Huffpost Politics
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Jayne Lyn Stahl Headshot

Off Duty Chicago Police Accused of Election Night Hate Crimes

Posted: Updated:

As Christina Ballard and Cornelius Voss were on their way home after celebrating Barack Obama's victory, on election day, three youngsters in the back of their car rolled down the window, cheering by calling out Obama's name. Three unmarked police cars allegedly pulled up alongside them, and are reported to have pepper sprayed the youngsters. The officers are said to have used racial epithets, and called for "white power," while spraying them.

When they tried to file a police report, immediately after the incident, Ballard and Voss were given the runaround, so the next day, they turned to the Independent Police Review Authority for redress. A spokesperson for the IPRA would say only that they're looking into these accusations, and that there were "multiple allegations" of law enforcement spraying civilians that historic night, one estimate suggests that there may have been dozens of incidents.

The mainstream media, for the most part, has dropped the ball on this story which appears in The Chicago Sun-Times, as well as on a few local radio stations. The family who took their hate crime claim to the IPRA is also filing a federal lawsuit.

Their claim, and others like it, must be addressed expeditiously, and there must be swift consequences.

The actions of these officers who, ironically, hail from president-elect Obama's home district, are tantamount to hate crimes which must be widely publicized, and universally condemned.