George Roberts is a civilian whose job is to investigate crooked cops. As the supervisor for the Independent Police Review Authority, (IPRA), Roberts is responsible for investigating claims of police misconduct and officer-involved shootings.
After a nightmarish interaction with six Chicago cops, however, Roberts became the subject of his own work.
According to a federal lawsuit filed this week, after leaving a bar on New Year’s Day 2015, Roberts was pulled over by six of Chicago’s finest.
One of these six cops found Roberts identification card that showed he was a supervisor at the IPRA. Once they discovered that Roberts was a man who is tasked with holding police accountable for a living, the dashcam recording of the incident goes black.
What happened next, according to the lawsuit was nothing short of sheer and brutal humiliation.
First the officers attacked Roberts by throwing him to the ground before putting him into the back of the squad car.
Roberts, who is 6′ 3″ and 315 pounds, is too large for traditional cuffs to fit behind his back. But the Chicago cops did not care and forced them onto Roberts, which in turn, caused him a lot of pain.
According to the suit, when Roberts complained to the officers that he was in severe pain, Officer R. Adams, taunted him with Eric Garner’s last words.
“What are you going to tell me next, ‘you can’t breathe?’” said Adams.
The lawsuit then details how Roberts was thrown to the ground by the officers again. This time, he was thrown down with so much force that he lost control of his bowels.
Roberts was then taken downtown, charged with DUI, and thrown in a cell where he was forced to stay overnight in his soiled clothing. During his stay in jail, he would face further humiliation as a supervisor came to the cell to taunt and laugh at him, according to the suit.
According to the “official” police account, Roberts was drunk and fell down, causing injury to himself. They also claim that he soiled himself in the back of the cruiser.
But the official account cannot be trusted as they also claimed that there was no video evidence. During the trial for Roberts’ DUI charge, however, his counsel discovered its existence and Roberts was subsequently acquitted.
In July, the Free Thought Project reported on the story of Lorenzo Davis, who was fired from his job at the IPRA for finding too many cops guilty of shooting people.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, Davis explains how telling the truth about cops will get you punished.
“Some people seem to think that someone saw him and recognized him, saw him in a bar and saw him drinking,” Davis says of Roberts. “That was a theory initially—that this would be a way to get back at someone who worked at IPRA.”
The irony, in this case, is that the IPRA rarely finds cops at fault for anything, even when they shoot and kill innocent women.
Perhaps the reason for the failure of the IPRA to hold cops accountable is that they are all afraid they may end up like Davis or Roberts.