COPA recommends firing of 3 Chicago officers

Chicago News

CHICAGO — Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability recommended the firing of three officers for making false statements regarding their misconduct, the agency announced Tuesday.

COPA, which investigates allegations of police misconduct, determined that Officer Clauzell Gause used excessive force in June 2014 against a young man who was brought to a hospital for a mental health evaluation. At the time, Gause said the man was resisting officers when he struck him. But hospital surveillance footage showed Gause punched and shoved the victim, who had punched Gause.

Gause was initially charged with felony misconduct for punching the man while he was handcuffed. The charges were dropped because the victim didn’t show up to court.

In a separate case, COPA determined Officers Carol Weingart and Laura Kuhlmann provided false statements during an officer-involved shooting in December 2015. Kuhlmann fired her weapon at a moving vehicle with other civilians present in violation of department policy.

The officers were responding to a public disturbance when they claimed the driver aimed his vehicle at Weingart as he fled the scene, prompting Kuhlmann to open fire. COPA determined that dash video disproved their account of what happened.

“At this historical time in our nation and city, it is imperative that officers are truthful and cooperative when COPA initiates an investigation into the actions of members of the Department and the public,” said Chief Administrator Sydney Roberts.

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown agrees with the agency’s decision, COPA officials said. The Chicago Police Board, which oversees the department, must act on the recommendation.

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