The Chicago Police Department is currently facing a troubling investigation regarding allegations of sexual misconduct involving recently arrived asylum seekers, some of whom are residing in various police precincts throughout the city. One disturbing case involves an officer who is accused of impregnating an 18-year-old asylum seeker.
Initiation of the investigation followed reports that a police officer had engaged in "sexual contact with an unidentified underage female migrant" and suggest that other officers may have been involved in similar misconduct. Andrea Kersten, Chief Administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), the agency responsible for investigating police misconduct in the city, disclosed these allegations during a summer press conference.
Chicago has seen an influx of approximately 14,000 asylum seekers since August 2022. While more than 7,000 are being accommodated in citywide shelters, around 2,000 are forced to live in police precincts across different law enforcement districts. Additionally, some asylum seekers are left to sleep in harsh conditions at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports.
Amidst these challenges, Chicago's new progressive mayor, Brandon Johnson, has sought to address the issue by signing a $29 million contract with a private security firm, GardaWorld Federal Services, to set up heated tents, particularly for asylum seekers staying in police precincts and airports. However, this choice has been met with controversy due to the firm's involvement in criticized migrant detention and relocation programs in other states.
Link: The Guardian