Chicago officer with ties to Proud Boys is suspended

CHICAGO — A Chicago police officer with ties with the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, was suspended for 120 days but won’t be fired, the city’s watchdog agency has announced.

In its latest quarterly report, the Office of Inspector General said that a lengthy internal police department investigation was resolved through a “mediation agreement” in which the officer agreed not to dispute the allegations against him, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The officer was not named in the report, but in previous articles in the newspaper Officer Robert Bakker has acknowledged that he took part in Proud Boys group chats, and the police department confirmed that Bakker was, in fact, the subject of the investigation.

The investigation into a link between Bakker and the Proud Boys was first reported two years ago. Since then, the group that has been designated extremist by the Southern Poverty Law Center has found itself at the center of a criminal investigation into the siege at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. A former leader and other members of the group are now on trial in federal court in Washington, D.C.

Bakker, who was also under investigation for not disclosing to the police department that he was under FBI investigation, could not be reached for comment. The police department declined to comment.

The inspector general’s office determined that a police department investigation by its internal affairs bureau found that Bakker “made a contradictory statement” about his participation in a Proud Boys’ chat group and lied about attending a Proud Boys-sponsored barbecue, the newspaper reported.

Bakker has acknowledged to the newspaper after being contacted for an article about him in 2020 that he posted messages on the Proud Boys Telegram channel but maintained that he was never a member of the group.

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