One North Chicago police officer was fired and another suspended without pay in connection with the death of a man who died a week after being in their custody. But four other officers involved in Darrin Hanna's arrest last November are returning to their regular duties, and that's not sitting well with some who wanted more action. Natalie Martinez reports.
North Chicago Police took disciplinary action Friday against two officers involved in the arrest of Darrin Hanna, who died after being in police custody.
Brandon Yost, a six-year veteran of the force, was discharged effective immediately, Police Chief James Jackson announced in a statement. Officer Arthur Strong, a seven-year vet, was suspended for 30 days without pay.
The other four officers and one supervisor involved in Hanna's arrest "have been returned to their regular duties."
As Chief Jackson explained his decisions, a crowd yelled "cover up" and "liar."
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.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson was critical that action hadn't been more swift, saying the leave amounts to "a vacation."
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 half a dozen police brutality claims during Newsome's six-year tenure.