Chicago Police

Video Shows Police Body Slam Man Accused of Spitting On Cop: COPA

A man was hospitalized after being slammed to the ground by police Thursday in Chatham when he allegedly spit on an officer while being detained for drinking alcohol in public.

The incident was caught on video and posted to social media.

About 3:58 p.m., officers saw the 29-year-old drinking alcohol at a bus stop in the 700 block of East 79th Street and approached him, according to Chicago police.

Police said the man became “irate” and licked the face of an officer and made verbal threats toward the officers, police said. When the man spit in an officer’s eye and mouth, the officer performed an “emergency takedown,” according to police.

A 41-second video of the incident that was posted to social media appeared to show the man facing a police SUV with an officer standing behind him when the officer picks him up off his feet and throws him to the ground. The man appears to lie motionless in the street as other officers gather around him.

Jovanna Alexiss Jamison, 22, witnessed the incident and recorded the video that was posted to Facebook.

The man “didn’t do anything aggressive, he just stood there,” according to Jamison. “He was standing there using his cellphone. They took away his bottle of liquor and threw it.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot stated on Twitter on Friday that she viewed the video that has now gone viral.

"While a single video does not depict the entirety of the interactions between the police and the individual, this particular video is very disturbing," she said.

"The matter is under investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA). It is my expectation that the investigation will be comprehensive and expedited so that the public may gain a complete picture of what happened."

The man was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center by police, where he was stabilized, according to spokesmen for CPD and the Chicago Fire Department.

The 32-year-old officer who was spit on was taken by ambulance to the same hospital for evaluation, officials said.

The officer’s use of the emergency takedown maneuver was being investigated by the Chicago Office of Police Accountability (COPA), according to CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. He added that COPA asked for the officer involved to be relieved of police powers pending review, and the CPD agreed.

Police said charges were pending against the 29-year-old.

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