Chicago Cop Says He Was Punished For Refusing To Falsify Records Of Police Shooting Of Unarmed Teen

Chicago Cop Says He Was Punished For Refusing To Falsify Records Of Police Shooting Of Unarmed Teen

Sgt. Isaac Lambert has filed a lawsuit alleging that his superiors took actions against him for not falsifying records.

The cases of police brutality have seen a lot of flags burning, a lot of people shouting, and a lot of streets marched on - seeking justice. 
Those who now exist only in pictures, have one thing in common - they were black. And they suffered for it. 

But recent stories of cover-ups from the side of the police have also come to light. 

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However, one police in the Chicago Police Department tried to do something different, something that many would call right. 
According to Chicago Tribune, in a federal lawsuit that was filed Monday, a police sergeant has accused the department of trying to cover up the circumstances of a shooting in which another sergeant wounded an unarmed teen with disabilities during an off-duty incident on the Far South Side in 2017. 



 

 

Reportedly, Sgt. Isaac Lambert, a supervisor who was assigned to investigate the shooting, alleged in a lawsuit that a superior dumped him from being the detective bureau last month just days after he refused to change a police report to list the other sergeant as the victim of the incident. 

Lambert thinks that he was punished for refusing to cover for the police officer who shot 18-year-old Ricardo “Ricky” Hayes in 2017. The details of the case, made public by the Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), reveals huge discrepancies in the police narrative and what really happened that night. 



 

 

Chicago Tribune reports that at a news conference Monday, Lambert, 50, a Chicago cop since 1994, said he wouldn’t be surprised if the lawsuit makes him an unpopular figure within the Police Department. 

“I’m going to feel like Serpico, basically,” he said in a reference to a legendary New York cop who decades ago blew the whistle on police corruption and was ostracized by officers.



 

 

Lambert, who has been a department veteran of more than 24 years, has won the Carter Harrison Award and the Superintendent’s Award of Valor, two of the city’s highest honors for police officers, according to his lawyers. 

“Always tell the truth and always do what’s right, and don’t ever let some boss, especially someone who sits in an office all day at police headquarters, tell you to put your name on something that’s not right,” he told reporters. “You only have one reputation in life, and make sure that’s one that you can be proud of.”

It is also reported that the suit was filed against the city of Chicago electronically on Monday in Cook County Circuit Court, Lambert’s lawyers said. However, no judge or case number was immediately assigned because the Daley Center courthouse was closed for Pulaski Day. 



 

 

The incident that was in question dates back to when Ricardo “Ricky” Hayes, then 18, was shot by an off-duty Chicago police officer in August 2017 in the Morgan Park neighborhood. 

According to the details described in the court records, Hayes had "profound intellectual and developmental disabilities,” - who was reported missing about three hours before the shooting. He was shot and wounded in arm and chest. 



 

 

Records released last October by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which investigates police shootings, identified the off-duty officer as Sgt. Khalil Muhammad. 

Hayes’ lawsuit against the city alleges that the officer used excessive force, opening fire at Hayes even though he posed no threat. 

Khalil Muhammad, who was not on duty and not in a marked car, was driving home when he spotted Hayes “skipping and running” through the neighborhood, NBC Miami reports. So, just to be safe, Muhammad opened fire on the teenager. 



 

 

When Muhammad called 911, “the guy pulled, like he was about to pull a gun on me, walked up to the car and I had to shoot.” However, when the officer arrived at the station, Lambert claims, Muhammad “was not able to provide a coherent or believable explanation for why he shot Ricardo.” 

Moreover, video from a home security camera — made public by COPA in October — showed that Hayes never did anything to threaten Muhammad or give him any reason to open fire, Lambert alleged. 



 

 

“Lambert’s removal from the detective division was because he refused to participate in an effort to cover up the illegal conduct of Muhammad towards Hayes and because he refused (to) falsify police reports in order to mischaracterize a police shooting,” the suit said. “… The removal of Lambert from the detective division was an act of retaliation.” 

Lambert is seeking unspecified damages as well as his reassignment to the detective bureau “or to some other place within the CPD that is agreeable to him.” 



 

 

“It seems like the city has to learn its lessons, again and again, to make any progress at all,” Torreya Hamilton, Lambert’s attorney, told reporters. “You would think that they would have learned their lesson by now with what happened with the Laquan McDonald case, but it doesn’t seem at all that they have.” 

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