Report: Chicago Police Officer ‘Coded Out’ Old 911 Calls amid Mexican Independence Day Revelry

Police keep watch over the scene of a fatal shooting that left one person dead and one injured on Sept. 9, 2022, in Chicago. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Chicago police grappled with Mexican Independence Day crowds over the weekend, which caused problems for 911 callers.

Calls became backlogged because there were no officers available. Early Saturday, the majority of calls from people in two districts were several hours old, according to a CWB Chicago article published Monday:

But a high-ranking Chicago police leader made quick work of that problem: He ordered a dispatcher to “code out” any calls more than two hours old that didn’t involve a physical injury. His order applied to CPD’s Central (1st) and Near North (18th) districts, which patrol the area from 31st Street to Fullerton Avenue and Lake Michigan to the Chicago River.

CPD Chief Angel Novalez’s order was broadcast just before 3:00 a.m. once a unit became available and an officer inquired about where to go.

“I have a two-hour-59-minute-old person with a gun,” the dispatcher said. Novalez then asked to confirm the time frame, and the dispatcher said the majority of calls waiting for help were over three hours old and some five.

“All right, squad. If it doesn’t involve injury, code it,” Novalez apparently stated. The CWB Chicago report also included audio of the call.

In August, Chicago police took nearly 30 minutes to respond to a hit-and-run wreck that killed three people and left two injured.

Meanwhile, video footage showed crowds celebrating Mexican Independence Day. Police arrested over half a dozen people, impounded 16 vehicles, issued 13 moving violations, and recovered four guns, Fox 32 Chicago reported Sunday:

Another clip shows people dancing in the streets and a sea of vehicles decorated with Mexican flags. At times, revelers overwhelmed police, according to CBS Chicago:

Per the CWB Chicago article, Novalez was reportedly head of the department’s reform efforts.

“CPD will enjoy a small side benefit from Novalez’s order: By not responding to 911 calls, fewer police reports are written and, magically, crime goes ‘down,'” the outlet concluded.


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