Man Kicked in Head by Cop Re-Arrested After FOP Demands Charges

Chicago Police on Thursday arrested a man who was captured on a video getting kicked in the head by an officer as he struggled on the ground with another officer after a foot chase earlier this week.

Shaquille O’Neal, 33, faces felony charges in connection with his Thursday arrest and the earlier arrest Monday.

Police used a Taser on O’Neal during Thursday’s arrest because he allegedly resisted officers, Anthony Guglielmi, chief spokesman for the Chicago Police Department, told the Chicago Sun-Times.

O’Neal, a convicted felon, originally was arrested at about 3:15 p.m. Monday after running from officers on the West Side. Police said he was spotted in a drug deal and he was chased to the 3900 block of West Grenshaw in the Lawndale neighborhood, where an officer struggled on the ground to handcuff him.

Police said O’Neal bit the officer and appeared to grab the officer’s neck.

A cell-phone video taken by a bystander showed another officer walk up and kick O’Neal in the head. That officer has been placed on desk duty by police Supt. Eddie Johnson and relieved of his police powers pending an investigation.

Terrance Hobson, who said he took the video, planned to turn it over to the Justice Department on Thursday afternoon. Hundreds of thousands of people have viewed the video, which was posted on Facebook.

Police said three bags of heroin were recovered from O’Neal after he was taken into custody Monday.

O’Neal was released late Wednesday without being charged “pending further investigation,” infuriating Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police.

When O’Neal was re-arrested Thursday, he resisted officers and a Taser was used on him, Guglielmi said. He was taken to a hospital where the barbs used to connect the Taser to high-voltage electrical wires were removed from his skin.

O’Neal has been charged with aggravated battery on a police officer, aggravated battery by strangulation and possession of a controlled substance in connection with Monday’s arrest and aggravated battery on a police officer and resisting arrest in connection with Thursday’s arrest, said Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

All of the charges are felonies, Daly said.

O’Neal’s arrest came after the FOP’s president, Dean Angelo, registered his outrage over O’Neal’s release Wednesday. Angelo posted an angry message on the union’s website declaring, “Enough is enough.”

He said the decision to release O’Neal on Wednesday allowed police officers to be “victimized” and “subject to criminal behavior” without consequence, particularly after the police officer involved was reassigned to desk duty.

“It’s just another disappointing display of, what we consider to be a consistent, anti-police [attitude]. The police are just wondering what it takes to get considered as a viable part of society,” Angelo later told the Chicago Sun-Times. 

But Daly said Thursday that the state’s attorney’s office needed to review additional video and other evidence before deciding whether to charge O’Neal. 

“We don’t rush to charge, no matter who the victim is,” Daly said.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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