Police oversight worker arrested for Macy’s looting — then released

An employee of Chicago’s police oversight agency was arrested Tuesday morning in connection with the looting of Macy’s State Street store on August 10, according to a CPD internal communication provided to CWBChicago by a source. The man was later released without being charged, according to a police spokesperson.

A fugitive apprehension team arrested the Chicago Office of Police Accountability (COPA) worker in the 2900 block of South Michigan around 7:55 a.m. Tuesday, according to the CPD notification. Kellie Bartoli, a CPD spokesperson, confirmed details of the notification and said the COPA employee had been released without being charged by Tuesday afternoon.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, COPA confirmed that police arrested and later released one of its employees. The agency is conducting a separate internal review of the matter.

“If misconduct has occurred, the employee will be held accountable,” the agency said.

“As an agency with high accountability standards and a strict code of conduct, we take these matters very seriously and will work with the Office of Inspector General in any review it may undertake,” said COPA Spokesperson Ephraim Eaddy.

The internal CPD communication said police notified the city’s inspector general about the arrest at 10:20 a.m. Tuesday.

Investigators have released several surveillance videos that show scores of looters hauling merchandise out of Macy’s Loop store, 111 North State, during widespread raids of downtown businesses on August 10.

Bartoli, the CPD spokesperson, did not say why the COPA employee was released without being charged. Police did not ask prosecutors to approve felony charges in the case, according to a spokesperson for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

According to COPA’s website, the agency aims “to be the leader in police accountability by conducting thorough investigations, to advance the culture of policing and build trust in civilian oversight.”

The COPA employee who was arrested Tuesday serves in a support role and does not work directly as an investigator, according to a source.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com