United States

Former Joliet Police Officer Acquitted of Rights Violation

A federal jury has acquitted a former suburban Chicago police officer charged in the 2012 beating of a woman.

Thomas O'Connor of Joliet was indicted last year on charges he used unreasonable force when he punched Shantique Jackson while investigating a domestic dispute.

She claimed O'Connor broke her nose, among other injuries. O'Connor was responding to Jackson's report of a fight with her boyfriend.

Will County jurors acquitted O'Connor in June 2013 of aggravated battery charges stemming from the incident. He was fired from the Joliet Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Greening told the jury O'Connor struck Jackson in the head 21 times and twice threw her against a car. He said the officer had other options. Defense attorney Michael Ettinger said O'Connor was trying to control a volatile situation.

O'Connor said Friday the acquittal gave him "a wonderful feeling."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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