7 North Chicago Cops Involved in Beating Case May be Fired

Darrin Hanna, 45, died last November following his arrest during a domestic disturbance

By BJ Lutz
|  Friday, Apr 27, 2012  |  Updated 12:27 PM CDT
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Allegations of Police Brutality Dog North Chicago

Darrin Hanna, in one of the few photos NBC Chicago is choosing to publish, is shown with a bandaged nose and injuries to his face.

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Allegations of Police Brutality Dog North Chicago

A Chicago man died after being beaten, and his mother claims police are to blame. Now two other men say they were also beaten by North Chicago police but were lucky enough to survive.
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A decision is expected by week's end as to whether seven North Chicago police officers involved in the beating of a man who died after being in their custody will lose their jobs.

The officers had been on desk duty since Darrin Hanna died Nov. 13. North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham said Tuesday that they were put on paid administrative leave.

A decision as to whether they'll remain on the force will be made by interim police Chief James Jackson, Rockingham said.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson was critical that action hasn't been more swift, saying the leave amounts to "a vacation."

"In the meantime, we’re going to march and occupy until something happens," he said at First Corinthian Baptist Church. "We’re going to occupy the space between justice and injustice until rogue cops have no guns, no badges, no uniforms and no authority."

Police in November responded to a call that Hanna was fighting with his pregnant girlfriend, who told authorities he tried to drown her in the bathtub. During the arrest, police punched Hanna and shocked him with a stun gun.

Coroners concluded that the shocks and physical restraint contributed to his death, along with cocaine abuse and other health problems.

Hanna's death prompted several other people to come forward claiming they'd been victimized by the North Chicago Police Department. In the wake of the incident, Hanna's family has collected evidence, including newly-released audio records, in hopes of filing a lawsuit against the department and the officers involved.

A review of the incident by Illinois State Police concluded the officers used reasonable force, but the U.S. Justice Department is now looking into the matter.

Mike Newsome, who was police chief when Hanna was arrested, was placed on leave in January and retired a month later. His successor, Michael Hosking, quit after just days on the job. Hosking was replaced by Jackson.

North Chicago reportedly paid about $1.3 million to settle a half dozen police brutality claims during Newsome's six-year tenure.

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