An effort to make an Illinois project that could be used to help solve homicides more “innocent” has been stalled after officials with the project’s creator were reportedly involved in a violent altercation with a group of protesters.
The Chicago Police Department announced late Friday that it had temporarily suspended the project, which was intended to bring together people involved in the unsolved 1999 murder of 18-year-old Hae Min Lee and the attempted murder of a young man.
“The Chicago Crime Lab and the Chicago Fire Department have been made aware of the allegations,” Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy said in a statement.
“The CBL and the CFD are cooperating fully with the investigation and have suspended this project pending an appropriate investigation.”
The CDP’s interim executive director, Andrew Sadowski, told ABC News that a group calling itself “Hear Us Out” and other activists were protesting the project and the group was planning to hold a demonstration on the city’s South Side, where a large crowd gathered on Friday.
The protesters have been demanding answers, and that the project be suspended, Sadowsky said.CBL spokesman Eric Koval told ABC that the protesters were being disruptive and that they were being arrested, but he said the group planned to go home and report what they did.
“We don’t know the details of what happened, so we’re not willing to go into it,” he said.
The project was originally supposed to be open to anyone who wanted to donate a piece of property or get a loan, but the activists refused to sign up for the program.
Instead, they asked for the project to be suspended while the CDP looked into it.
“I don’t think that there’s any way to put that together without them going through some sort of investigation and I don’t want to be a part of that,” Sadowsk said.
In an email, a spokesperson for the CBL said that the CFPL “does not comment on individual investigations.”
“We are reviewing the situation and will respond when we have more information,” the spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for CDP said it was investigating the incident, and the city had no comment.