The racially charged remarks of two Orland Park police officers, caught on tape, were called "offensive, harmful" and "unprofessional" by the chief of police as he suspended the men from duty.
The ABC7 I-Team first revealed the comments in a TV report on Feb. 18.
The officers' comments were recorded on a dashboard camera in December obtained by attorney Don Perry, who came across the comments by happenstance as he worked on an unrelated DUI case.
"I came across some very racially charged and insensitive language that quite frankly as an Orland park resident it concerned me but as an attorney it made me angry," Perry told ABC7.
- Readers: The language on the video accompanying this story is unedited.
Perry told the Chicago Tribune that the recording was raised during his client's trial on Feb. 14, and he questioned one of the officers about his remarks.
Upon hearing of this, Police Chief Tim McCarthy suspended the officers that day. The suspension is 30 days without pay.
"The entire conversation from beginning to end was unprofessional and it put the department in a very negative image. The remarks are offensive and could be harmful and we want to hold employees to a high standard," McCarthy said, adding it was the toughest decision he's made in 41 years of law enforcement.
A 30-day suspension is rare but the chief said he felt it was appropriate given the circumstances.“These are people in a position of power, and if that’s their attitude, it makes you wonder, whether subliminal or not, if people they pull over are going to receive fair treatment," Perry said.