Deputy Chief: Officer's Actions Unacceptable

James Keegan's testimony a damaging blow to James Mandarino's defense

By Anthony Ponce and BJ Lutz
|  Thursday, Mar 10, 2011  |  Updated 7:10 PM CDT
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<a title=Streamwood's deputy police chief testified Thursday that the repeated baton strikes that former officer James Mandarino inflicted upon a motorist last year was "inappropriate and unnecessary."" />

Streamwood's deputy police chief testified Thursday that the repeated baton strikes that former officer James Mandarino inflicted upon a motorist last year was "inappropriate and unnecessary."

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Streamwood's deputy police chief testified Thursday that the repeated baton strikes one of his officers inflicted upon a motorist last year was "inappropriate and unnecessary."

James Keegan took the stand in the third day of testimony in the police brutality case.  Former officer James Mandarino is charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct following a March 28, 2010 traffic stop.

The camera from Mandarino's squad car recorded the 41-year old officer repeatedly hitting 28-year-old Ronald Bell after a traffic stopBell was left with a concussion and multiple bruises and ultimately needed seven stitches to close a gash on his ear.

Mandarino's defense has argued that the use of force was justified because the officer was by himself and because Bell was drunk and combative.

But Keegan said Mandarino's actions were "unacceptable."

"Upon my observation, I thought he should have stayed where he was at and established cover and distance," Keegan told Judge Thomas P. Fecoratta.  "I think his use of the baton was inappropriate and unnecessary."

Mandarino was fired from the department three months after the incident after an internal investigation determined that he'd violated department rules.

His defense attorney, Rick Boeke, said they'll take the weekend to decide whether to put Mandarino on the witness stand.

"He's eager," said Boeke.

There is no jury in the trial.  Mandarino’s attorneys waived his right to a jury trial and instead asked for a bench trial.  If convicted, Mandarino faces two to five years in prison.

Full Coverage: Mandarino / Streamwood Beating

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