CHICAGO -- A newly released report from the Inspector General shows Chicago police are failing to remove firearms from people who show signs of harming themselves and possibly others.
The report comes as law enforcement officers take a hard look at the accused Waffle House shooter's father. He returned his son's guns to him, even after his fire arms card was revoked.
The Inspector General said it’s just a coincidence that the report came out around this time. This report is the first one done by the public safety sector in the Inspector General’s Office. Their whole job is to oversee the Chicago Police Department. Because of the timing, they say this demonstrates how important the report is.
Police said the guns used to kill four people Sunday at a Nashville Waffle House should have never been in the hands of the man they say pulled the trigger.
After Travis Reinking had several run ins with the law and showed signs of mental illness, law enforcement revoked his FOID card, removed his guns and gave to his father who police said then returned them to his son. Early Sunday police said he used one of those guns to kill four people.
Working off a tip for about a year, Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson released a report Wednesday that said between December 2013 and April 2017, the Inspector General identified 37 cases where police transported a person to a mental health facility but failed in all but one case to take the firearm and correctly report to state police under the state’s Clear and Present Danger reporting requirements. The law doesn’t just cover mental illness but any person deemed a danger.
While the issue of fire arms is always a hot debate, keeping them out of the hands of those who appear to posing a danger themselves and others is usually something both sides of the Second Amendment argument can agree on.
The Inspector General said in this case police may not have been up to speed on what the law actually requires them to do, which could save lives.
Chicago police have already outlined steps it’s taking to correct the problem which includes better training.
The police department issued a statement t saying in part:
“The Chicago Police Department takes this issue very seriously and it’s our responsibility to provide police officers with guidance and policies that communicate clear direction on what actions officers are supposed to take.”
The Inspector General said they'll come back in a couple of months and make sure the CPD is following through.