Remember Sgt. Sam Dickerson, the Chicago cop who wouldn't let Wendy and me turn in a total of eleven guns between us at the June 2 Chicago Gun Buyback? The same cop who ordered me to accompany him outside after he caught me snapping a photo inside the church building where they held their event? The one who banned me from ever participating in a Chicago gun buyback again? You may not remember him – at least by name, but he's gonna remember me.
Yes, I escaped Chicago's Public Safety Headquarters in one piece Monday. The Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson must not have recognized my name or spotted me. Either way, I spent literally all afternoon on the fifth floor, right around the corner from Special Ed's office. At the high-security Internal Affairs Bureau, I completed my part of the formal complaint process against Sgt. Dickerson (pictured, center, holding box).
The IAD sergeant indicated that my interview marked the beginning of the formal investigatory process. He would interview Sgt. Dickerson and probably a number of the other officers present at the event. Apparently Chicago PD has a "Rule 14" (or something like that) that says if a Chicago police officer lies to Internal Affairs about an investigation, that usually results (almost always?) in termination.
That leaves Sgt. Dickerson to tell the truth or to lie. The only catch is if he fibs, and IAD finds another officer that corroborates my account and contradicts Dickerson, that swirling may well be Sgt. Dickerson's job and pension circling the drain.
During the interview, I lauded the other Chicago police officers at the buyback as kind, courteous and professional. The CPD officer checking the guns was exemplary for his ability to safely and effectively clear the guns as they came in – something missing at previous Chicago gun buybacks I've "participated" in.
Furthermore, I'll also say that the two IAD officers – both sergeants – I met were truly outstanding as well. Both were friendly, courteous and kind. Nice people. And the two female officers working the front desk both proved themselves a credit to the department. I should know. Like a dunce I left my phone on the information desk while fishing out a second ID. The one officer had it with a smile when she saw me coming. She gave me a little gentle ribbing, but I had it coming and we shared a laugh.
It's really a shame how an officer like Dickerson can cast a cloud over Chicago's finest. The rest don't deserve that one bit. Not one little bit.