A former Chicago police officer was charged with multiple crimes related to an controversial incident in which he grabbed a Black woman walking her dog last summer at North Avenue Beach.
Officer Bruce Dyker, who resigned from the department in May amid the investigation, faces one count of aggravated battery and two counts of official misconduct, according to Cook County court records.
"The lakefront is now triggering because she was attacked there," attorney Keenan Saulter previously stated. "And more importantly, she was attacked by someone who had been sworn to actually protect her."
Dyker, who was placed on desk duty shortly after the incident, had been a Chicago officer since 1998. The encounter occurred shortly after midnight in August when Dyker approached Nikkita Brown and asked her to leave the beach as it was closed, according to the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
Body camera video released by Brown’s lawyer shows Brown asking the officer to respect her space as he emerges from his cruiser. “It’s Covid,” she can be heard saying.
It isn’t clear what occurred before the video, but Dyker can be heard responding: “Respect your space? I’m about to put handcuffs on you.”
One video taken by a bystander, which was widely released after the incident, appears to show Brown and her dog backing away from the officer as he continues to follow her and gesture with his arms to steer her away from the lakefront. The video, taken from a distance, does not capture audio of their conversation.
Brown then stops, with a cell phone in her hand, and the officer can be seen attempting to take her phone, grabbing and holding onto her right arm with both hands as she screams and struggles to break free, still holding the leash of her dog, entangled in the scuffle. Brown loses a shoe and drops her phone as the officer gains control over both of her arms and fully restrains her.
The physical struggle lasts for a little over a minute before the officer releases her. They can be seen continuing to speak to one another as she collects her belongings and then walks away from the lakefront. The officer walks the opposite direction, back toward the beach and the video ends.
Attorneys for Brown, who is Black, called the encounter an “unprovoked attack” and an “obvious case of racial profiling,” saying she was emotionally traumatized by the confrontation.