Did Cop Go Too Far?

Cops probe video of officer removing bus passenger

CHICAGO -- A video showing a Chicago police officer attempting to escort a man off a Chicago Transit Authority bus is the focus of a police department internal affairs review.

The video, shot last Friday, was posted to the two-year-old blog ChicagoCopWatch.org, a site launched to "keep the police accountable," co-founder Spencer Thayer said.

Thayer said he recorded the video, which appears to show a uniformed officer struggling verbally and physically with a man who didn't follow the officer's order to get off the route 70 bus in the 800 block of West Division Street.

The CTA said the driver of the bus called police for assistance after the passenger refused to pay his fare.

The post on ChicagoCopWatch.org alleges that the officer "neglected to follow CPD protocol during the encounter, which led to a violent altercation."

"It seemed like the officer was escalating the situation more than the suspect," Thayer said.

The video shows the passenger remaining in his seat after several orders from the officer to leave the bus.  The officer then grabs the man and pushes him against the side of the bus.

When the passenger does rise from his seat, the officer grabs the passenger and repeatedly asks,"Do you want to fight me?"  Other passengers can be seen moving away from the altercation.

The video also appears to show the officer striking the passenger.

The man was taken off the bus when two additional officers arrived.

Following the incident, Thayer can be heard on the video asking the officer for his badge number.  The officer provides his badge number, 10677, and asks, "Why, what do you want?  You got a problem?"

NBC Chicago was informed that News Affairs has seen the video and the incident is under review by Internal Affairs.  There was no further comment.

Thayer said he has filed a police report.

"It probably happens more frequently than we would be comfortable with.  And the sad thing is nobody is there to videotape it," Thayer said.

Part of the investigation will include interviewing other passengers and reviewing CTA surveillance footage, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Warning: Video contains strong language 

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