The reality star is feeling more understanding too. “She didn’t realize how much of Kanye’s behavior stems from a mental illness,” says the insider. “When he’s doing the things his therapists tell him to do, she is so much happier.”
Chicago Officer Charged With First-Degree Murder In January Slaying
The Chicago Police Department, rocked just days ago with a damning federal report that pointed to years of excessive force, discrimination and cover-ups, is now facing another one of its own being charged with murder.
New Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx on Wednesday announced first-degree murder charges against mass transit unit Officer Lowell Houser in the Jan. 2 shooting of Jose Nieves during a Northwest Side dispute.
Houser and Nieves, known as “Cheo” to his friends and family, knew one another and had been involved in previous incidents, authorities said.
The murder charges come just days after a scathing report by the U.S. Justice Department slammed the Police Department for a host of failings, from unjustified shootings and physical abuse of suspects to poor training. Many of the findings involved black and Hispanic victims.
FULL REPORT: Read the Justice Department’s Report on the Chicago Police Department
Houser, 57, shot Nieves in the 2500 block of North Lowell Avenue in Hermosa about 9:15 a.m. Jan. 2, according to authorities. Police said the officer’s weapon was the only gun found on the scene. Nieves, 38, was shot multiple times.
Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said earlier this month that the two knew each other from “a confrontation” that occurred “a few weeks ago.” The officer was in Hermosa visiting someone, police said, and had clashed with Nieves on multiple occasions.
“I have a lot more questions than I do answers at this time,” Johnson said.
Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi earlier this month said Johnson relieved Houser of his police powers.
“The Chicago Police Department turned the case over to the state’s attorney and the Independent Police Review Authority once the possibility of criminal violations were suspected,” Guglielmi said Wednesday. “CPD will fully cooperate with the state’s attorney throughout the judicial process.”
RELATED: Weeks After Run-in With Off-Duty Officer, Man Killed By Him
According to NBC, Nieves worked in construction and bar security and lived on the Northwest Side.
“My brother Cheo … was the type of person everybody wanted to hang around, great personality, happy, sweet, awesome sense of humor, thoughtful, and always smiling and would give you a monster hug that would leave you gasping for air,” sister Angelica Figueroa wrote on a GoFundMe page for the family. “Cheo would even be your night in shining armor if you you needed him. He was so close to all his family and friends and had many that loved him. Cheo also had two fur babies that meant the world to him. This was a man that was always willing to help where he can if he could.”
In an interview with CBS2, Nieves’ sister said she understands if an officer uses force when his life is in danger — but that was not the case here.
“If you are an officer, and you are getting shot at, and your life is in danger, I understand,” she said. “But if a person doesn’t have a weapon, it doesn’t give you the right to take out your weapon and shoot at that person. It does not.”
Nieves’ family sued Houser and the City of Chicago in federal court days after the shooting. The Tribune reports that Houser has faced at least 20 disciplinary investigations since the early 1990s and has been suspended several times.
Most recently, on Oct. 29, 2014, Houser was accused of detaining, grabbing and pushing someone to the ground while waiting for the Red Line train at 95th Street, according to the Invisible Institute database. The final outcome of that complaint is unknown.
Andrew M. Stroth, attorney for the Nieves family, reacted to the charges Wednesday.
“The Nieves family is devastated by the loss of Jose. The state’s attorney’s action today will not bring back Jose but is an important and swift step in the criminal justice process.”
Houser is due in court for a bond hearing at noon Thursday.
Houser’s murder charges come in the wake of the first-degree murder charges filed against Officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot dead 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in a case that rocked the city and led to the year-long Justice Department probe, the results of which were just released Friday.
Houser’s case is thought to be the first time in at least 35 years that an on-duty officer had been charged with first-degree murder.
Here’s the federal civil lawsuit filed against Houser and the City of Chicago: