Chicago Cop Caught on Camera Throwing Hot Coffee at Motorcyclist

The Chicago police department says it is now examining the video and trying to identify the officer.

Jan 25 2017, 6:00pm

Now that digital video is pretty much globally ubiquitous—and it's as easy to film something as whipping out your iPhone or aiming your GoPro and loading it to your Facebook page—we're learning a lot about police behavior that might have otherwise gone unreported.

And not all of that behavior is pretty. A video that is circulating widely appears to show a Chicago police officer hurling a to-go cup of hot coffee at a passing motorcyclist. Unfortunately for the cop, the motorcyclist was wearing a camera on his helmet and the video is now being examined by the Chicago Police Department.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says he first learned on Monday of the 40-second video, which was posted by a group called Chicago United Riders on their Facebook page. The video has more than 98,000 views as of today. It depicts a group of motorcyclists proceeding down Hubbard Street in Chicago. One pops a wheelie (an illegal act, according to CBS local news, under the law in that jurisdiction) and the rider who is videotaping the journey says something unclear—some suggest it was "Ah man, we'll keep it down"—to a police officer, who appears to be waiting to cross the street.

Suddenly, the police officer hurls an orange to-go cup filled with coffee at the rider's face. Coffee clearly drips down his helmet and the camera lens as the motorcyclist shouts in disbelief, "I got you on camera, bro!"

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The Chicago Police Department says it is now examining the video and trying to identify the officer. Evidently, hurling hot coffee at someone on a motorcycle is not an appropriate response to observing a wheelie or being verbally taunted—if that is, in fact ,what happened. Superintendent Johnson said, "We expect every officer to be professional (and) treat people fairly and responsibly, so to that end we'll have an investigation, an investigation has been opened up, and when it comes down to it, that officer will be held accountable and will be disciplined appropriately."

Sure, this video may not reveal police behavior that is as horrific as some of the abuses caught on camera in the past few years, but it's not exactly behavior becoming of an officer of the peace.

And what a waste of a perfectly good cup of coffee. Then again, if it teaches one officer about the dignity of his office, maybe it wasn't tossed in vain.