Chicago Commander: Officers’ Babysitting Was Secret Study

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Facing allegations that his officers were baby-sitting his special-needs son, a Chicago police commander gave a novel explanation: He was conducting a secret study, the Chicago Tribune reports. Commander Anthony Escamilla acknowledged he had on-duty officers pick up his teenage son, who has autism, but insisted he worked as a volunteer in the community policing office. Pressed by the city’s inspector general’s office, Escamilla said he wanted to watch how his son did the work and interacted with his officers, taking mental notes he planned to share with the officers later. “It’s not about my son and someone keeping an eye on him,” Escamilla told an investigator.  “This is about kids with his kind of disability and what we can do as a department to help them.”

Neither Escamilla’s officers nor the inspector general saw it that way. The officers complained that they were just watching over the boy for their boss. “I mean, baby-sitting, let’s just put it out, I don’t know how to say it,” one officer said. “I never thought about taking care of a kid from another officer on my job hours.” The inspector genera recommended possible dismissal, but police Superintendent Eddie Johnson decided on a seven-day suspension.

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