CHICAGO— A state law enforcement agency is investigating the son of Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan after a newspaper determined he is a part-time suburban police officer who uses an unmarked squad car to provide traffic control for his father, an official said Monday.
The Chicago Sun-Times also reported that Mustapha Farrakhan hasn't worked a shift for the department in more than four years.
"We opened a preliminary investigation after the Sun-Times told us about their investigation," said Kevin McClain, the executive director of the Illinois Police Standards and Training Board.
McClain said he ordered the investigation during the third week in April after a reporter contacted his office about what would become a front-page story April 23.
Harvey Police Chief Denard Eaves described Farrakhan as a "volunteer" police officer, but declined to provide the newspaper any details, saying only in a statement that he "stands behind" Farrakhan's appointment and that "Officer Farrakhan assists the Police Department with community relations."
Eaves did not immediately return a call April 23 from The Associated Press. Farrakhan does not have a listed number and the Nation of Islam did not immediately return a call for comment from the AP.
The Sun-Times reported that the 52-year-old Farrakhan "certainly has a police badge" from Harvey, a suburb located just south of Chicago, and since 2006 has been registered as a "gun-carrying Harvey cop."
But the paper also found that Farrakhan lives in Crete, about 12 miles from Harvey.
And while state records show he has not worked for the department in four years, the newspaper found YouTube videos that show he has used the lights of his unmarked squad car to stop traffic and escort his father's "unofficial motorcade."
John Millner, the chief of police in Elmhurst and head of the Illinois Police Chief's Association, said that state law allows officers to use their police powers outside their jurisdiction but typically do so only in an emergency, or at the request of the department whose jurisdiction they are in.
McClain would not discuss the Sun-Times story or whether Farrakhan's actions as described by the paper might have been illegal.
Even before Farrakhan stopped logging hours as a sworn police officer more than four years ago, he worked very little, the newspaper said. According to Harvey police records filed with the state, he worked just nine hours in the first half of 2007, 14 in the second half, and 118 1/2 hours in the second half of 2008. After that, the newspaper reported, he stopped working for the department altogether.