Chicago police Officer Cory Chapton says he finished work one day around 2 p.m., got into his car outside the West Side’s Harrison District station and sat in the parking lot for hour after hour “contemplating how do I get rid of this pain?”
He thought about ending his suffering as the afternoon stretched into the evening and then into the following morning. It wasn’t until 5 a.m. that he drove off. Fifteen hours had passed.
“I’m done. I’m tired. I don’t want to deal with this no more,” Chapton recounts in a new video produced by the Chicago Police Department. “You get to that point that,” he says, pausing for several seconds, “just end it all. Forget it.”
Superintendent Eddie Johnson; his predecessor, John Escalante; and Tina Skahill, formerly one of the department’s highest-ranking black women, joined Chapton in going public with the emotional struggles they encountered before mustering the courage to seek help.
The video, produced as part of a series aimed at encouraging officers to seek mental health support, comes as the department confronts a cluster of seven officer suicides since July.