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Family of off duty officer killed in crash seeks answers

CHICAGO -- The family of an off duty Chicago police officer killed in a crash is seeking answers in the mystery surrounding the events of yesterday morning.

Officer Taylor Clark’s family is finding it difficult to wrap their heads around the crash that killed the officer and a woman in another car.

To  his cousin Blaze Taylor, and so many others, 32-year-old Taylor Clark was a man whose passion was kids and making their lives better.  Clark was proud to be a Chicago police officer and wanted to save the world.  He was a DJ before becoming an officer.

“All of his gifts and talents, he gave them to the youth,” Blaze Taylor said. “He went to school and got his bachelor’s degree.”

It’s difficult for Blaze  to understand what happened in the early hours yesterday when Taylor Clark left the 10th District after his shift.  Taylor Clark left the district at 12:45 a.m. and by 1:00 a.m. his life and a young woman’s life ended in a fiery crash.

Surveillance video from a nearby church shows the off duty officer speeding West on Roosevelt towards Kostner, just miles from the police station.  An unmarked Chicago police car was following with lights on.  Chicago police say Officer Clark took off after police tried to stop him thinking his jeep had been involved in a carjacking earlier in the night.

Officer Clark's family say he always followed the rules. They say growing up Taylor Clark couldn’t wait to put on a Chicago police uniform and change lives.

“The Taylor I know, he would never run from the police,” Blaze said.

The case is now in the hands of the Independent Police Review Authority.  Superintendent Eddie Johnson said yesterday that it looks like the on duty officers followed protocol.  Both are still on duty with Area Central’s Gang Unit.