FOX Files: Alton police chief calls out officers’ actions caught on camera

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ALTON, Ill. – Alton’s police chief says his officers’ behavior inside a home this past January is unacceptable. We showed you video of an officer throwing an axe inside the house and knocking a mirror off the wall. You could also hear officers laughing while appearing to look through personal belongings.

Alton Police Chief Marcos Pulido, “I am embarrassed by our officers’ actions. This is not something that we promote and this is not something we are going to accept.”

Pulido said he immediately investigated this past January 2021 incident in which his officers acted strangely at times.

Chief Pulido said, “I not only ordered the internal affairs investigation, but I also imposed discipline prior to this story even coming out.”

He said the investigation was completed just weeks after the January incident.

He said officers were suspended for violating Alton police policies involving conduct and performance and acts on or off duty that bring discredit to the department.

Chief Pulido said “Accountability goes from the top down. So I’m embarrassed to talk about this, but I think it needs to be said because I want people to know this is something that was not swept under the rug.”

However the Chief says officers did have a reason to be at the house on Rixon. A police report says that on January 9th 2021 a “neighbor reported homeless subjects squatting in the residence” and that it had “been deemed unfit for occupancy “ 30 days prior.

The Fox Files pulled tax records to show taxes are paid in full every year, but conditions at the home are such that the homeowner faces an August court date for an ordinance violation of ‘unfit living conditions.’

The police report says officers arrived to find a “building and zoning placard that said ‘unsafe for human occupancy’” and “both the front and rear door were slightly ajar.” Once inside the officers reported finding “five people in the home, including two people hiding in the attic.”

Chief Pulido added, “Those people were allowed to leave, however the behavior by those officers after those people left was completely unacceptable.”

Homeowner Jonathan Clark hired attorney Shari Murphy who intends to sue over the incident. Clark cancelled our scheduled interview Thursday saying he couldn’t get away from work and today he says he’s driving out of state for work. Murphy says the department offered a thousand dollars for damages.

She laughed, “I think it’s a joke. They destroyed part of his home.” She added, “These policeman were in their bedroom. This should be the most secure place that you have in the world.”

Chief Pulido says the names of the officers remains confidential under state law and union rules, but he says he says they’ve never hidden anything and adds that he can prove he provided the relevant police report to Clark and his attorney and did not stonewall them.

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