U. of C. cops on leave after allegedly posing as protesters at medical center
BY DIANA NOVAK Staff Reporter March 4, 2013 10:58PM
Two members of the University of Chicago Police Department were put on administrative leave Monday after an officer allegedly posed as a protester during a demonstration at the university’s medical center in February.
In a statement, University of Chicago Police Chief Marlon Lynch said the undercover officer was not part of the police department plan to provide security for the Feb. 23 demonstration, at which protesters complained about the lack of a trauma center in the school’s new $700 million hospital.
President Robert Zimmer and Provost Thomas Rosenbaum condemned the actions of the officers, calling the right to protest “essential to our values and the nature of the University” in a message posted on the school website.
According to a spokesman, the school learned of the officers’ actions through an article in the Chicago Maroon student newspaper. The paper reported on Friday that an on-duty detective marched with a sign that read: “$700,000,000. Seriously??”
In photos printed by the newspaper, the detective is shown texting another officer throughout the march and wearing a sticker that reads “Trauma center now.”
In addition to an internal investigation of the officers by the police department, Zimmer and Rosenbaum plan to hire an outside investigator to determine what happened.