AFRICANGLOBE – The Nation of Islam styles him its “Supreme Captain” — a potential successor to his controversial father, Minister Louis Farrakhan.
But when he’s working for the Harvey Police Department, Mustapha Farrakhan is just a regular cop.
If, that is, he’s actually working for the Harvey Police Department.
Farrakhan, 52, certainly has a police badge from the crime-plagued south suburb.
He drives an unmarked Harvey Police squad car, complete with flashing police lights, and parks it outside his home at night.
And he’s been registered with the state as a gun-carrying Harvey cop since 2006.
But he hasn’t worked a single shift in more than four years, according to state records. If he’s ever made an arrest, Harvey’s police chief is unwilling to discuss it.
Officer Farrakhan does, though, appear to do “police work” off-duty, more than a dozen miles outside Harvey city limits, in Chicago, where he uses his Harvey squad car’s lights to stop traffic and escorts his father’s unofficial motorcade, an investigation has found.
The unusual arrangement that allows him to carry a concealed gun into places where regular citizens can’t, and to drive a police car, despite apparently failing to do regular police work for the suburb that employs him, may be especially useful to the man who leads the Nation of Islam’s “Fruit of Islam” security detail.
Neither Farrakhan, his close pal, Harvey Mayor Eric J. Kellogg, nor the Nation of Islam responded to requests last week to discuss it.
Harvey Police Chief Denard Eaves also declined to answer detailed questions about Farrakhan’s hire, his use of the city-owned squad car, or his security work for the country’s leading Black Muslim group.
Instead Eaves issued a statement describing Farrakhan as a “volunteer” police officer whose appointment he “stands behind.”
“Officer Farrakhan assists the Police Department with community relations, in its quest to strengthen ties between police and the community,” the chief wrote.
The statement does not address the fact that Farrakhan lives half an hour’s drive south of Harvey, in Crete.
It’s a statement the chief may have to expand upon. The Illinois Police Standards and Training Board, this week opened an investigation into Farrakhan, the board’s deputy director, Larry Smith, said.
Intrigue or controversy inside Harvey’s small police department is nothing new.
During the decade since Mayor Kellogg was elected, two officers have been convicted of felonies.
One, Kellogg’s close ally Archie Stallworth, was caught in a federal sting transporting what he thought was 30 kilos of cocaine.
The other, Detective Hollis Dorrough, illegally returned a gun taken in evidence to a suspect’s dad — on Kellogg’s orders, he claimed.
Civil lawsuits alleging police brutality and worse have also stacked up.
Just two months ago, the city agreed to pay $1.4 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged Kellogg and Dorrough conspired to frame a man after their stash of cocaine was stolen.
And in January, a federal jury awarded $600,000 to former Harvey cop Alex Gbur, who it found was sent out to face gunfire without his K-9 partner in an unsafe squad car as revenge for his support of one of Kellogg’s political opponents.
Faced with these and other embarrassing headlines, all of which he has denied, the mayor has long used his friendships with star athletes and other celebrities, including the Farrakhan family, to bolster his political appeal.
His relationship with Mustapha Farrakhan is especially close, sources say.
Though Minister Louis Farrakhan’s national influence has greatly diminished since he led the “Million Man March” on Washington, D.C., in 1995 — and some estimates put current active Nation of Islam membership as low as 2,000 — he remains a charismatic figure to many African Americans in the Chicago area.
As the highest-ranking of the minister’s sons in the Nation of Islam, Mustapha is one of a select group of insiders positioned to eventually take over from his 79-year-old father.
Supporters have touted his law enforcement experience with Harvey as a credential for the top spot.
Officer Farrakhan’s image also has benefitted from his son Mustapha Jr.’s status as a basketball star.
Currently a point guard in the NBA’s Development League, Minister Farrakhan’s grandson is a former star at Thornton Township, the Harvey high school where Kellogg once coached.
Kellogg didn’t respond to questions sent last week to his spokeswoman, Sandra Alvarado, about the Harvey Police Department and his friendship with Officer Farrakhan.
But when the mayor enlisted as a Harvey cop back on Jan. 14, 2006, he told a reporter that it was because he was interested in “lifelong learning” and in improving Harvey’s police tactics.
State records show his friend Farrakhan began his training on the same date.
Once he had qualified as a sworn officer, Farrakhan worked just nine hours in the first half of 2007, upped his workload to 14 hours in the second half of that year, put in a yeoman-like 118 1/2 hours in the second half of 2008, before beginning an absence that continues to the present day, according to records Harvey Police filed with the state.