A group that donated money in the wake of an officer's death that was blamed on the Black Lives Matter movement are asking for it back now that the death was found to be a suicide.
The 100 Club of Chicago, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance for the families of first responders who die in the line of duty, wrote a $15,000 check to the widow of Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz on Sept. 1. That was the day the Fox Lake, Illinois, officer was found dead 50 yards from his squad car amid a crime scene we now know was an elaborately staged suicide.
"In this case it was not a line-of-duty death. That is clear," Joe Ahern, the group's CEO, told the Chicago Tribune Wednesday. "We will ask the family for the money back."
"This is an unfortunate thing to have to do and we, of course, feel for the family," the 100 Club said in a statement to the Chicago Daily Herald. "We know, however, that we must stay true to the mission and purpose of our organization and reserve financial benefits for families who lose a loved one in the line of duty."
Authorities say Gliniewicz embezzled $50,000 from a community youth program and was on the verge of getting caught.
Before deciding to kill himself, the officer may have attempted to hire a hitman to murder the woman who was looking into the financial discrepancy, police told ABC 7. Gliniewicz also appears to have considered planting drugs on her; packets of cocaine were later found in his desk.
Motorola Solutions had announced a $50,000 reward in September for information leading to the arrest of Gliniewicz's killer, the Associated Press reported. On Wednesday the company announced it would donate that money to the program Gliniewicz stole from.
The officer's death triggered a lengthy manhunt that cost taxpayers well over a quarter of a million dollars and fueled a broader narrative of a "war on cops" erroneously linked to the Black Lives Matter movement.
That narrative has little supporting data. According to an analysis by the American Enterprise Institute, 2015 is actually on track to be "the safest year for law enforcement in the US since 1887."
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