A top cop in Chicago who recently announced his retirement had just been suspended for almost a month — for comparing police reforms to “rape,” according to a report.
Chief Fred Waller, a 34-year veteran who is the force’s third-in-command, sparked a slew of complaints for the words he used in a meeting to attack plans to pull officers from street patrols, the Chicago Sun-Times said.
“Grope me, don’t rape me,” Waller reportedly told the meeting at police HQ of losing his key officers.
His comments left the room in stunned silence, and one attendee told him, “Don’t ever say that again,” according to the paper, which cited an internal affairs report. Another said she was concerned for anyone in the room who may have “had traumatic histories with that kind of abuse.”
Waller said he apologized to all those he offended at the 18-person November meeting, but internal affairs recommended he be suspended for 14 days, the Sun-Times said, noting how rare it was for someone of his seniority to be punished that way.
The force’s top brass then decided to double the punishment and suspend him for 28 days, the report said. No reason was given for the dramatic increase in his punishment in March.
The long suspension was an “excuse” to force him out, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, John Catanzara, told the Sun-Times.
“It’s pretty disgusting that they would hammer him to that level,” the union president said, calling Waller’s concerns about depleted police patrols “well understood and 100% spot-on.”