University Police officer arrested in Chicago

Audrey Cheng

A University Police officer was charged with a weapons violation July 4, after shooting a firearm multiple times in the South Side of Chicago.

Witnesses observed Wesley Jackson, 30, on the east side of Hyde Park shooting a firearm over Lake Shore Drive towards Lake Michigan, said Andy Conklin, spokesman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. Conklin said bystanders who witnessed the incident, which happened around 10 p.m. in the 5400 block of South Shore Drive, called the police.

“The witnesses and Chicago police heard the gunshots and saw muzzled flashes,” Conklin said. “A few of the police observed the defendant with a magazine in one hand and a firearm in another.”

University of Chicago Police Department officers ordered Jackson to drop the firearm, and he complied, Conklin said. Then, the UCPD contacted city police.

In an interview with Chicago police, Jackson said he was “just shooting at the lake – it’s the 4th of July and everyone is doing.”

The Chicago police report also said Jackson told the police multiple times he was intoxicated after consuming five beers and was “f—– up.”

After being taken into the Wentworth District police station, Jackson was identified by his supervisor as a member of the NU police department. The University of Chicago police recovered the firearm and discovered it to be a chrome .45-caliber firearm loaded with seven live rounds. After University of Chicago police contacted city police, the latter recovered nine .45-caliber live rounds, with six .40-caliber live rounds in the area Jackson was arrested.

CPD recovered 23 spent shell casings, Conklin said.

“I don’t know if it was his officer’s weapon, but that’s the gun he was with,” Conklin said.

NU Spokesman Alan Cubbage said while he does not know what gun Jackson used when the incident happened, the University required the officer to surrender his university-issued weapon.

“After the incident occurred last week, while he was off-duty in Chicago, the university has placed the officer on administrative leave and is reviewing the incident and what might be the appropriate disciplinary action,” Cubbage said.

Jackson has been with the NU Police Department for about six years, after passing the University’s hiring process, said Cubbage.

“I’m not aware of any similar incidents with other officers or anything like that,” Cubbage said. “And I’ve been here now for 15 years. I don’t remember anything like this previously.”

Cubbage also said the University officials are not sure when they will decide on the disciplinary action and do not have a deadline for the decision.

Jackson’s bond was set at $50,000 on June 6.

Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the police department to which Jackson belongs. He is a University Police officer. A previous version of this story misstated who the University of Chicago Police Department ordered to drop their firearm. The department ordered Jackson to drop his firearm. The Daily regrets the errors.

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