How Louis Farrakhan got a police escort for his 'unofficial motorcade'
Wouldn't it be great if you could get a police car to accompany you for "traffic control" when you drive somewhere? It would be sort of like the president, except for the bulletproof limo and Secret Service.
Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, despite lacking any public office, has enjoyed such convenience, courtesy of his son Mustapha, whose arrangements to drive a police car for escorting his father's "unofficial motorcade" are currently under investigation by a police agency in Illinois. The AP reports:
A state law enforcement agency is investigating the son of Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan after a newspaper determined he is a part-time suburban police officer who uses an unmarked squad car to provide traffic control for his father, an official said Monday.
The (Chicago) Sun-Times also reported that Mustapha Farrakhan hasn't worked a shift for the department in more than four years.
"We opened a preliminary investigation after the Sun-Times told us about their investigation," said Kevin McClain, the executive director of the Illinois Police Standards and Training Board. (snip)
Harvey Police Chief Denard Eaves described Farrakhan as a "volunteer" police officer, but declined to provide the newspaper any details, saying only in a statement that he "stands behind" Farrakhan's appointment and that "Officer Farrakhan assists the Police Department with community relations."
Harvey is a poverty-stricken town, far too downscale for a Farrakhan to actually live in. Mustapha lives 12 miles away, in Crete, Illinois.
But perhaps he has just been "giving back to the community" and helping the poor residents of Harvey?
...while state records show he has not worked for the department in four years, the newspaper found YouTube videos that show he has used the lights of his unmarked squad car to stop traffic and escort his father's "unofficial motorcade."
John Millner, the chief of police in Elmhurst and head of the Illinois Police Chief's Association, said that state law allows officers to use their police powers outside their jurisdiction but typically do so only in an emergency, or at the request of the department whose jurisdiction they are in.
I am told that in Chicago, police are very reluctant to look deeply into Louis Farrakhan, a man whom President Obama always carefully refers to with the honorific "Minister Farrakhan," despite his harsh anti-Semitic rhetoric ('gutter religion"). Local sources tell me that a sizable number of African-American police officers in Chicago are converts to the Nation of Islam, a claim which I cannot independently verify.
In any event, if the public is being inconvenienced by a fraudulent use of a police cruiser to clear the way for a man with no official standing, that is an abuse, and ought to be punished, however the law allows. It is a good thing that an investigation is underway. I just hope that it does not disappear if it turns out to inconvenience powerful people.
Hat tip: Peter von Buol