Police misconduct investigators have recommended that Chicago Police Department Supt. David Brown move to fire an officer who “endangered numerous lives” when authorities say he caused a 2019 crash on the West Side that left a woman dead and 10 officers hurt.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability submitted its finding against Officer Patrick Brown to the police department in June of 2021, but the agency’s report wasn’t released publicly until Friday.
Officer Brown, driving an unmarked police van with five police officers inside, was responding to a call for officer assistance in May of 2019 when he ignored a red light and sped through the intersection of Division Street and Laramie Avenue, according to the COPA report.
Brown’s van collided with a police SUV with four officers inside, then crashed into a civilian sedan. A passenger in that car, 89-year-old Verona Gunn, died from her injuries at a hospital.
Two other vehicles were damaged in the crash, and 10 police officers in all were taken to hospitals, as was another man with less severe injuries.
COPA found that Brown failed to follow basic safety practices and violated the department’s policies, and called for Brown to be fired from the department.
“Officer Brown’s decision to continue driving the police van in such a manner that endangered numerous lives, caused multiple injuries and a fatality is unjustified and he should not remain a member of the Chicago Police Department,” investigators wrote.
More than three years after the crash, Patrick Brown is still “an active member” of the department, according to CPD’s News Affairs office. He made more than $95,000 last year, city payroll records show.
CPD officials didn’t respond to requests for comment on whether Supt. Brown has or will seek to discipline the officer.