There's a new police scandal in Chicago:
A winner of the prestigious Superintendent's Award for Valor was stripped of his police powers this week as prosecutors prepare to charge up to eight Chicago Police officers suspected of raiding homes and stealing valuables, sources said Wednesday.
The 43-year-old officer, described by sources as a ringleader, has been a defendant in five lawsuits in federal court alleging police misconduct. In some cases, he was accused of participating in ripoffs of cash and jewelry during illegal searches of homes, cars and a bar.
Last year, NBC's Unit 5 profiled Miguel Melesio, a high school student at Excel Academy who said he was stopped, handcuffed and held by police who stole thousands of dollars from his home. Melesio said he was driving a 2003 Cadillac when officers swooped in. He said he thinks they were looking for drugs.
Melesio said he was taken back to his family's three-flat and remained in the police car while three officers, including a woman, went inside. They searched the building and left. About $13,000 in savings was missing from the home, Melesio said.
Sources said they do not think the Melesios, who are legal U.S. residents, were engaged in illegal activity.
"It's gonna be our word against his [an officer's] word, and they are the law," Miguel Melesio's brother Uriel Melesio lamented in a Unit 5 interview.
Second City Cop, over to you.