Mayor Rahm Emanuel launched a hate crime investigation Friday, after state police received multiple accounts of racial slurs through the station’s radio airwaves.
Mayor Emanuel addressed a letter to federal and county prosecutors seeking their assistance to determine the culprit who is hacking and leaving racist comments.
According to NBC Chicago, dispatchers and police recently heard someone use the “n-word” over the police radio a number of times. On March 13, a male’s voice was heard on a police radio frequency saying, “typical f—— n——-” and “Black Lives Matter, my a–.” The comments were infused into a conversation between a Black dispatcher and a Black officer, according to a recording of the scanner chatter. The mayor’s letter to prosecutors indicate that racial slurs were broadcast over police radio channels at least three separate times from an unauthorized user.
Mayor Emanuel has asked Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois Zachary Fardon to conduct the investigation. He stated in his letter that the police department has had previous problems with people who aren’t in law enforcement accessing police frequencies. Police officials said at a recent press conference that there is little that could be done to ward off hackers from their channels, but more precautions are being made.
“Unfortunately that [radio] equipment is available out there for people to purchase, so until we get a handle on that, these incidents could occur,” newly named interim Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in an article with NBC Chicago. “We need to stress to our people to use proper radio procedure and proper equipment so we can narrow those incidents down.”
A public police statement was released by the department stating that they are currently working to determine who is illegally accessing the police frequency and broadcasting the racial slurs.