On Monday, a video surfaced on Facebook that has caused one Chicago cop to be relieved of his duties and placed on administrative leave while the authorities investigate his treatment of a suspect. In the video the suspect is seen struggling with one officer before the officer in question approached them and stomped on the struggling man’s head, knocking him unconscious.
The video of the Chicago cop was uploaded only a short time after the initial incident and spokesman for the department, Anthony Guglielmi gave a statement regarding how they plan to proceed with the case.
“After careful consideration and reviewing the video footage, Superintendent (Eddie) Johnson has decided to relieve one of the officers involved in the incident that occurred on the 3900 block of West Grenshaw of his police powers while IPRA [Independent Police Review Authority] investigates the case.”
According to Patch.com, the incident with the cop stomping the suspect in the head occurred yesterday at approximately 3:15 p.m., when one plain clothes officer was attempting to deal with a man now stated to have been a narcotics suspect. Another plainclothes officer pulled up to the scene on the city’s West Side, and at first seemed to be concerned with keeping onlookers back from the arrest. However, at one point, the officer who is now on paid administrative leave, turned back towards the resisting suspect and the other officer and seemingly stomped on the man’s head. At the time, the suspect was face down on the street while the other cop was handcuffing him.
The video of the encounter was posted to Facebook by someone using the name “Terrance Hustlehard” and by 10 p.m. the video had been shared about 14,000 times and was viewed more than 300,000 times.
During most of the exchange the officer is having a loud, profanity-laced shouting match with the person filming the arrest and subsequent head stomping. By the end of the video, a number of other police officers had arrived at the scene.
The Fraternal Order of Police made it known that since the incident they have been working with the Chicago officer who was placed on administrative leave and disagree with the action, stating that the policeman should not have been stripped of his powers before a thorough investigation had been completed. While the police have not specifically said why exactly the suspect was being arrested and was struggling, but said that charges are definitely pending against him.
Both of the main Chicago officers who were in the video are said to have been taken to Rush University Medical Center for treatment of injuries sustained during the arrest. One officer reportedly had a bite on his arm, and during the video the original officer struggling with the suspect can be heard yelling at the man, “Don’t you bite me!” The injury to the officer is reportedly a bite injury to a finger and choking injuries, though since the suspect was knocked unconscious after the officer stomped on his head, it is unclear how more than one officer sustained any injury.
Mia Sissac, spokeswoman for the Independent Police Review Authority, confirmed that they would be investigating the incident.
“We received information regarding the incident and the accompanying video and we launched an investigation into the incident last night. It’s still very early on. We immediately went over to district (last night) to try and identify the officers and move forward from there.”
The suspect whose head was stomped on was identified by family members to WGN as 24-year-old Shaquille O’Neal. Around 1 a.m, hours after the incident a small protest had formed outside of the Police station at 35th and Michigan. While some called for the officer who stomped the man in his head to be fired one protester held up a sign proclaiming that “CPD is KKK.”
O’Neal is said to have retained an attorney.
[Image via Shutterstock]