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Chicago Police to Disband Elite Unit

NPR reported that the Chicago Police Department will disband its elite Special Operations Section that has been the subject of recent state and federal investigations, Tuesday.

The drug and gang unit at the department is under investigation for allegations ranging from armed violence to kidnapping and planning a murder-for-hire, officials said.

Fox News reported that seven officers of the SOS have been charged with using their badge to intimidate and shake down people. All officers have pleaded not guilty.

Two weeks ago one of those officers, Jerome Finnigan, was charged with planning to hire someone to murder another member of the unit to keep them from talking to the government.

"We cannot monitor every single police officer's behavior," said interim Police Superintendent Dana Starks.

Starks does plan to reorganize the SOS along with other specialized units, and heavily monitor their behavior.

Other recent problems within the department have only been compounded by the allegations surrounding the SOS. Other recent problems have included allegations of an incident where police beat up four business men and department veteran, Anthony Abbate, being charged with beating up a female bartender.

The department's announcement is a way to try to fix the public's perception of the police department, University of Chicago law professor Craig Futterman said.

"A Band-Aid isn't going to cure a broken system," Futterman said.