A Chicago police officer will retain his position after it was revealed he has links to the Proud Boys organization and failed to tell police he was under FBI investigation.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports officer Robert Bakker will be suspended for 120 days. The punishment comes after a lengthy investigation ended with a mediation agreement in which Bakker agreed not to contest the allegations against him according to an Office of Inspector General’s report.
The investigation into Bakker began after Vice News reported his ties to the Proud Boys organization in May 2020. The probe revealed Bakker communicated with members of the group and organized meetings with group members.
Many members of the far-right, White nationalist, male-only group were at the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot and have previous experience in the military and police departments across the U.S. The group has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Canadian Government.
In chat logs obtained by Vice, Bakker expressed frustration with a rainbow-colored police emblem celebrating the LGBTQ community that the Chicago Police Department (CPD) posted on social media.
“I’m not wearing any rainbow bull – – – -,” Bakker posted.
Additionally, the CPD’s Bureau of Internal Affairs (BIA) found Bakker failed to submit a written report saying he was under FBI investigation. The BIA eventually resolved the case with a mediation agreement, but the inspector general’s office urged CPD Superintendent David Brown to review the case and determine whether Bakker broke departmental rules by lying.
Brown did not respond according to the Times but did approve the 120-day suspension.
According to ABC News, at least 52 active or retired military members, law enforcement and government service employees were among more than 400 people arrested for their actions at the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot. The arrests include more than half a dozen police officers and multiple elected officials.
“I’m not really surprised that there is a substantial subset of defendants who come from these backgrounds,” Mary McCord, a former national security official told ABC News. “For veterans, the sense of mission is very important, so [Veterans Affairs] should be looking into how they can better serve veterans and help facilitate productive missions for them.”
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