Jay & Lindsay
Lakeview Residents since 2014
I live down the street from the District 19 Chicago Police Department. On May 3rd, 2019 at 10:15 AM, Officer Mike Pulaski noticed me using our side gate. He decided I was “grooming” my own apartment to be robbed despite no burglary or suspicious person being reported. He called two other police officers for backup. The two officers turned off their body cameras before bursting through my backyard, yelling and demanding to see my ID. Taken aback and confused, I tried to explain this was my home and I did not need to show my ID. They cussed, called me a "little prick", and threatened not to expect them to help if I ever got robbed. I remain convinced that if I had not already been up half a flight of my apartment stairs and out of their physical reach when they entered, the police would have escalated things even further. My wife and I were shaken by this warrantless stop and blatant abuse of authority. Alderman Tom Tunney declined to meet with us when we reached out to him to discuss our concerns. We were told Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) meetings were “not the right venue”. We filed a complaint with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), and they opened an investigation. An investigator told my wife there was body cam footage of one of the officers telling Sergeant Jason Slater what happened afterwards - and implied the body cam footage may contradict the police report they had filed. My wife has spent the past year fighting to obtain the police report and body cam footage through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. First we were told the request was “never received” (we have documentation, this is a lie). We then were told the video and report “did not exist” (also a lie). Later they said the request would be denied because the information my wife requested did not directly pertain to her (this is not a real requirement of the FOIA process). Finally I was told, because of the “pending investigation,” they would not release the body cam footage or police report. This “pending investigation” has gone on for over a year, with no end in sight. With no personal video to go viral and no public outrage, I am convinced it will be "pending" indefinitely.
Dre & Cassie
Lakeview Residents since 2011
On June 1st, 2020 at 3 PM, my wife and I had just come from a peaceful protest and were unloading our car before heading into our Lakeview apartment. We were specifically called out by multiple officers from across the street using a megaphone, demanding us to leave the area. When we responded that we lived here, and were just trying to unload our car, the orders persisted. When asked why we needed to leave immediately, Officer David Diaz, badge number 11957, dressed in full riot gear, indicated that he “couldn’t hear me” and motioned for me to come over. As I crossed the street and walked towards the police station to talk, Officer Diaz took out his pepper spray, started shaking it menacingly, and told me not to come any closer. As if it was me who initiated the approach. Because of the intimidating gesture, I was unwilling to try and have a conversation with him. At this point, other officers as well as our fellow neighbors began to get involved. Neighbors tried explaining that we were indeed residents and have every right to be here. Some officers tried having a conversation, which ultimately ended up being more of a reprimand, telling my wife, she “has no clue what she’s talking about”, she is “out of her league” and is “completely foolish”. When a white neighbor walked over to ask for the officer's badge number and confront him about shaking the pepper spray, his sneering response further shocked us. This is what he said, “I’m like a baseball player. I’m just warming up.”
Do these stories shock you? Unfortunately, they are an everyday reality for your black neighbors in Lakeview. But there is something you can do to ensure when your black neighbors experience racial profiling and police harassment in Lakeview, they have an opportunity for accountability. Click here to learn more