Street Camera Recorded Alleged Police Brutality: Sources

Seven Chicago police officers on administrative duty during investigation

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCChicago.com

    A Chicago police camera perched high atop a pole across the street from a fast food restaurant on the city's far South Side may have recorded the incident that's got seven officers confined to their desks.

    The altercation happened at about 10 p.m. last Monday near West 79th Street and South Vincennes Avenue, police sources said, telling NBC Chicago that officers were responding to a call about a man with a gun but got involved in fisticuffs.

    The police sergeant, who has been at the center of the investigation since it came to last last Friday, punched the man in the face while he was handcuffed, the source said. 

    Another officer, a female, slapped the man hard enough to knock his hat off of his head, the source said.

    Finally, the police source says man who was handcuffed is a relative of a board member of the Independent Police Review Authority, the entity that investigates allegations of police misconduct.

    The incident was not brought to police police Supt. Jody Weis' attention until a complaint was filed by the man who was put in handcuffs.  The man was later cited for trespassing or another light charge, police sources said.

    Several people who say they witnessed the incident said they're too afraid to talk about it publicly over fear of police retaliation.  That's one of the main reasons, according to Weis, that the officers will remain on administrative duty until after the investigation is complete.

    Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) chairs the Police and Fire Commmittee and wouldn't discuss the allegations the officers are facing when asked about them Monday evening, but he said he's standing by Weis.

    "You cannot protect those who are misusing their authority," he said.

    Weis remains cryptic about the investigation but admitted that Friday evening's late news conference was called because he wanted to control the message.

    "If there's one thing I've learned, if there's a bad story floating out there, get ahead of it," he said Monday morning after a police ceremony.

    Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Danahue criticized Weis earlier in the day for speaking publicly about the investigation during its infancy

    "[Weis is] impacting these officers in a negative way even though they haven't been accused of anything," said Donahue.