Friday, August 8, 2008

Chicago's Finest

When I see the headline "Cop Demands Free Starbucks" on CNN, there's no doubt in my mind that this officer is serving and protecting the Windy City. Sure enough, I was right. The Chicago Sun-Times has more info:
A Chicago Police officer has been suspended and ordered into counseling after she was found guilty of demanding free Starbucks coffee from six different stores on the North Side from 2001 to 2004, sometimes flashing her badge, displaying her gun and screaming at employees.

Officer Barbara Nevers of the Belmont police district was suspended for more than 15 months, according to records the Chicago Police Board released Thursday.

On Aug. 24, 2004, she flashed her badge to get free coffee at the Starbucks at 3358 N. Broadway, the board found.

Nevers exhibited similar behavior at Starbucks stores at 2525 1/2 N. Clark, 617 W. Diversey, 1000 W. Diversey, 1700 W. Diversey and 1157 W. Wrightwood — sometimes demanding free coffee, yelling when they refused her demands and showing her weapon, the board found.

On July 12, 2004 at the store at 617 W. Diversey, she took a bottle of juice without paying, the civilian disciplinary panel found.

In June, five members of the police board found her guilty of retail theft, using her position for official gain, unnecessary display of a weapon, mistreatment of a person and other offenses. They voted for Nevers’ 15-month suspension and counseling.

Word to the wise: The whole "I'm a cop, give me free coffee" thing works best in bad neighborhoods. This is because stores in bad neighborhoods want the added protection of having cops around, and figure the free coffee (or donuts, or whatever) is a fair trade. Some of our Chicago readers may recognize the addresses above as being about as threatening as the crowd at an Indigo Girls concert. These places have no use for added police "protection." Try the stores on Chicago's West Side instead-- parts of that neighborhood strongly resemble Detroit in Robocop.

Here's a few other winners that the Police Board decided to fire:

— Officer Kevin Waters was fired after he was found guilty of threatening to slit a man’s throat in a bar in southwest suburban Merrionette Park, using a racial epithet and lying to Chicago Police Internal Affairs investigators.

— Officer Cardinal Castillo was fired after he was found guilty of striking a woman in the face and leaving profane voice mails on her answering machine in 2004 and 2005.

–Officer Robert E. Taylor Sr. was fired after he was found guilty of perjury before a judge in 2004. He was accused of being married to two women at the same time.

Nice job, guys. I'll see all of you in the unemployment line shortly.

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