|Photo screen captured from video.|
In a video uploaded to Facebook last year, Chicago Police officers were seen violently tossing a woman around, attacking a man, and inciting general chaos- in typical police fashion.
The video begins with officers standing around with their chests puffed out, while a witness brilliantly reminds everyone not to talk, just to film.
Next thing we know a woman is having her face slammed into the hood of a cop car. That woman is Lisa Simmons, she was one of many community residents participating in a block party celebrating two of its artists signing a big recording contract.
Moments later, after announcing “get out of the street or you’re going to jail,” while pacing around like a bulldog holding his asp, a cop on a rampage gets insulted and unexpectedly bashes a man in the face so hard his hat goes flying. That man’s name is Jeremiah Smith.
On Thursday, Smith and Simmons filed a police brutality lawsuit against the Chicago Police department for their horrific abuse caught on camera.
“You have this small child and this woman who is watching, this extreme violence for what? for nothing!” attorney Rahsaan Gordon said.
“That is an impact weapon. There was no reason for him to pull it out,” Gordon said explaining that there was no need for the officer to have pulled out an asp to bash Smith in the face.
“Nobody ran at him, nobody pulled out a weapon, nobody tried to punch him. They stood there. You even hear one of the gentlemen saying, ‘I’m a man! I’m not a child,'” Gordon said.
Smith was arrested and charged with assault for getting hit in the face by this cop. After spending 12 days in jail, he finally broke and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery and was released.
A study by University of Chicago professor Craig Futterman found that just 19 of 10,149 complaints accusing CPD officers of excessive force, illegal searches, racial abuse, sexual abuse, and false arrests led to a police suspension of a week or more. In more than 85 percent of internal investigations of complaints, the accused officer was never even interviewed, Think Progress reports.
In a statement released to the media, the CPD said:
The Chicago Police Dept. takes any allegations of excessive force against the residents our officers are sworn to protect very seriously, and any action which undermines the integrity of the Chicago Police Department simply will not be tolerated.In the meantime, however, the officer who slammed a woman into a car and hit a non-violent man in the face with his baton is still on full duty — So much for not tolerating excessive force.