Posted on: December 23, 2020, 02:49h.
Last updated on: December 23, 2020, 02:49h.
A Horseshoe Hammond Casino assault has led to a Chicago police sergeant getting relieved of her duties this week after she allegedly struck an Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) officer at the gaming property about two months ago.
Sgt. Lori Cooper was arrested on felony battery against a police officer, disorderly conduct, and public intoxication charges following the Oct. 30 incident in a casino restroom.
Initially, Cooper, who was off-duty at the time, was suspected of shoving a casino employee, WGN, a local TV station, reported. Cooper appeared intoxicated, the report adds.
Security officers then tried to lead Cooper and another woman away from the casino. Initially, casino security did not want Cooper charged in the 4 am incident and just ordered her and the other woman to leave the casino.
But then Cooper and her friend got into an altercation while they were being escorted toward the exit. Soon, Cooper became “angry, insulting and uncooperative” before “charging and then striking” the IGC officer “twice in his chest and stomach,” WLS, another local TV station said, quoting law enforcement reports.
Cooper allegedly struck the IGC officer with an open fist and pushed him, WBBM, another local TV station, reported. Also, Cooper was ordered many times to wear a face mask that night, WBBM said.
A Hammond police officer eventually arrested Cooper. The IGC officer was assigned to the casino and came to assist as the incident unfolded.
A statement from Chicago Police News Affairs confirmed “an internal investigation into this incident has been opened.”
The officer “involved in this matter has been relieved of police powers pending the outcome of the investigation,” the statement added, according to WBBM.
Lawyer Claims Cop Is Innocent
Cooper is expected to make a statement on Wednesday following a brief comment made by her attorney on Tuesday.
Ms. Cooper will be proven innocent. She is represented by counsel and we will be making a more comprehensive statement tomorrow,” according to a statement by Cooper’s attorney as reported by WLS.
Until recently, Cooper was associated with the department’s Special Activities unit. It investigates hate crimes. The unit also assists relatives of police officers killed in the line of duty.
Earlier Police Officer Reprimands, Arrests Related to Gambling
In an unrelated incident, last month it was reported that a Gary, Indiana police officer has a case pending in local court alleging he tried to get someone else to claim his slot machine win because he was behind on child support. The Times of Northwest Indiana, a local newspaper, reported Sgt. Charles Lucas was charged with cheating at gaming late October from the earlier incident at East Chicago, Indiana’s Ameristar Casino.
In 2018, three Dallas Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) police officers turned themselves in on gambling-related charges, along with money laundering and engaging in organized criminal activity allegations. Local Dallas TV News station Fox 4 reported that the officers themselves were allegedly gambling.
Three of the officers were convicted in court, the Dallas Morning News reported. It was unclear what happened with charges on the fourth officer.
In January, Dallas police suspended 22 former vice officers for “policy violations” on gambling inquiries, WFAA, a local TV station, reported.