Recorded on cellphone video picking up an unarmed man and slamming him onto the curb, a Chicago police officer is under investigation after the video was recently posted to social media. After reviewing the video, the mayor of Chicago referred to the incident as “very disturbing.”
Around 4 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, a Chicago police officer approached a man allegedly drinking in public. According to bystander Jovonna Jamison, the officer snatched the man’s beer away before she began recording the arrest on her cellphone.
In Jamison’s video, the man stands next to a police vehicle while talking on his cellphone when the officer suddenly lifts him into the air before slamming him against the pavement. The man’s head strikes the curb, and another officer is unable to awaken the unconscious man.
According to police, the man had licked the officer’s face and spat into his mouth and eyes before the video began recording. A police statement referred to the body slam as an “emergency takedown” due to the man allegedly spitting on the cop.
Jamison told ABC News that she did not see the man resist in any way. She recalled, “That gentleman didn’t do anything wrong.”
The man was transported to the University of Chicago and was in stable condition when released into police custody.
After reviewing the video, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot took to Twitter and wrote, “While a single video does not depict the entirety of the interactions between the police and the individual, this particular video is very disturbing.”
The mayor added, “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.”
COPA requested that the officer be relieved of powers pending review of the incident. Chicago police officials reportedly concurred.
Police have not released the identities of the officer or the man that he knocked unconscious on the video.