May 8, 2011. Chicago. This is an update from our previous article ‘Killed on Camera’ – the story of a Chicago Police officer who murdered an unarmed, innocent man by shooting him in the face at point blank range and then lied to cover it up. By the time the story ended, the highest ranking officials in the city of Chicago, from the Mayor to the Assistant Superintendent of Police, to investigating detectives, to the responding officers, were ALL caught lieing, covering-up the crime and protecting a guilty murderer. That was when the CTA video tapes came out, showing the real horrific incident. Watch it for yourself below. But the story doesn’t end there. The accused police officer was found shot to death in his home Thursday.
The city of Chicago has already unofficially declared the death a ‘suicide’ but are waiting for the results of the official autopsy. Anyone who’s following the case of Officer Alvin Weems won’t hold their breath waiting for any ‘official response’ from Chicago city officials. For Chicago’s politicians have lied and covered-up every dirty aspect of this tragic series of events. Not only that, the citizens of Chicago have don’t have any information to form an opinion on. In one of the most blatant examples of local news outlets blacking-out and covering-up major news events to protect corrupt city employees and officials, even this latest suicide of the cases main figure was buried deep in the local news, and not one mention was made about how City Hall was caught covering it up and protecting a murderer.
For those not familiar with the case of Chicago Police officer Alvin Weems, please read our previous column ‘Killed on Camera’. And if your stomach and soul are strong enough, please feel free to watch the Chicago Readers excellent YouTube video showing the actual murder take place. For those of you not familiar with the case, here is a brief summary.
On Saturday, March 8, 2003 inside the crowded 95th Street Red Line CTA station, officer Alvin Weems came across a scuffle involving a half dozen teens and young adults. Weems was supposed to be on the job at that moment, but instead was absent and now walking through the El station with his personal handgun in hand, in plain clothes, with no badge or police identification, and otherwise looking like any other armed thug.
While accosting and interrogating the teen that was outnumbered and being assaulted, officer Weems waved his gun with every hand gesture he made while he argued. It was at that moment that an otherwise not-involved Michael Pleasance walked over to bare witness to what had transpired and to inform the officer that the person he was accusing, was actually the victim.
It was at that instant that officer Weems lifted his arm, pointed the gun at Pleasance’s face and pulled the trigger. Before his body hit the ground, Michael Pleasance was dead. In fairness, anyone who watches the video can easily see how the firearm’s discharge was accidental. Michael Pleasance posed no threat and was simply standing there. In recent years, officer Weems has expressed remorse and admitted that the shooting was an accident. But that’s not what he testified to at the time.
Within an hour, the official declaration by the Chicago Police Department was that the shooting was justified because Michael Pleasance, along with a half dozen other offenders, violently attacked officer Weems, striking him and attempting to wrestle his handgun away. It was then and only then, that officer Weems fatally shot Pleasance. The city came to that official conclusion because of one important fact. Immediately following the shooting, responding officers and investigating detectives confiscated the CTA’s security camera footage from multiple cameras. They showed every detail of the follow-up to the shooting, as well as the murder itself.
The only problem is, that’s not at all what happened. But Mayor Daley and the Chicago Police Department didn’t care. They stuck with the original lie even after viewing the footage. Even the Assistant Superintendent of Police and the President of the FOP defended officer Weems and knowingly lied to the citizens of Chicago, as well as the devastated family of Michael Weems.
Even when the Office of Professional Standards condemned not only officer Weems, but the Police Department and City Hall itself, the city did nothing. That’s not entirely accurate though. While the Office of Professional Standards recommended the immediate termination of Weems, the Department only suspended him for 30 days and then promoted him to Detective.
It wasn’t until 2007 when a jury ordered the citizens of Chicago to pay the Pleasance family $12.5 million in damages and ordered the video tape be released to the public. In 2009, an Appellate Court overruled the judgment and it looked like the Pleasance family would never seed justice. Finally in March of this year, the city of Chicago agreed to pay the family $3 million to settle the case once and for all, or so they thought. Two days ago, the body of 51 year old officer Michael Weems was found from a gunshot wound. An official cause of death, if there is such a thing in this case, is pending.
Special thanks to the Chicago Reader for the excellent and appreciated coverage.