The incident occurred as officers discussed assignments for the presidential security detail during Obama’s visit to attend the Chicago Bulls’ season opener in October, The Daily Beast writes.
A male officer who was in earshot filed a complaint, which was taken up by Chicago’s Independent Review Authority. Investigators questioned 12 officers who were present and out of the dozen, 10 said they did not recall hearing the slur or said they were actually not present at the time.
“During this investigation, it appears that several officers interviewed were not as forthcoming as they should be,” the IPRA’s Chief Administrator Sharon Fairley wrote in an advisory letter sent to Police Chief Eddie Johnson on May 12.
The IPRA’s investigation also discovered a tasteless drawing of Obama in the same precinct where the slur was uttered. Fairley wrote she found the photo “offensive” and recommended the termination of the officer who made the offensive remark.
Chief Johnson has yet to make a decision based on Fairley’s recommendation. The IPRA chief hopes to revisit the investigation by personally meeting with the officers involved to find out what happened.
The CPD has grappled with numerous controversies within the last year. Spurred by the department’s mishandling of the Laquan McDonald shooting, the Justice Department waged an investigation into the CPD and the mayor’s task force, releasing a critical report highlighting racism as the cause of years of neglect and proper protocol in policing.
In an effort to increase trust between the CPD and the Chicago community, the IPRA released hundreds of video and investigative materials displaying police involved shootings and force against citizens in early June.