.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact COPA at 312-746-3609.