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The Passenger With a Gun

A cabbie waits for the police department to police one of its own.


Karl Clermont is certain an off-duty police officer pulled a gun on him. What he doesn't understand is why it's taking so long for investigators to determine if the officer should face disciplinary action. "This happened over seven months ago," he says. Clermont is a 33-year-old cabbie who grew up on the north side, graduated from Sullivan High School, and now lives in the suburbs with his wife and five-year-old son. He's been driving a cab for five years . . .

. . . Investigators moved much more quickly in another case that involved an allegation of officer misconduct. On September 13 CTA bus driver Ricardo Mendoza filed a federal lawsuit accusing an off-duty cop of hitting him. Investigations into the incident by the Cook County State's Attorney and IPRA were concluded in six weeks. (The investigators reached a surprising conclusion in that one: on November 7, the state's attorney's office charged Mendoza with making a false report and obstructing justice. Mendoza's attorney, Craig Sandberg, said the charges are retaliation for his client's lawsuit. Mendoza has stuck with his story.) . . .

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