CHICAGO — Federal prosecutors have reached a last-minute plea bargain with a black man after his attorneys discovered alleged white supremacist social media posts involving a potential key witness, who is a veteran Chicago police officer.
Sean Najm is among the officers who arrested Edwin Brown, 25, for drug and weapons charges, the Chicago Tribune reported. Najm denies that any of the Facebook posts are racist and insists he has innocent explanations for them.
A police spokesman said that Najm has been placed on desk duty pending an internal investigation.
Brown’s attorneys first raised the issue of the posts several months ago, alleging that Najm’s wife had posted “disturbing” white supremacist propaganda on social media. They began looking into Najm, who joined the Chicago Police Department in 2006, after noticing a discrepancy in an affidavit or a search warrant that he faxed in 2014.
Facebook posts also show Najm belongs to a motorcycle group called the American Knights, which describes itself as a club that promotes “motorcycle riding with like-minded people.”
Najm told prosecutors the motorcycle club is composed of police officers of all races and backgrounds. He said he wears a Confederate flag patch because he was born and raised in the South.
Brown, who pleaded guilty Thursday to possessing heroin with intent to deliver in return for a dropped gun charge, has been released and permitted to stay with his grandmother.
Under the plea bargain, Brown likely will not face any more prison time when he is sentenced in May. He has served 37 months in prison. Federal sentencing guidelines call for 15 to 21 months.
Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com