The Civilian Office of Police Accountability has responded to an incident caught on video involving several Chicago police officers and a family claiming they were wrongfully targeted by police.
In a statement released Thursday evening, COPA recommended Supt. David Brown take action.
“COPA recommends the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department identify and evaluate the current assignment of involved officers related to the incident at Brickyard Mall in the Belmont Cragin community and either modify their duty status or relive them temporarily of police power until COPA can further assess the events and circumstances surrounding the use of force,” the statement reads.
The incident unfolded on Sunday, May 31, while bystanders recorded cell phone video at the Brickyard Mall in Chicago’s Belmont Cragin neighborhood.
The video appears to show multiple officers swarm a vehicle in the parking lot, break the car’s windows and pull out several people.
Mia Wright, an essential worker, said after she was thrown to the ground, the officer put his knee on her neck.
“All I thought about was what happened with George Floyd. It could have been another situation like that,” Wright said. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Wright’s mother and cousin were also taken out of the vehicle by police, but Wright was the only one arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
Chicago police said officers observed her with three others, assembled for the purpose of using force or violence to disturb the peace.
Wright denies she did anything wrong and claims police had the wrong person.
She was also taken to a hospital after she said she was detained for 18 hours.
On Thursday, Wright’s attorney demanded a criminal investigation.
“If the individual tried to speed off, that’s a different story, but we all saw the video. They didn’t try to run,” family attorney Nenye Uche said. “Why use that kind of force if you’re not trying to provoke fear and chaos?”
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said her office is aware of the video and is currently conducting a thorough, independent review of the matter, including the conduct of the police officers involved.
On Thursday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot responded during a news conference at COPA headquarters.
“Of course, I have my own personal opinion about it, but I’m not going to share it because I don’t want to influence what COPA’s work is,” Lightfoot said. “They have the jurisdiction.”
COPA acknowledged it’s in the early stages of the investigation into this incident and has yet to identify all officers involved and is asking for the community’s cooperation and understanding, according to the statement.
The group will continue it’s investigation and make a recommendation whether the officers will face discipline.
If anyone has information COPA asks to be reached by phone at (312)746-3609 or via their website.