Two Chicago officers who were fired after beating a man at a fast-food restaurant in 2006 in an incident captured on video remain on the police force a decade later because a judge overturned the firings. Last month, a state appeals court upheld their dismissals, saying it was “dumbfounded” by the judge’s “inexplicable” ruling, reports the Chicago Tribune. The victim and two eyewitnesses who were arrested as well that night in 2006 were surprised to learn from a Tribune reporter that both officers were still on the force. All three said the handling of the investigation was another example of the city’s reluctance to root out police misconduct.
Both eyewitnesses said they did not know at the time that the plainclothes officers were off-duty cops. They said they thought the beating was at least in part racially motivated. The officers were allowed to leave the restaurant through a back door. Their names were never recorded in any police report. An officer who didn’t even speak to anyone at the restaurant was told to write up the police report. The officers didn’t fill out reports required any time officers use force on- or off-duty. The Tribune traces why the case has gone on for a decade.