According to a report from Chicago Block Club, attorneys belonging to Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights are demanding answers from law enforcement officials and Mayor Lori Lightfoot about the employment status of officer Robert Bakker who was accused of being a member of the white nationalist Proud Boys back in 2020 and subsequently was accused of sexual assault.
In June of 2020, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Bakker was "issued a five-day suspension amid an investigation into his ties to the far-right Proud Boys and is now facing a second internal probe into allegations of sexual abuse," before adding that the cop was also "the subject of four internal investigations that were all opened last year."
According to the Times in 2020, Bakker at the time was drawing an annual salary of $76,266, and now there are questions over whether he is still patrolling the streets.
As Vice reported in 2020, Bakker was accused of "being an active participant in the private Telegram channel called 'F*ck Antifa' where local Proud Boys organize meet-ups and other matters," adding screenshots "appear to show Bakker coordinating Proud Boy meet-ups in the area, and bragging about his contacts with 'high police,' which he said he was using to track antifascists’ movements. He also claims he has 'government connects,' through which he was pushing to be labeled as a terrorist group."
While Bakker denied he was a part of the group, saying "I’ve never joined them. I met them once, but never joined them,” an investigation was opened which brings us to 2022 and questions not being answered as to what the investigation found.
"It is unclear if Bakker served the suspension or what resulted from the sexual abuse allegations, which date back to before he joined the department," Chicago Block's Alex Hernandez wrote. "Spokespeople from the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and Office of the Inspector General told Block Club investigations into Bakker were referred to the police department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs. The Police Department did not respond to questions about its investigation into Bakker or his suspension. City records show Bakker is still employed full time as a police officer with an annual salary of $80,016."
Speaking with Hernandez, attorney Arusha Gordon, of the James Byrd Jr. Center to Stop Hate, stated, "I just think it’s unacceptable that there’s been no update and that this officer, as far as we know, is continuing to patrol the streets and enforce the laws."
Gordon added, "That’s deeply concerning, and it really breaks the trust that the community could ever hope to place in the police department.”
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