Watch CBS News

Chicago Police Commander Under Investigation After Leading Indiana State Police On High Speed Chase

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A high-ranking Chicago Police Commander, who was also the head of the Jussie Smollett investigation, has been reassigned and is the target of an internal investigation after leading Indiana State Police on a high speed chase last month.

Detective Commander Edward Wodnicki caught the attention of an Indiana State Police Trooper while driving on I-94 through Chesterton, Indiana, with his sirens and blue lights running.

"White male driver and he is not stopping. He is on his cell phone. I don't know why he would be running blue lights in Indiana," an officer said over police radio.

"I'm trying to catch up to a black vehicle running firefighter Blue and White lights," said one of the responding officers attempting to pull Wodnicki over.

ISP Trooper's attempted to pull Wodnicki over on I-94 westbound near mile marker 26 on June 12 just before 8 p.m.

However, the veteran commander allegedly refused to stop and kept driving. ISP Troopers chasing Wodnicki clocked him driving over 100 mph.

"I got a pace on of 114 mph in the left lane," an officer said. "We are going to go ahead and probably spike strip him right here. He's not stopping here."

Eventually, Wodnicki came to a stop just before running his Ford Fusion police vehicle over the stop strips.

According to ISP records, Wodnicki identified himself as a Chicago Police Officer and told the responding troopers that he was heading to his office in Chicago.

"Can you have a supervisor come to the scene? This is a Chicago cop," said the Indiana State Police Trooper over police radio.

Prior to receiving the police report from Indiana State Police, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department told CBS2 that Wodnicki claimed he was in Indiana buying ammunition and turned his sirens on after being called to a critical incident in Chicago.

Those claims will now be under investigation and part of the internal probe initiated by CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson.

"Based on information received from the Indiana State Police regarding Commander Wodnicki, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson has ordered an internal investigation into the entirety of this traffic stop. The commander will be reassigned to CPD's Bureau of Technical Services pending the outcome of this investigation," said a Chicago police spokesman.

Indiana State Police issued Wodnicki a citation for speeding and was allowed to leave the scene.

Despite being clocked by ISP Troopers at 114 mph, the citation says that Wodnicki was traveling at 80 mph. Indiana State Police referred CBS 2's inquiry about this discrepancy to the prosecutors office. CBS 2's calls to the prosecutor's office have not been returned.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.