Frank Main and Fran Spielman, The Chicago Sun-Times
Copyright 2006 Chicago Sun-Times, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
A Chicago Police officer is accused of arresting a traffic control aide for jaywalking last week in retaliation for ticketing his vehicle for being illegally parked, authorities said Tuesday.
The female traffic aide slapped a parking ticket on the officer's personal vehicle last Thursday afternoon in the 700 block of North Michigan, said Monique Bond, a police spokeswoman.
The uniformed foot patrol officer was on duty and responding to a call for service, Bond said. "On his return at about 12:15 p.m., he noticed a ticket on his vehicle," she said. "He asked the traffic control aide to 'non-suit' the ticket."
The woman, a supervising traffic control aide, says she told the officer she could not void it, according to Bond.
The officer allegedly handcuffed the woman, arrested her for jaywalking and brought her to the Near North District at 1160 N. Larrabee. The district commander intervened, and the woman was released without being charged, Bond said.
The Chicago Police Department has opened an internal investigation into the officer's behavior after the aide complained that she was the victim of "injury and retaliation," Bond said.
The officer, who has been on the force since 1980, is continuing to perform his normal duties pending the outcome of the investigation, Bond said.
The traffic aide works for the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications, whose director, Andrew Velasquez III, "stands by his traffic control aide," said Jennifer Martinez, a spokeswoman for the office.
Ald. Burt Natarus (42nd) has been a vocal advocate of traffic aides, saying they don't get proper respect.
"Police have taken the position that they are crime fighters and they should go after the drug dealers, the shooters, and I agree with that," said Natarus, chairman of the Traffic Control and Safety Committee.
"But they've got to help us enforce traffic regulations because people don't respect the signs and they don't respect the traffic aides, either," he said. "These poor women out there, I fear for their lives the way people speed by them and fail to adhere to their directions."
Ill.: Traffic aide arrested after ticketing cop