Calumet City Terminates Officer After Misconduct Allegation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR MORE INFORMATION
September 1, 2020 Chief Christopher Fletcher
CALUMET CITY TERMINATES OFFICER AFTER MISCONDUCT ALLEGATION
Victim, attorney praise city leaders for their swift action and compassion
Just days after an Indiana woman alleged she was a victim of inappropriate conduct by a Calumet City police officer, Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush and Police Chief Christopher Fletcher announced the officer has been terminated and – while standing beside the victim and her attorney – said they will work together to support the Illinois State Police’s criminal investigation into the officer’s actions.
The victim, LaToya Thompson, alleged she was driving through the city around 2:30 a.m. on August 22 when she was pulled over. She said the officer – a 12-year veteran – ordered her out of her car and began making lewd comments and touching her inappropriately. The officer left the scene only after receiving a dispatch call.
She first disclosed the incident on social media, but “I didn’t think I was going to be heard,” she said.
But when the post was brought to the city’s attention, both Mayor Qualkinbush and Chief Fletcher personally reached out to Thompson the next day.
“I reached out to a woman in distress and said ‘come forward’,” Mayor Qualkinbush said. “She had the courage to come forward.”
“So many times, in the climate we’re in now, I wanted to reassure her that this allegation was going to be taken seriously,” Chief Fletcher said. “If the investigation proved credible, we were going to act on it. That’s precisely what happened. I want to thank her again for her courage in letting us know this happened so it never happens again.”
Ms. Thompson said she was initially nervous to come forward, but the city’s response provided her with assurance.
“From the very beginning, Mayor Michelle and Chief Fletcher have been excellent – they’ve done everything they said they were going to do and I greatly appreciate them,” she said. “I really didn’t expect this turnout, but I’m definitely grateful. They eased my mind tremendously throughout this whole ordeal. I can’t find the words to thank them, but I really appreciate them.”
Attorney Cannon Lambert, representing Thompson, called the joint announcement “important,” as was the city’s “diligent and aggressive pursuit” of justice.
“It’s something we don’t sometimes see,” he said. “When you have examples of folks that actually do what they say they’re going to do, it is to be applauded.”
Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, the city is unable to provide further information at this time, but will remain in close contact with Attorney Lambert and Ms. Thompson, while also continuing to work closely with the Illinois State Police in their ongoing criminal investigation.