The probationary Chicago police officer who was shot in the face during a suspected road rage incident on the North Side this week had been relieved of her police powers over the weekend because she failed a drug test, a law enforcement source said.
And, the source continued, investigators have determined that the stripped cop and the man who shot her had been involved in an ongoing road rage conflict before the shooting.
This week’s incident is the latest headache for CPD involving its newly hired cops. When CPD announced that a probationary officer was involved in the incident, the department did not reveal that she had recently been stripped of police powers.
At around 3:10 p.m. Tuesday, the recently stripped 27-year-old cop slammed into the back of an SUV that stopped abruptly in front of her near the intersection of Addison and Elston in the Irving Park neighborhood, according to an initial statement by CPD. A man in the SUV then fired on the woman’s car, possibly through his car’s sunroof, and fled the scene.
But a CPD traffic crash report contains a different scenario:
According to the crash report, the SUV driver hit the back of the off-duty cop’s 2023 Land Rover, which was stopped for a westbound red light on Addison at Kedzie. The SUV backed up, went around the cop’s car, then turned north on Elston. The officer followed, the report said.
After turning north on Elston, the SUV’s driver stopped and reversed into the cop’s car, then fled, allegedly after someone inside fired shots at the cop.
The SUV later collided with two CPD squad cars that were searching for the shooter in the 5000 block of West Lawrence, and one of the officers fired at the SUV, which escaped once more. Northeastern Illinois University police eventually found the car unoccupied in the 5800 block of North Drake, CPD said.
Investigators combed through surveillance footage to track the gunman’s car before and after the shooting. They determined that the probationary cop and the other vehicle had been involved in an extended road rage conflict that culminated in the shooting after the cop slammed into the gunman’s car, a source said.
CPD said the woman never lost consciousness and is recovering from her injuries.
The department has experienced a string of embarrassing incidents involving its newest officers and recruits this year.
Last month, CPD recruit Denisse Balseca refused to cooperate with suburban police officers during a traffic stop and then hit, kicked, and shoved cops who tried to take her into custody, according to a Schiller Park Police Department report.
When an officer showed her the injuries she caused to him, the recruit allegedly replied, “How else was I supposed to get away?”
Schiller Park officers decided not to pursue felony charges against Balseca, 27, but she was charged with local ordinance violations.
In June, CPD recruit Davin Jones, 27, was arrested near the Field Museum for allegedly having a gun in his car and obstructing his vehicle’s rear license plate. Prosecutors said jones “became verbally aggressive” with police during the incident, so they arrested him.
Cops saw Jones hiding his car’s rear license plate with a sweatshirt while it was illegally parked outside the Field Museum, according to information from prosecutors and CPD.
“The clothing was removed [from the license plate], at which time a verbal altercation ensued between Jones and the officers,” a CPD spokesperson said. Cops took Jones into custody and subsequently found a loaded 40-caliber handgun inside his car’s glove box, said prosecutors, who added that Jones does not have a concealed carry license.
They charged Jones with misdemeanor unlawful use of a weapon and misdemeanor modification of a registration plate. He also received traffic citations, police said.