A Chicago police officer has been stripped of his police powers and placed on desk duty, pending an investigation into a video showing him apparently stomping a man’s head while a second officer was trying to restrain the man.
The Independent Police Review Authority has launched an investigation into the video, which was recorded while a plainclothes officer was struggling with a man on the ground while trying to arrest him in the North Lawndale neighborhood.
The video, posted on Facebook on Monday, shows a plainclothes officer trying to arrest a man in the 3900 block of West Grenshaw Street. A second officer tells bystanders to move back, and then apparently stomps the man in the head.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed the officer seen apparently stomping the man has been relieved of his police powers, after Supt. Eddie Johnson reviewed the video.
“After careful consideration and reviewing the video footage, Superintendent Johnson has decided to relieve one of the officers involved in the incident that occurred on the 3900 block of West Greenshaw of his police powers while IPRA investigates the case. Since his appointment, the Superintendent has stated that accountability begins with him down to the last police officer and that he will tirelessly work to rebuild public trust in the Chicago Police Department,” Guglielmi said in an email.
What’s not clear is exactly how a narcotics investigation led to the confrontation. Police have not provided details of the man’s arrest, other than to say charges were pending against him.
In the profanity-laced video, you can see a plainclothes police officer wrestling with a 24-year-old man on the street. At one point, you hear the officer ordering the man not to bite him.
Then another officer arrives and immediately calls for backup as a crowd gathers and moves closer while the first officer continues to wrestle with the man.
Less than a minute into the struggle, the second officer stomps on the man’s head as several other officers arrive on the scene.
Minister Jedidiah Brown said he was disheartened by the actions of the officer who made what Brown said is a brutal decision.
“In the situation, he chose to stomp a young man’s face and knock him unconscious,” he said.
While it’s not clear what led to the struggle between one officer and the man he was trying to arrest, Brown said the second officer clearly used excessive force.
“Kicking him in the face was uncalled for, and it was a disgusting act, and I’m glad that that police officer has been stripped of his authority,” he said.
The video has received hundreds of thousands of views online. Several people who saw it marched outside Chicago Police Headquarters early Tuesday morning, voicing their concerns about what they see as excessive force.
“We are out here at 1 o’clock in the morning, because due to the fact of the video being released of a young man experiencing police brutality today on the West Side of Chicago. We are tired and we are fed up with the misconduct,” Lamon Reccord said.
The 24-year-old man was being treated at Mount Sinai Hospital, and was listed in fair condition Tuesday morning.
SOURCE: CBS Chicago