A Chicago policeman has been relieved of his police powers as authorities investigate a video on social media that appears to show him stomp on a suspect’s head while another officer struggles with the man.
“After careful consideration and reviewing the video footage, Superintendent (Eddie) Johnson has decided to relieve one of the officers involved in the incident that occurred on the 3900 block of West Grenshaw of his police powers while IPRA investigates the case,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement.
The Fraternal Order of Police said it was working with the officer and disagreed with stripping police powers before the investigation was completed.
The video was posted Monday afternoon, apparently soon after the incident. By about 10:00 p.m., the video posted by someone using the name Terrance Hustlehard had been viewed more than 300,000 times.
The Police Department has not said why the officers were struggling with the man but said charges were pending against him.
A police source said the two officers who are most prominent in the video were taken to Rush University Medical Center for treatment following the incident, one with a bite injury to a finger and choking injuries, and the other with a bite to the arm.
A spokeswoman for the Independent Police Review Authority confirmed it was investigating the incident.
“We received information regarding the incident and the accompanying video and we launched an investigation into the incident last night,” IPRA spokeswoman Mia Sissac said. “It’s still very early on. We immediately went over to district [last night] to try and identify the officers and move forward from there.”
The Chicago Police Department’s use of force model allows for “direct body mechanics against body structure” as a method of control when someone’s actions are “aggressively offensive without weapons or will likely cause physical injury.” Other options include officers using weapons or deploying a Taser or a dog.
Officers are supposed to adjust the amount of force they use based on the amount of resistance they encounter, according to a directive explaining the model.
“As the subject offers less resistance, the member will lower the amount or type of force used,” it says. “As the subject increases resistance, the member may increase the amount or type of force used.”