CHICAGO — The Chicago Police Department acknowledged an internal investigation Thursday into allegations that four officers assigned to a West Side patrol district engaged in sexual relationships with migrants who were living in a police station.
The department said in an email late Thursday that the bureau of internal affairs, as well as the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, had opened an investigation, but a department spokesperson did not address questions about when the investigation began or if any officers were stripped of their police powers.
A representative for COPA did not respond to an inquiry Thursday night.
The Police Department said the allegations concern four officers assigned to the Ogden District, which covers the Little Village and Lawndale neighborhoods on the West Side.
Few details were available late Thursday about the scope of the investigation. Also a focus was whether some of the migrants allegedly involved in the matter were minors, sources with knowledge of the internal review said.
The plight of migrants in the city has been the focus of the new administration of Mayor Brandon Johnson. Largely from Central American countries, the migrants have been bused to Chicago and other major U.S. cities from Texas since the spring.
In the meantime, the city has struggled to find adequate housing for them. Since April, each of the CPD’s 22 district stations — along with several other city-owned or otherwise unused buildings — have become a temporary home for hundreds of migrants, sometimes drawing the ire of local residents.
Many of those migrants have found themselves seeking shelter in Chicago police stations, as information about the conditions at city shelters has circulated.
(Chicago Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner contributed to this story.)