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After Video of Sleeping Police Officer Goes Viral, CPD Investigating

By Tanveer Ali | May 19, 2015 1:53pm | Updated on May 20, 2015 8:54am

CHICAGO — A video of a Chicago police officer sleeping on the job has thousands of shares on Facebook — and now police say they’re looking into the matter.

A Facebook user uploaded the video to his page Friday, and by Tuesday afternoon it had more than 700,000 views.

"CHICAGO POLICE at me about this video," the man posted Friday. "Watch, Like, share, re-post whatever. Just make sure you let someone else see these shenanigans."

In the video, the narrator points out the intersection of 63rd Street and Campbell Avenue, then gets so close to the snoozing officer that the cameraman is practically in the vehicle.

"You see where we at," the narrator says. "Right here on Campbell. ... People getting shot and killed here all the time. ... Yep, police officer still here sleeping."

The police beat area where the video was taken has been the site of at least five shootings in 2015, including an incident in which police shot a man who they say pointed a gun at them.

In the video, the narrator refers to a fatal cellphone robbery, likely the one that killed 19-year-old Kevin Baker in January 2014.

The video was shared more than 25,500 times, and word of it eventually reached the Chicago Police Department, which issued a statement Tuesday.

"We are already aware of this video and this matter is under investigation, which may result in disciplinary action," the statement said. "From all appearances this incident is not in keeping with the high expectations placed on our officers by this department and the residents of Chicago — which is unacceptable."

Studies have shows that many police officers in the United States do not get enough sleep while off duty.

"Law enforcement officers work demanding schedules characterized by long hours, frequent night shifts and substantial overtime," wrote Beth Pearsall in a 2012 report in the National Institute of Justice Journal. "Insufficient rest or irregular sleep patterns — coupled with the stress of the job — can lead to sleep deprivation and possibly sleep disorders."

The result, Persall said, "can be severe fatigue that degrades officers' cognition, reaction time and alertness and impairs their ability to protect themselves and the communities they serve."

Sleep disorders are twice as prevalent among law enforcement than in the general public, she wrote. In a study of nearly 5,000 police in the U.S. and Canada, just over 40 percent had at least one sleep disorder.

One study of officers involved in on-the-job accidents and injuries found that half were impaired because of fatigue.

h/t CBS Chicago

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