Family seeking answers after woman found dead at South Side police station

Chicago News

CHICAGO – The Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) is investigating after a woman was found hanging in a South Side CPD holding cell.

On the night of Dec. 17, Irene Chavez, 33, and a member of the city’s LGBTQ+ community, was taken into custody after being asked to leave Jeffrey Pub, located in the 7000 block of South Jeffrey Boulevard.

Sometime in the early hours of Dec. 18, she was found hanging inside of her holding cell at the 3rd District.

The family said a report given to them by Chicago police was heavily redacted and provides no other details. COPA issued an update Monday evening saying Chavez was transported in critical condition after an attempted suicide attempt at around 3:20 a.m.

Irene Chavez

Attorneys for the family want evidence preserved and someone from the pub to come forward with information.

COPA said there is no video of the alleged attempted suicide attempt, but are working to find more footage.

“We are not quite sure exactly what happened to my sister I did my best to look out, I visited the headquarters,” said sister Iris Chavez. “I asked detectives questions and I hit a red light, a stop sign, a door every single time. Now, I’m here to just really put out that my sister was found hung in the 3rd district police department in holding, while bound apparently.”

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Police said the matter is under investigation, but would provide no other details. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said Chavez’s cause of death is still pending.

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