Rep Tarver

Rep. Curtis J. Tarver II

Charges against Rep. Curtis J. Tarver II (D-25th) for failing to surrender a concealed carry license were dropped on Monday, and the legislator criticized Chicago police for their treatment of him during a traffic stop last November. 

Tarver was stopped on November 18 of last year for driving with a broken headlight. CPD officers asked him if there was a firearm in the vehicle. After Tarver handed over the weapon and his concealed carry license, officers found that the license had been revoked, and arrested and charged the representative. 

At the time, Tarver maintained that the arrest was due to a “clerical error” because he had just renewed his Firearm Owners Identification card. A spokesperson for the CPD told the Sun-Times a few days after the arrest that the case “likely a paperwork issue.”

Now, charges have been dropped. Politico first reported the news Tuesday morning. Tarver did not respond to a request for comment from the Herald. 

In a Tuesday press release, Tarver criticized CPD officers for their treatment of him during the arrest, saying that he had been handcuffed to a bench for nearly seven hours. 

“Against CPD policy, I was demanded to hand my firearm to an officer. I continued to explain that this must have been a clerical error, as I was in legal possession of my firearm,” Tarver wrote. “Despite this explanation I was transported to the 4th District police station, where one of the officers tried to persuade me into ‘taking this charge.’”

Tarver also says he was denied a phone call, and that he was forced to remove his sweatshirt so that his tattoos would be visible in his mugshot. 

“As a Black man from the Southside of Chicago, I am not looked at as an Illinois state representative during these interactions with law enforcement,” he wrote. “I hate to imagine what could have happened that day if I was not fully knowledgeable of my constitutional rights, and what many of my constituents may be coerced with while interacting with law enforcement.”

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