Irene Chavez, 33, reportedly attempted suicide in her cell after her arrest in at a local pub on December 18th. She was taken to a hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

CHICAGO (AP) — A civilian oversight office is investigating the death of a woman who allegedly killed herself while in Chicago police custody.

Irene Chavez, 33, was being held in the city's 3rd District police station when the Civilian Office of Police Accountability received notification of an attempted suicide on Dec. 18, the office said Monday in a release.

Chavez was taken to a hospital and later pronounced dead, it said.

Investigators have reviewed footage from officer-worn cameras and requested video of Chavez’s initial arrest following an incident at a local pub.

“At this time, there is no video surveillance of Ms. Chavez in the 3rd Police District Tactical Office where the alleged suicide attempt occurred,” the accountability office said. “However, COPA will continue to conduct its investigation to determine if video captures the alleged suicide attempt and actions by officers in the immediate aftermath.”

Iris Chavez has told reporters police told her that her sister “was found hung" in a cell with a shirt.[1][2]

Iris Chavez also said her sister was arrested for simple battery.

As with any death in police custody, notification will be made to the State’s Attorney’s Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation for possible criminal review, the accountability office said.

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Notes & References

  1. Turner, Tatyana. “A Family Is Demanding Answers after a Woman Was Found Dead While in Police Custody.” Chicago Tribune, December 28, 2021. ↩︎

  2. Esposito, Stefano, and Sophie Sherry. “Family Seeking Answers after Loved One Is Found Hanged in South Side Police Cell.” Times. Chicago Sun-Times, December 28, 2021. ↩︎