The Chicago Police Department has responded to accusations that procedure wasn’t followed during a crime investigation on July 26 after investigators had a car containing two dead bodies towed from the Humboldt Park neighborhood (video below).
The decision to tow the vehicle sparked outrage in the neighborhood. The uproar was captured on camera by a man identifying himself as “J Hustle,” who posted the video to YouTube under the name Jhustlecity.
The video opens with the camera focusing on a red tow truck pulling a car away from the curb of a residential street.
“How do you tow a car with a deceased body in it?” the man filming the scene asks.
The camera then pans to show a large crowd of residents gathered and shouting at police who are standing behind crime scene tape.
“They towed the car with a body hanging out the window,” the man filming says. “When did it become procedure to tow a car with a deceased body hanging out the window with a repo truck?”
The narrator goes on to say that there was a body hanging out of the driver’s window of the car and another body in the passenger’s seat.
Residents can be seen shouting angrily at police after the tow truck has left the area. At one point an officer raises a baton at one man shouting over the crime scene tape.
As the shouting continues, the man calling himself J Hustle turns the camera on himself.
“They just snatched this car up with a body hanging out of the window and dragged it down the damn street,” he says of the police, after claiming they hadn’t followed proper procedure. “And now they are out here provoking the family.”
The bodies in the car were those of 32-year-old Darron Thomas, who was driving, and passenger Kenneth Wallace, 35, police told WGN News.
Authorities said they were both shot multiple times by someone on the sidewalk. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.
A 26-year-old female passenger who was riding in the back seat was wounded when a bullet grazed her ankle, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. She was last reported in stable condition after being taken to Norwegian American Hospital.
The video on YouTube has been viewed more than 120,000 times since it was posted on July 26.
In response to the video, the Chicago Police Department issued a statement explaining the decision to tow the car from the scene:
From time to time, depending on the unique circumstances of the death, bodies may be left in vehicles and removed in private area at the Medical Examiner’s office.
This would be done to protect the integrity of the crime scene (the car) while at the same time preserving the dignity of the deceased by handling their bodies in a private area rather than on the street in full view of onlookers.
CPD is sensitive to the handling of bodies in public, and detective bureau has implemented procedures to minimize any community concerns that may arise from the manner in which crime scenes are processed.
WARNING: Video contains strong language.
Photo credit: Screenshot via YouTube